Tag Archives: fashion

Photo captions

Some photos recently uploaded from my camera…

(1) S is constantly seeing things around the house (including in the recycling bin) and asking, “can I use this for something?”  Here’s “something” she made recently… things like this are on display all around our house.  On a related note, we go through a bottle of glue, a roll of tape and a line of staples just about every week.

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(2) This is how you make a snow princess in the south.  You make a snowman with a bucket, a soccer ball and a hat, but I forgot to take a picture of that.

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(3) E & S received a sewing machine for Christmas (thank you Nana!)  Although Santa surprised them with several projects (small squares of fun fabric to sew quilts, simple apron patterns) and I have asked them to complete several others (“decorating” H’s burp cloths with stitches), S really wanted to make a dress.  Poor thing…her mama needs a sewing lesson!  But we did the best we could (with no pattern and the little fabric we had on hand), and yes, she wears this dress out, including to preschool.  Hey, she’s thrilled with it.  With that smile, who’s going to notice the stitching?!

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Lookin’ fierce in the photo below…

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(4) Catching snowflakes in bowls (while still in PJ’s…when it snows in the south, you best get out there…if you take time to change, you may miss the only snow of the winter!)

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(5) E came downstairs with this one day.  I may have to buy a new dry erase board because I never want to erase it.  We love you too, E.  So much!

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(P.S.  It reminds me of the dry erase board Nana kept in her kitchen that had “To Do” written on it, awaiting Nana’s next “to do” list.  My sister wrote “(1) Hug A” on the list and my mom could never erase that either.  Probably all our “to do” lists should have “Hug someone” at the top, don’t you think?)

(P.P.S. My sister is expecting a baby and I wish I could rub her belly today and hug her!   Love you, A!”)

(6) E’s door.  I love this stage of childhood.  All “rainbows and fairies” just like she’s printed on her sign.  Since I can’t freeze time, I’ll take some timely photos and try to treasure these moments.

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(7) This is S’ door.  She decided she wanted to be a doctor one day and made all these signs representing the different body parts to hang on the entrance to her “office”.  Patients can point to the body part they would like her to fix.  Worth clicking on this photo to enlarge…

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The empty spot on the door is for her favorite sign, which she had posted on a different door on the day I snapped the photo (because she loves it and wants to show it around!).  That one said “but cks” (for “butt cheeks”) until I made her rephrase.  It now has a sticker over “but” and reads “vny cks” (for “fanny cheeks”).  So if you have a fanny cheek problem, the doctor is in.

(8) I’m going to make my millions by selling this photo to the makers of the “Leap Tag” system and suggesting the tag line: “It will either teach your child to read or make bedtime super easy.  Either way, it’s worth a few bucks.”

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We actually gave S this Leap Tag pen for Christmas because E (1st grade) is now required to read to us every night, and we wanted S (preschool) to have the option of reading us stories too.  However, S is great about sharing the pen with T, and since I found this one train book on sale ($4!), T reads it with his pen over and over again.  (He can actually say the words along with the pen now.)  We hear him through the monitor reading the book until he falls asleep, and have been awakened more than once in the middle of the night to the sound of his pen reading the book again.

(9) A project from the 4’s class at preschool.  This is actually a photo of E’s from long ago, but S’ brought hers home this week, telling me “you have two S’ now, mom!”  (I need to get a photo of it.)  The life size replica of the child is part of a unit on the human body.  The stomach is a bag of cheerios, the lungs are bubble wrap, the heart is a balloon, etc.

Well, the brains are packing peanuts on the back of the head and when we were unloading S’ one of the peanuts fell off.  S picked it up and said to me, “here you go, Dad”.  I said, “I’m not Dad!” and she responded, “I called you dad because I’m going to make mistakes, since part of my brain just fell out...”

Pretty sharp, that one.  Is it a problem that my children are outpacing me when they’re still in preschool?

