29 March 2011

Tuesday Shoesday: Old School

After my disappointment in the sandal selections I've seen so far this year I've decided that this spring I'm going old school.  Classics always work, right?

So, I'm thinking I'll start with some new docksiders:

Throw in some flat espadrilles (not the 5 inch platform type):

Some simple wedge peep-toes for going out or work stuff:

And top it all off with some real old-school kicks:

Now that's a shoe wardrobe I could be proud of!

26 March 2011

Shopping with Zoe

Used to be that shopping with Zoe was something to be avoided -- especially when shopping for anything that is not specifically for her. Lately things have been improving.

A few weeks ago I dragged her into Sephora and at first she was complaining about how long it was going to take, but then I showed her how she can try on the make up and she was completely enthralled. I ended up having to drag her out of the store. Needless to say she was quite colorfully made up.

Last week she and I walked into town so I could go to a sale at Ann Taylor loft. The entire store was 30% off so I obviously felt compelled to check it out. I shopped the store as quickly as possible, but I wanted to try on a couple of dresses I'd found. Amazingly Zoe did not even roll her eyes when I asked her to come into the dressing room with me.

She sat patiently while I tried things on. She offered a few kind opinions. When I was trying on the dress I ended up buying and she said I looked like a model. And she was sincere.  Perhaps that helped me make the decision to buy it?

The best part was when I was getting dressed back in my clothes and she told me, "I really like that shirt! You should definitely get that shirt!" And when I told her that was my shirt from home she said, "You have really good taste. "

I wish I had a recording of that moment to be played back when she's about 15...

25 March 2011

My (not so) Secret Love of (romance) Novels

Don't tell anyone this, but over the last several months I've come to gradually realize something about myself:  I really like romance novels.  OK, not the bodice-rippers with Fabio on the cover, but the ones I have been drawn to are grouped in the sub-genre of "contemporary romance."  Up until recently I think I had been fooling myself by calling them "chick lit" but it turns out they are largely the same thing.

In all honesty it is difficult to discern the difference between most books that would be called "chick lit" and others that are classified as "romance."  I think the only major difference I've noticed is that the "kissing scenes" (you know what I mean and how do you learn to write those well?) are better in the romance novels.  Otherwise the characters are all very similar:  nerdy girl who is really beautiful, but doesn't know it, beautiful girl who is really smart, but misunderstood, bad guy who is really good, good guy who is really bad.  You know the drill.

Isn't it funny that I was comfortable all this time calling them and liking them as "chick lit" but something about the name "romance" brought out the complete snob in me?   Maybe I'm not as smart as I like to think of myself or maybe, just maybe, there's nothing at all wrong with a good romance novel.  Probably both.

Now remember, don't tell.  Unless you want a few recommendations...

21 March 2011

9 Years Ago Today...

...my beautiful Zoe was born.

Absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me.

17 March 2011

On Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus

Yesterday evening as Zoe was taking a bath and I was supervising, she asked me a very important question.

She said, "Mom, can you tell me now?"

"Tell you what?" I asked.

"You know.  What you wouldn't tell me this weekend when Joseph was here," she looked at me imploringly.  "Is there a Tooth Fairy?"

[Backstory:  My nephew Joseph slept over last Friday night and it just so happened that he lost a tooth so the Tooth Fairy had to come to our house.]

"Are you sure you want to know?" I asked while furiously thinking through my answer.

"Yes! Please tell me the truth.  The real truth."

"OK," I took a deep breath and told her.  "There is no Tooth Fairy."  My heart broke a little as I watched Zoe's face.  She took the news well.  I think she already knew the answer, but something about saying it out loud makes it so definite.

"That's a good thing!" she said.  "I didn't like the idea of someone flying into my room at night.  What else isn't real?"

"Well," again I hesitated.  "There's no Easter Bunny."

Again she took it well.  "Yeah, how could a bunny carry those baskets around?"

"Daddy likes to play the Easter Bunny so don't tell him you know," I told her.

"I won't tell," she smiled.  Then her face turned serious.  "But Santa?"

"Santa is real," I told her.

"Of course he's real.  Santa brings me things you say no to," she confirmed.

I felt a little bit sad about that whole conversation and I think Rob was a little upset with me when I told him about it, but I think I did the right thing.  I think...

