Sunday, September 18, 2011

The History of a Pant Leg

It was 1986, and we wore our jeans high and narrow. The waist went way past the navel, the pant leg should be as skinny as humanly possible. In fact, we couldn't get our pants narrow enough at the bottom. Everyone wanted the skinniest pant leg possible, so skinny your heal would barely fit through when you pulled them on. But for some reason, no one actually MADE pants that narrow. Sometimes you could find one with zippers at the bottom and it was proclaimed "totally awesome." Mostly you just had to buy straight legs and peg them. We folded, rolled, sewed, pinned, and tucked our pants into our socks in order to achieve the skinniest pant leg possible. And when we watched old shows from the 70's, we hooted and pointed and wondered how they ever wore something so hideous as bell-bottoms. "All fashion comes back around," my mother told me. "Well, I will NEVER wear bell bottoms," I informed her. "I swear it on my life."

In 1990 I headed across the Great Pond and inland to Germany for a year. When I got to school, everyone said, "Vy do you do zat to your cheans? "Cause I'm cool," I thought. "Duh." But within a few months I realized the Germans were not so into cool and that I just looked weird, so I stopped pegging my pants.

Flash forward to 1991 when I returned home and realized that it wasn't that the Germans weren't cool. It's actually that they were fashion forward. Because guess who wasn't pegging their pants anymore? Anyone. Good thing all my German jeans had been straight leg.

Somewhere after the horror of the fashion-dead-zone that was the 1990's, a retro 60's-70's look came back in fashion. The baggy, shapeless shirts of the last decade were out and tight-fitting baby shirts were in. Guess what else was in? Bell-bottoms! Only they were called flares now. And they weren't the horrible high-waisted type that went up to your ribs like the 70's versions, luckily. (Because nothing became so abhorrent to the child-of-the-80's once the 80's were past as the high waist. ) But I still resisted. Then just as I was about to keep my promise from 1986, I tried them on. And that's when I realized: nothing is so disgusting for a hip-heavy figure like mine than pegged pants. Flares, on the other hand, seemed to distract the eye and make me look far more proportional. Flares it is! My new love! Forget that silly promise I made in my early teen years. What did I know then anyway??

I lived happily for nearly a decade in my flares. The degree of flare changed slightly. The shape and location of back pockets moved. The waist-lines got ever lower and lower and lower until you were lucky if your underwear didn't creep 6 inches above your belt when you bent down. But still, flares prevailed.

And then came the horrible day a few years ago when I saw them: skinny jeans. I would have died for these in the 80's. The skinniest, narrowest, most tapered leg you've ever seen in your life. Matched with stretch material, they could be skin tight and you could still get your heels through the bottom of the leg holes. Only this time around skinny jeans were super-low waisted, creating the soon-to-be-ubiquitous muffin top. Only 11 year olds could wear them without waist fat hanging over the top. It was unlikely for most teenagers to look good in them, and it was hopeless for moms. Fine with me. I had already come to accept that flares were more flattering, and this new ultra-low-rise version of pegged pants was the worst of both worlds. So I just watched from a distance with a baffled expression as teenagers by the thousands ran out and stocked their closets with these super tight, super low, super super ugly skinny jeans.

But soon pant legs in general followed suit. I tried to hold out. As skinny jeans pretty much took over all the stores, and flare legs became nearly impossible to find, though, I had to adjust slightly. To the bootcut. The bootcut is not nearly as flattering to my hippiness as the flare. But what can you do when even Target doesn't carry flares anymore?

And then, last week, it happened. I saw these while out shopping...

"The High-rise Retro Flare" A.K.A, the bell-bottom. I don't know what to think now. I'm nearly dizzy from how fast fashion seems to be cycling through. I've gone from bell-bottoms to pegged pants to straight legs and back to flares, back to skinny jeans and now on to bell bottoms again! Shouldn't fashion cycle through more slowly, like every 20-30 years at least? Wait, has it been that long already? Well, I really going to have to go to the high-waisted retro flare in order to save myself from the ultra-low-rise skinny jean? Sigh... so be it. Beauty is pain.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's Time For a Pipdate!

Do you ever feel that with each consecutive child that time goes by faster? Cause it sure seems that way. I am pretty sure every second of my pregnancy crawled by, but for some reason the last four months have gone in the blink of an eye.

Pippa is 4 months old!

Weight: FAT! (14.4 lbs, 60%)
Height: Longer than our other babies, still slightly below short (24 inches, 44%)
Noggin: Gargantuan (I forget what this stat was, but her enormous brain is in the 79%)

She Rocks At:
Grabbing things--her binky out of her mouth when she should be trying to sleep, my hair, her bib during feedings, not her bottle.
Making her siblings laugh--Beck has almost burst blood vessels in his brain from laughing so hard. Mostly this occurs when he's teasing her, but also from watching her laugh at him. They get each other going and Beck usually ends the laugh fest by running to the bathroom holding his crotch.
Burping--she lets out the biggest, loudest, most resonant burps ever. Also a source of Beck's hysterics. Burping never gets old when you're four.
Standing--whereas Daphne started standing at age 1 1/2 weeks and never looked back, and Beck wouldn't even straighten his legs until he was like 2 years old, Pippa has chosen a nice happy medium of 3 1/2 months to start standing. She loves to lock her knees and stand on our laps. But this means not so much snuggling in my arms. She wants to be a big girl. :(

She Sucks At:
Sleeping. My former star sleeper, who slept through the night from age 4 days old on, has regressed a bit. She wakes up about 3:30 am every night lately and is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, chirping, talking, ready to rock and roll. After 3 or 4 binky applications she sometimes goes back to sleep. Sometimes I must resort to using the-tool-which-no-baby's-eyelids-can-resist: the swing. And then I get to sleep for a few more hours. I refuse to pick her up or feed her. I am so not down with that.
Napping. Similar to sleeping, Pippa has suddenly decided napping is so passe. She'd much rather stare at the birdies on her wall, gab and slobber, wiggle out of her swaddle and try to roll over. ARG.
Keeping her food down. She has followed in her siblings' stinky, messy footsteps and has developed reflux. Not as bad as either of them, but bad enough to require a bib or burp cloth at hand at all times. And lots of changes of clothes. Mostly mine.