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We made the mistake of storing this inside E’s closet once and forgetting to warn a guest who stayed in her room that it was in there.  It’ll scare you to death in dim light, I tell you…

(10)  E is learning subtraction and her homework assignment was to do unit 7, section 1 in her math workbook.  Check out the upper right corner for some classic E perfectionism.  Practice Unit 7-1 has become Practice 7-1=6.  Well done, E.  :  )

(and what are the chances that the sample problem would be 7-1 also?  Go figure…)

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Anyway, more random photos later.  Just a few snapshots of life around here : )

cute, creative & confined to the house…all while preparing her to take on the world!

I could write pages about E’s style.  Suffice it to say that since she was a tiny girl, fashion has inspired her creativity.  From

– fingernails painted 10 different colors to

hours in her room drawing new designs for her dolls to

asking mama to help her make those designs come alive in fabric (I wish I had any skill at all in this area…)

E simply sees things in fabric and thread that I would never see without her.

As a result, she has the uncanny ability to surprise me with what she’s wearing, even though I am very familiar with every stitch in her wardrobe.

Take her green skirt, for example.  It is a simple skirt, designed for a 5 year old girl in that it has shorts sewn in underneath.  Perfect for sitting on the Kindergarten mat.

Well, recently E came down from her room with the skirt worn in a way I had never anticipated.  She put on the skirt, and while the shorts remained covering her lower body, pulled the skirt overlay up and inside out to create a strapless shirt.

It was creative, cute, and (since my 5 year old will not be wearing strapless outfits), confined to the house.  I didn’t make a picture, but it’s basically a green version of this (except that the armless mannequin could never wear it since E had to hold the top up with her hands, as there is no elastic on what was intended to be the bottom of a skirt…I did help her pin it so it would stay during her fun “dress-up” hour).

You can imagine if the top were folded down at the waist, this would be a skirt with shorts underneath. E just transformed it the other way, making it look just like this outfit, without ever having seen anyone wear this before. Is this how Ralph Lauren got his start?  Or am I raising Lady Gaga?

This wardrobe alteration was not an isolated incident…

The next week, E surprised me by announcing she was dressed for choir practice while wearing a midriff-bearing, one shouldered shirt.  Since she owns no such items, I looked closer and discovered that her “shirt” was actually a pair of blue shorts worn upside down.  She had put her head through one of the leg holes and her right arm through the other to create this look.

Can you tell that the shirt is actually a pair of shorts worn upside down?  When she moves her arms and it becomes a full midriff-bearing, one shoulder ensemble, which is why I posted a photo that happened to catch her while her face was covered.  No need to show her fully on display in this outfit.

Anyone who knows me knows that I think some of the best and most important childhood moments when kids are given license to create.  And E absolutely has license to create in our house. And room what I’ve seen so far, art & fashion are absolutely her creative specialties.  Her mind just looks at fabric and sees things I don’t see, and I think it’s fantastic.  I want to encourage it, not stifle it.

At the same time, E and I had to have two conversations before we headed out to choir practice that day…

(1) modesty… I am confronting this issue earlier than I thought I would have to and am admittedly unprepared.  Any pointers on discussing modestly with a 5 year old are greatly appreciated!  In the meantime, I will say that before she went out of the house, she was required to (a) put another pair of shorts under her skirt and (b) add a tank-top underneath the upside-down shorts to cover her belly and the exposed shoulder .  Which meant she left the house looking like this:

I also had to talk to E about…

(2) Being who you are:  I was up-front about E that (a) I loved her mind and vision and creativity, (b) seeing and doing things differently is celebrated in our house, as long as you are being true to who you are and expressing/not contradicting important values (like modesty), and (c) once you leave our house, you may get teased for seeing and doing things differently.  She should be ready for that, but not let it scare her away from something that she wanted.  (The world needs people who see some things differently, and it makes things a lot more fun too!)

But reigning it back in to the issue at hand, I basically told E that someone could recognize that she was wearing shorts upside-down as a shirt and tease her about it, and asked her if she would be ok when that happened.  She said she would, so we practiced her response in case that happened:

“I like the way it looks!  But I don’t like to be teased, so stop.”

And off she went to choir…

As it turns out, no one said anything to her.  And I am proud that she had a vision, was comfortable doing things differently, and learned a little bit about how to brace herself.  I will be the first investor in her design company, if her interest continues.  (I will also be the first to send her back upstairs if something is not modest, with suggestions about how to make it work while still being fun, accompanied by clear instructions to put some more clothes on.)