16 March 2011

What Zoes Do Best

It is standardized testing time at Zoe's school and I think, the entire state of Connecticut.  I have mixed to ambivalent feelings about these tests, but Zoe seems to be handling them well so I am not going to worry too much about it right now, but it is something to take seriously since it becomes part of Zoe's record as a student.

However, I have discovered that there is a secret upside to the testing period that no one talks about.  During the two weeks of testing there is no homework.  This is like a vacation for me as a parent.  Not once this week or last have I had to worry about when Zoe will do her homework nor have I had to review it or help her with it or anything.  When she gets home from school I don't have to drop everything to asses the homework situation.  It's hard to explain what a small, but meaningful joy this is.

Zoe has a daily planner that she is supposed to write her daily homework assignments in and last night as I was emptying her backpack I noticed that on the planner in the entry for yesterday she had written "Do what Zoes do best."  I asked her what that meant.  She said her teacher told them they should do what they do best after school today and that for her it meant "running, jumping, and being loud."  Of course.  At least she knows herself well!

15 March 2011

Tuesday Shoesday: Sandals?

So, it is finally March which means I can allow myself to start thinking about warmer weather and, of course, sandals! In the past few days I've done some clicking around on my favorite shoe sites and I have to say I'm underwhelmed with what I have seen so far. Here is a montage of what seems to be out there:

I have to say I'm over all of these looks. Been there, done that, and in the case of the Dr. Scholls, even twisted the ankle. Now what? No sandal purchase to look forward to this year? Luckily I am on a limited budget so I won't feel too desperate, but still, there has to be something. I guess I'll force myself to keep looking...

14 March 2011

Birthday Wish List

Zoe's 9th birthday is just one week away.

Before I go on I just have to say, OMG Zoe is going to be 9!!!! How can that be?

OK, so I asked Zoe to write down a few things that she wanted for her birthday for me and to tell family when they asked.  In truly Zoe-fashion here is the list she came up with:

This list makes me laugh in so many ways. Probably my favorite thing is the title:
20 14 things I want for my birthday... and then she only put down 12 things!  The check marks after some of the items indicate that those are things she really, really wants.

I've opted to fulfill wishes 2, 4, 6, 9 (Yes, you're reading that correctly, she is looking for a paperback copy of Moby Dick.  I managed to find an abridged and illustrated children's version.) and 12 (we have an old-fashioned gumball machine in our basement that she would like to have in her room).

I think Ima (Zoe's name for my mother) will be handling request #5 -- a trip to Build-a-Bear.  Whoever invented Build-a-Bear is a capitalistic genius.  That is one of the biggest money-making schemes I have ever seen.  Ima already took care of #8 this past weekend, that's why it is crossed out.

Speaking of capitalistic genius, can't you just hear the commercial in item #3, the Vectron Wave?  I love that she includes the price plus shipping and handling.  Not something you're going to ask your sister-in-law or your mother-in-law to get, now is it?

About the only easy item on the list to pass to a family or friend is #1 (a game for the Wii for those of you that don't know) and maybe #7.

I do love that kid.

06 March 2011

Dress Shopping

In about 2 weeks we have a family bar mitzvah to attend. This means that we all need something nice to wear which also means we must go shopping. I never mind shopping, but it is not Zoe's favorite thing to do. Especially since this is a mandatory dress wearing occasion. Zoe really, really did not want to go dress shopping.

Truth be told, I can really relate to the feeling. When I was about the same age that she is now my brother made his bar mitzvah and that meant I had to buy a dress. I can still remember sobbing in the dressing room over some frilly, white Gunne Sax dress (remember those??). I thought I would rather die than wear that dress or anything resembling it. Some girls love dresses and some like me and now Zoe recoil in horror at the thought.

Luckily for Zoe children's clothing is so much nicer, cuter, and cofortable than it ever was when I was a kid. I often find myself wishing I was a kid so I could wear some of the adorable clothes that are available for Zoe. Zoe is pretty picky about what she wears, but there's always things she likes.

Last Sunday we were at a birthday party and my brother and sister-in-law were there too so we decided to all hit the mall on the way home so we could do some shopping for the kids together. Zoe was not really excited about it, but having her cousins come with us made her more enthusiastic. We went straight to the children's department at Macy's and grabbed every dress each girl said they would try and what ensued was something out of a romantic comedy dressing room scene with the girls trying on dress after dress from the ridiculous to the sublime. It was quite amusing. Finally Zoe settled on the first dress she tried on and I happen to think she looks perfect in it.

Now we just need shoes...