Eyes: Pippa's eyes are giving me hope. They have not turned brown! I was looking at pictures of Beck at this age and they were definitely brown by now. Pippa's are still a steel grey-blue, but quite clear, with a starburst of brown in the very center. A bunch of her aunts and uncles on Big Daddy's side have eyes exactly like this, so I'm hoping and praying they'll stay this way.

Hair: Still rather strawberry blond, but in some lights it looks just plain mousy brown.

Somewhere between transparent and actually glowing. The doctor yesterday said, "You're doing to need to apply a lot of sunblock to this one!" Thanks a lot, Grandma Boppie.

Overview: I have to say, Pippa is still a delightful, easy child, despite her sleeping boycotts. She smiles all the time, laughs, coos, hates her carseat, but forgives me after a day with many trips and looks at me like I'm chocolate ice cream. I love her.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sloppy Seconds

Here I sit, on my bed, reading blogs, eating leftovers. I love leftovers. Not my own cooking's leftovers. At least, not passionately. But I passionately love restaurant leftovers. How awesome is it to go out to dinner, eat a fantastic meal, and then get to eat it again the next day!? It's very awesome, that's what. Even if you do have to share some of your coconut-crusted mahi-mahi leftovers with your cat, who is suddenly on the bed next to you, staring at you pitifully with eyes that say, "I know I won't even look at dry catfood containing seafood, and I scorn even the Fancy Feast if it has fish in it, but if I don't have a bite of that coconut-crusted mahi-mahi right now I will jump into a tank of foaming pitbulls, I swear." So you share a few nibbles to keep her from such an awful fate, and you enjoy the rest yourself, grateful that you are eating something delicious that you didn't have to cook yourself and which, of course, contains ingredients you would never buy in a millions years anyway. And that is what makes leftovers so wonderful.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Idaho, You Da Ho

Let me give you some advice: If you want to impress people with the location of your summer vacation, don't start with "Idaho." "Idaho" doesn't really make most people's eyes widen and heartbeats quicken. And "Boise" will get you an even less impressed response. They might even walk away at this point, regretting that they even asked. Nevermind that you got to stay in a huge, awesome 3000 square foot cabin. That you got to golf, swim in two different hot-springs-fed pools, that you roasted marshmallows every day and had s'mores for dessert every night. Nevermind the wildlife you were able to observe and the cool bear and wolf and elk tracks you were lucky enough to spot. It doesn't matter that there were a bajillion stars visible overhead, and complete peace and quiet all around. No, people won't care about all this stuff when you tell them "I went to the Boise National Forest in Central Idaho." It just doesn't have any cache. So if you want people to think you went somewhere really cool for summer break, just keep it vague. "An awesome cabin" will usually suffice. If you've got an interrogator on your hands who just HAS to know more, try adding "in the woods" and "on a mountain." Cause that's just going to sound way cooler than than anything starting with "I" and ending with "a-ho."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!!!

No, not Christmas. Back to School!

If you've ever read my blog, or listened to me talk around, say, early August on, you'll know that I have never been a fan of back to school. When they start putting out the school supplies in July, I usually sit right down amongst the markers and note-books and bawl. Back-to-school not only carries with it the long ingrained feelings of dread that both 18+ (+++) years as a student instilled in me as well as 6 years of being a teacher. There is just something wholly depressing about realizing that your summer vacation is coming to an end. And when they throw that at you in July, well it's like rubbing salt in a wound.

Then there is also the fact that I am a summer girl. I love the spring and summer, the heat, the flowers, the blue skies, the wearing of flip-flops, the not wearing of coats, the going outside without a thought for bulking up your wardrobe, vacations, crickets at night, cool grass under your toes, the smell of hot asphalt (I'm serious), staying outside long enough to notice the stars and moon....summer just has so many great things to offer. And fall, though fall itself isn't TOO bad, is just the segue into winter, which I hate. So I have always dreaded the end of summer and the beginning of fall.

But this year, ah, this year was different. Because this year I had two kids who were driving me NUTS. Driving each other nuts. Sick of being home, sick of each other, sick of me, sick of reading and play-doh and swimming in the kiddie pool, and the trampoline, and the slide, and all the other things that were so novel and fun at the beginning of summer. They were even, gasp, sick of the TV and internet and iphones! Mostly I was sick of them FIGHTING OVER EVERYTHING. And since I added a new baby to the mix, I was soooo ready to get rid of them and have just a little peace and quiet for myself and for Pippa and me.

So it was with a happy heart--despite the fact that this year meant getting up early in the morning to get Daphne off to school, and making lunches for the first time, and having to drive my kids to 2 different schools at 2 times of day, neither of which is close to my house--that I took these pictures, kissed their cheeks, and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Beck, Age 4 1/2, Preschool

Daphne, Age 6, 1st Grade