(As a side note, I would like to say that I uber-impressed with my mother-in-law, who witnessed about 75% of this exchange with E, let me handle the whole thing, and just smiled and said at one point, “You are both just wonderful!”  I got extra lucky that she came as part of a family package with my amazing husband!  More on their visit in an upcoming post…)

I also got lucky that we happened to be ready for choir early that day, which left enough time for a conversation.  Because a few days later, she came downstairs a few minutes before she had to leave for school wearing this dress.

random, fuzzy photo of E that I snapped as she was putting on an “art show” on the kitchen table…but she happened to be wearing the dress I’m referring to…a dress we both love, by the way…

No problem, right?

Oh wait, I forgot to mention that she was intentionally wearing it backwards.  Which means this part…

became a midriff-bearing bikini in the front.  With no time for a real conversation or the addition of a tank-top, I simply had to ask her to turn it around and let her know we would talk again later about how to make her clothes both modest and fun.

Egads.

The next person who suggests we just make departures simpler by having the kids pick out their clothes the night before is going to get an earful.  I can look at what E is planning on wearing (sweet green skirt, cute blue shorts, pretty pink sundress…), but honestly, I’m not creative enough to imagine exactly how she’s going to put the things on!  I mean, this is the height of looking “different on the rack” than they do when the child actually wears them!

As another side note, I racked my brain to think of where E might have gotten any inspiration for the outfits…especially since with all the end-of-school commitments, we haven’t even really hit swimsuit season yet.  The only think I can think of is Princess Jasmine, which got me wondering why Disney, with all their creative thinkers, couldn’t come up with an outfit slightly less revealing than this for the princess so many little girls are obsessed with:

Love ya, Disney.  But I think you can do better by my 5 year old – who is certainly in your target age demographic and desperately wanted to be Princess Jasmine last Halloween.  (Which begs the question: why did I not see this coming?  E was a more modest version of the Princess Jasmine for that holiday.)

Anyway, a reminder to readers that I’d love tips on how you explain the importance of modesty to a five year old, and how you decide what is appropriate and what isn’t…

And a quick note to E…

E,

I Love your style.  I Love your brain.  I Love your spunk.  I love you.

Be who you are always!

(While modestly covering your five year old midriff.)

Love,

Mom

Laundry Day

Here are some photos of S & T “helping” me on laundry day.

Seriously, there is no point in sorting when receiving this type of "assistance" from the children.

This is the point when a better mother would probably have put the camera away and corralled the children.

T looks more comfortable there in the laundry basket than he ever does in his crib, by the way. And very few toys inspire the kind of glee S is exhibiting.

I will let you decide for yourself whether you think they are playing in the clean laundry we’ll all be wearing tomorrow or the dirty laundry we wore yesterday.

Choose whichever option you think is least disgusting.

Would this be considered “overthinking the question”?

E: “Mom, can I get earrings?  Not the sticker kind, but the real kind – the ones that stay in your ears?”

[Mom’s internal response (i.e. not out loud): What?!  You’re only FIVE!  Why do you want to grow up so fast?  You’re already growing up too fast as it is!  I didn’t get earrings until I was TWELVE.  Wait. Why am I thinking about me?  I was the last one in my class to get earrings.  There’s nothing wrong with earrings.  I mean, lots of people get earrings for their babies.  They probably think of earrings the way I think of nail polish, something that’s pretty and sparkly and fun to do with their kids.  You love nail polish!  I don’t wear it, but you picked it out on a stranger in the mall when you were barely walking by pointing at her red toenails, looking at me with wide-eyes and saying simply, “Mama! Ooooohhh…That!”  I’ve pedicured your tiny toes every time you’ve asked since then.  We love those pedicures.  Such good girl fun for us.  We could love earrings.  Why should I really care if you want earrings anyway?  So what?!  We could make a mommy-daughter thing of it.  Wait, what am I saying?  No, we can’t.  I have to make some of the fun things grown up pre-teen things, so that you can look forward to doing those things when you’re twelve, and can feel sort of grown up when you do them.  Otherwise, you’re going to want to do or wear other things to make yourself feel grown-up when you’re twelve, and – well, that just isn’t a good idea.  I need to make earrings a fun target, so you don’t start focusing on something else when you’re – heaven help me – a pre-teen.  I taught eighth grade!  I know what’s happening!  Not that I judge anyone who does earrings earlier, mind you.  I really don’t!  I know you have lots of friends that have them.  But their parents are probably more creative, and can come up with other fun things for them to look forward to as a pre-teen.  Maybe I should talk to those parents and get some ideas…but in the meantime, I mean what am I saying here…I’m saying no!  NO, NO EARRINGS!  You’re supposed to still look like a newborn, with your big hazel eyes and your curly dark hair and your wrinkly pink skin.  I cried when they pricked your toe to get a blood sample for a routine newborn screening, and now I’m supposed to watch them hold an earring-gun to your head?  Did I mention that you are only FIVE?  We have to start homeschooling.  What are you being exposed to?  Why on earth would you even ask a question like that? ]

