Friday, February 27, 2015

What (Not?) To Wear.

I work to get dressed. While staying in your pajamas all day sure sounds luxurious, if I make it to 10am still clad in my sexy cotton pants and tee, I feel like a homeless person whose lost track of day and night. Sometimes this leads to drinking and my son's mention of mommy's early  morning wine-juice can probably only be recited once or twice at circle time before there's a knock at my door.

I don't go to the office to plan business strategy and come up with awesome marketing plans; I go so I have somewhere to wear my grown-up clothes. This is not a lighthearted, jest-filled statement. This is true. When I toy with moving on from my current job my first thoughts are, "But what would happen to my clothes? I'm not wearing pencil skirts to the playground! I'm not Stitch-fixin' for playdates!" Back to Powerpoint and positioning statements I go!

In recent years, I've taken a liking to fashion and hold dear the belief that they way you look at the office matters, especially if you're a woman. Look good, feel good, be perceived as great at your job and get that promotion! Trust me gals, it's easier when you don't fight it and makes shopping a career necessity. If you agree, read Memorandum. I adore everything she wears.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I was struggling with my outfit. I'd decided the night before to wear a gray J.Crew dress from a few years back with some purple tights and be done with it. When I put it on I HATED IT. I felt like Oliver Twist. The dress itself was an itchy wool with a drop waist and tuxedo type ruffles at the top. It wasn't flattering.

I changed my shoes.

I put a collared shirt under the dress.

I changed the tights.

I added a necklace.

I tried a bracelet.

Uggggggg! Nothing was working and I was late so I chose the best of the worst: the dress, my original purple tights, and a long Stella and Dot pearl necklace. (By the way, no one is paying me to write this, I just really like this necklace.)

On the way to work, I vowed to donate the dress the next day. NEVER would it weigh me down again!

A few hours into the day, I had to go over to our social media command center and talk to the young women there. These girls are cool! They're young, hip, and still busy pinning their dream weddings instead of crock pot meals. One of them even has a degree in fashion design.

Before I could get my question out of my mouth, they were gushing over my outfit. "THAT is SO COOL!" they said, "I love that necklace...and those tights! Great color!" They may have even spoken in hashtag, I don't know, I was too flabbergasted, shocked, and bit proud to speak.

The cool kids liked my twists on Oliver Twist! I was so ecstatic that I took pics when I got home.

I still haven't decided if I'll throw it out, but, what started out as a what not to wear day, turned into a hip fashion day for me.

Around this same time, an online fashion retailer found my blog and asked if I'd review something for them. I almost responded, "You know like five people read my blog, right?" but instead wrote back, "Sure! Sounds fun." Let's all agree right now not to tell them about my imaginary readers, k?

My item for review arrives in the next few days and we know what the true test of cool will be: the social media girls. Stay tuned as I try to pair this item with other wardrobe pieces to maximize coolness and get the girls gushing again.

My fellow exhausted moms, with superhero stickers on your sweaters and dried lord-knows-what on your shoulders, I do this for you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Neighborhood Mom Wars.

My neighborhood has a great Mom's group. It's organized through the school, sort of, and groups moms together who have kiddos starting kindergarten the same year.

The moms who started this group had stamina and initiative! They duly appointed a membership chair, an activity chair, and a class chair for each year. When I saw all these chairs, I assumed this group of ladies met with gavels and wigs. They just seemed so organized!

And then it came time to start scheduling playdates and sending emails. Well, in addition to stamina and initiative, most of these mom-preneurs also had more than one child. The disorganization drove me mad. And so, with the help of a fellow one-childer, I usurped the power from the 2017 class chair and took over the running of it.

Why do I do things like this? I HAVE NO IDEA. It's like that time in grad school when I swore I would never be our team's president and then BAM, I was the president. Or that time when I said I'd work part-time and then BAM, I'm working more than my full-time counterparts and getting paid less. These things find me like water finds a valley. It's inevitable and I love/hate myself for not ever learning to get out of the ditch.

Anway, back to my little Mom's group. Things were just fabulous for a year or so. I had a spreadsheet with potential playdates all backed up to The Cloud, an alphabetized list of moms and a neat and tidy email roster that made it simple to add new moms to the festivities.

Today, I got an email from a fellow mom asking where the evite for this week's Mom's Night Out was. "Did I miss it?" she asked.

Nope, she didn't miss it. I missed just how easy it is to do things like keep organized electronic files for inane things like playdates and mom drinks when you have one child who is not yet three. This was my mistake and I fully own up to dropping this responsibility like a bored baby in a high chair.

This is not what I want to write about, though. What I want to write about is The Class of 2019 Moms. You see, with the baby, I am also in the Class of 2019 group and organized electronically on their emails and evites. Their calendar is packed. They are killing it. Their emails usually include a link to a seasonally appropriate pinterest craft you and your baby will be doing together at said playdate. I've never been to a 2019 playdate (like I'm spending time on those when the kid can't talk yet), but I've heard the Halloween one was a bountiful fall harvest complete with bales of hay and mounds of pumpkins.

