Thursday, April 17, 2008

Trouble in the Queen City...

Those that know me, know my fashionista, diva daughter, Alexa. Fashion is SOOOO...not my thing! To Alexa, it's everything! I swear, just knock me out now and wake me up when she's out of college! Although, even I have to admit she's a pretty stylish little chickie.

We've had a running battle since she was about 7 yrs. old on what clothes she likes vs. what Mom likes and what clothes are appropriate for her based on style, where they come from (give me strength), what she actually needs vs. wants and cost. When she was much younger, I shopped in Gymboree, ALOT! Yes, the clothes are a little more expensive, BUT, she could get a year and more, sometimes two or more out of them because while she did grow, she grew slowly and these clothes fit her little trim body so much better than Oshkosh or Carter or many of the department store brands. Plus they wore so well and were so well made. Today, the word Gymboree is only spoken in hushed tones lest she be forced to even look in their window.

The past few years I've been lucky??? All she wanted was Limited Too clothes. She's big on the bling factor. Me, not so much...Anyway, I found a friend and co-conspirator in the person of the manager of one of the stores in our area. Stephie is Alexa's personal fashion consultant at LTD2. Stephie knows us on sight. She remembers when Alexa's birthday is. She'll giggle right along with her and ohh and ahh over each item of clothing. To help me, she manages to sneak in what I like for Alexa's consideration. You see, if I propose something to Lex she'll turn her nose up at it. If Stephie proposes it, she'll try it and actually consider it! So for the last few years I've gone with the overpriced, flimsy material, sequins and glitter everywhere, exclusively at LTD2. I sit back, Stephie shops with her and I pay the bill!

Alexa has now reached the ripe old age of 11. She's in middle school and dangerous, foreign and mysterious words have started to creep into her vocabulary like, Aeropostle, American Eagle, and the dreaded Abercrombie!! HELP!! I think I hear Harold Hill singing to me, "There's trouble in River City!" (I don't think a boy's band is going to cure this one though.)

I've been fighting even the mention of these words but I fear the fight is lost. We went shopping this week. I gave Alexa a cash budget for her to buy clothes for the spring and summer (rest of the school year and into summer) ON HER OWN*! For support, we brought along her friend Melissa, who I have to say can be a pretty savvy shopper and I hung back, found a chair to sit in and watched helplessly from the side lines.

*Yes, I followed at a discreet distance behind and was at least allowed to look at what the girls tried on and was used as a gopher to find different sizes and colors as needed. I also pointed out the fine print on the sales signs (my eyes are so much better than theirs!)

Now, in her defense, Alexa did a pretty good job. She came away with one pair of shorts, four pairs of capri pants(cargo, jean and bermuda styles), two camis, three T-shirts (from THOSE stores) and one or two regular tops, and she had $20 left over!

Me, I'm seeing this as the beginning of the true end of my influence over what Alexa wears. The next time we go shopping, I'm bringing a book and a valium.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Birthday...

Julia,on what would have been your sixteenth birthday know how much I love you. Mom

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

The world is FORCING me to make decisions. I know, not monumental in the greater scheme of things but for me, lately, making the decision to get out of bed on any given morning gives me a headache! Decision number ONE - When are we getting another dog. My husband is behind this one. We've been wavering up and down on this one for a while. My DH put the topic on the table for me again this morning as we were running errands. Now, don't get me wrong. I miss our dog Kasey almost as much as I miss my parents. But, I don't miss the training, the feeding, the grooming, the late night and early morning walks and dealing with my MIL and Alexa over their expectations and willingness or more correctly, their unwillingness to take any responsibility for a dog in the house. As usual, when my DH wants something -- I I told him to go ahead and get the ball rolling.

Decision number TWO - Teaching at the store BSS. Elisabeth, one of our premier scrapbookers and the primary teacher of scrapbook layout classes is moving to New Jersey. While that's another issue altogether, one many of us are very, very sad about, Elisabeth says to me last night, "So, when are you going to start teaching?" Giving her my best innocent, not on this planet, in this lifetime look, I say, "Who me? I'm waiting for Sharon to say something to me!"

After being told it doesn't work that way, and that Sharon, my patient, kind, super understanding and supportive boss -- is waiting for me to say something to her! I shudder. "It's easy," Elisabeth says. Just come up with an idea, show it to Sharon and she'll say yea...or nay! RIGHT! So now the pressure is on. Mind you, I'm the one putting the pressure on myself.

Let's see what other decisions do I have to make. Dinner. This is a brain buster. After 50 some odd years I've finally come to the conclusion that I don't like to cook!
My next challenge is not to feel guilty about it. (I don't like to do housework either which inspired one of my latest stamp purchases "I hate housework. You vacuum, you dust and six months later you have to start all over again.")

Back to dinner. Breakfast is easy - everyone is one their own. Personally, give me a bowl of Cherrios and some blueberries and I'm a happy girl. Better yet, but not for the fatty I'm becoming, a sesame bagel with butter (not toasted). This is as close to Nirvana as it gets for me. Lunch is also relatively easy, if I eat lunch at all. PB&J on white or better yet raisin bread is very yummy. But give me a turkey and swiss on a bagel and I'm really, really good.

Dinner - we're expected to eat together. I don't like to cook, my husband has stomach that goes off like clockwork and insists on being fed. The only time my MIL comes out of her room is to eat dinner with us (and impart the wisdom she's accumluated over the last 70 some-odd years along with updating us on what "they" say on TV. Warning us of the evils of everything from not taking vitamins to useless politicians who never do anything anyway and that's why she doesn't vote!)

Lastly, is our own Chinese empress who eats nothing! No hotdogs, no hamburgers, meat in general is not to be tolerated and vegetables - don't go there, she won't! (I do have a modicum of sympathy for that one, and truth be told, if I put veggies on her plate she will eat them). We also can't eat any ethnic food like Chinese, Mexican, or shellfish because they are too exotic for the MIL and DD (except for the Chinese).

My solution to this decision - my DH cooks! He makes dinner most nights. I do do certain meals, stew, meatballs, baked ziti, chicken divan, etc. But this arrangement works for me, I'm working on not feeling guilty about it, but come to think of it, that's another decision too. I think I'll go back to bed!