Mom’s external response (i.e. the one E heard):  “Um, earrings?”

E: “Yeah, well, someone at school got them, and I liked them.  But then someone else said when you get them, it hurts.  You know, if it hurts at all, I really don’t want them . . .  I don’t have to get them, do I mom?!

Mom: No, E.  You don’t have to get them.

And that was the whole conversation.  Believe it or not – including “um”, I spoke only 10 words. 

It’s hard to complain about a busted transmission when there are severed heads floating around

I have decided not to complain about the fact that the transmission just died in our car, that the estimate to repair it was higher than the value of the car, or that unexpectedly purchasing a new (to us) car wiped out our emergency fund and left us figuring out how to put a car payment into our monthly budget.

Instead, I will say that I am grateful I now have a safe car to drive and distract myself (and you!) with a picture of the back wall of the “kids corner” in the car dealership.

Check it out:

When we go back to the dealer for our first tune-up, I am absolutely dressing T in his footed PJ’s that match the wall almost exactly.

You thought I was kidding? It really is almost a perfect match...

I am pretty sure he will look like a head, floating in the heavens (that is, if I can get him to stay in the “kid corner” long enough to snap a photo…when we were there last time, he was in a different kind of heaven…a display room completely full of cars).

It reminds me of when I was in elementary school, and our local weatherman (Gary Dobbs!) came to speak at an assembly, and we thanked him by giving him a sweatsuit in our school color – blue.  Mr. Dobbs apologetically told us he would never be able to wear it on air because it was exactly the same color as the bluescreen he stood in front of while giving the weather report (you know the blue area they overlay the weather map onto before transmitting the signal to your TV).  I remember him saying that maybe he could wear it to report the weather on Halloween, since on that day it would be appropriate to hear the weather from what looked like a creepy floating head.

He didn’t do that.  I actually tuned in on Halloween to see if he would and was seriously disappointed.

This begs the questions: (1) why do I remember the name of the man who reported the local weather in my small Alabama town during the 1980s when I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the woman who says hello to me every single day at Kindergarten pick-up?, and (2) why, of all the wisdom that must have been spouted from that lectern during assemblies, is Mr. Dobbs’ rejection of our blue sweatsuit the only thing I remember in such detail?

I don’t know the answers to those questions.

But perhaps I have distracted all of us from the saga of the car…

The worst game of “Clue” ever (alternate title: “Goodbye Kitty”)

The mystery: a chunk of S’ hair is missing…who dunnit?

The answer: S, in the playroom, with a pair of Hello Kitty scissors.

Fortunately or unfortunately, this came two days after I had given her a “real haircut”, and my skills are lacking enough that you can’t really tell the difference between the unevenness of what I cut (I will improve, I promise!) and the part that S did.  Still, she took out a clump that shortened a section of her shoulder length hair by another 2 inches.

Check out the crime scene!

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I call this photo "Goodbye Kitty"

Don’t worry.  I had a serious talk with S about playing with scissors, especially near the face, and about leaving scissors where T might be able to reach them.  Then my three year old helped me clean up her hair off the floor.

Love you, S.  Your independence and style will serve you well in the future.  I just want to make sure we all get there (relatively) intact.