I don't wish these poor, poor girls ill-will. No, what I wish them is reality. Right now, they must all be six weeks pregnant or in heated discussion with their spouses about having a second. Assuming this is the case, and let's just assume it is, I want to be their Ghost of Christmas Future. I want to drop my three-year-old off on a day like today when he's got particularly bad cases of "NOOO!" and "I WILL NOT do [whatever I just said], and "Where's DA-DDDDDYYY?!!!" Then, I want to send them an email about pinterest crafts and organic baby food, just like the 2015 moms wanted to send me when I got all Excel organized on them.

Alas, the 2015 moms never did this and neither shall I. They watched from afar at our overzealous little group and just waited for our stomachs to start popping again and only then did the smirks also start showing.  "Bless your hearts!" I am sure they all thought, that sentiment laced with razors and meaning the exact opposite of it's literal definition here in The South.

Don't worry 2019 Moms, I am hear to pass the torch along for those pain-in-the-ass 2021 Moms. Those poor girls. They haven't even been through labor yet! I mean, really.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Where's My Wife?

A few weeks ago my husband asked me about the road not traveled. "Do you ever wish you'd married for money?"

"No," I responded a little too curtly and quickly, "I wish I'd married a lazy slug with no ambition so I could conquer the world while he stayed home with the kids and the house."

"Huh," was the response I heard back.

Seriously, ladies, do these guys know how amazing it is to have a wife? We are relatively equal here in my house. My husband is a great dad and does more than his fair share of parenting, but I really would like a wife. I'm tired of the [relatively] useless knowledge I've retained and skills I've developed.

I know if we have milk, orange juice, and laundry detergent without looking. I know what we will be having for dinner and can get it on the table in under 10 minutes and/or prepare it with a baby at my feet and a three-year-old begging for more Mike the Knight. I can locate a missing sock 90% of the time from the labyrinth of my son's drawer. I know the passwords to our banking accounts and when to pay bills. I know when the cleaning lady comes. I know the cleaning lady's name. I know where the key is that opens the gate to the backyard. I know how to change the time the sprinkler comes on. I know that you can change the time the sprinkler comes on. I can use a screwdriver or hammer or pliers to clean out the lint trap when it starts getting funky. I can plan a baby birthday party and provide a POV on a Coke marketing plan simultaneously! I can cram a full-time job into three days so I can be at home two days and cram seven days in there during my down time.

I'm exhausted. Anyone else? Where's my wife?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Choosing A Little Boy's Style.

Dear Me Of Three Years Ago,

A few months before the first baby was born, you asked your husband a serious question: "What do you think his style should be?"

Maybe you were overcompensating for your tutu-less future, but let me state clearly: YOU KNEW NOTHING.

At the time, your husband laughed and suggested you focus on keeping the baby alive before stressing about his look. Sage advice, and although you agreed, you did not ever want to be the mom whose little boy was decked out in licensed clothing and broaching the style topic was meant to gain alignment against this hideous toddler fashion choice. You judged the moms when you saw kiddos sporting too much Disney. "Yech," you'd think to yourself, "how do they let their child outside in that?"

Three years from today you will find yourself trying to convince a three-year-old to go to swim class. He is wearing Mickey Mouse swim shorts, a Hulk shirt, Spider-Man socks, Avenger sneakers and caps the ensemble off with a Superman hoodie towel hanging from his little head.

This child is yours.

Yes, Spring 2015 is the season of superhero style. You own every single superhero shirt Old Navy sells. You own sneakers, socks, undies, and outerwear. You own bathrobes, slippers, PJs, blankets, and bedding. You own cups, plates, and utensils and none of this happened by accident. I'd love to tell you that I don't know where all this licensed paraphernalia came from, but that would be an egregious and traceable lie, as I bought it all!

Here's what you don't yet know: little boys have a general disdain for wearing clothes and a boundless passion for superheroes.

I see your eye twitching and hear you calmly explaining that your little boy will always get dressed easily and not care about superheroes since you don't know the first thing about them and are relatively certain your husband doesn't either.

I'll squash that belief. Every boy loves superheroes, some just don't tell their wives until their is a littler boy around to share in the fun.

Your future house is a sea of licensed artifacts because they are the only leverage you have in the game that is about to become your life. They will protect you from battles around getting dressed, eating, and going to sleep. Yes, these sound like basic tasks in which every human easily engages, but just you wait!

So you see that little boy over there in the Superman shirt and LIGHT-UP (Egads!) Bat-Man shoes? His mom is simply happy he is not running through the mall clad only in Spider-Man undies.

Good luck and spend some of that glorious quiet infant time reading up on Captain America!

Yours Truly,
Annie of 2015