Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Top 10 Fashion Tips By Me

WalMart photosImage by Brave New Films via Flickr
As the season begins to change, I'm beginning to see the new fashions come out, along with all the people who are wearing them. I thought this might be a good time to share my all-time Top 10 Fashion Tips By Me (Kristi: aka MommyBarbie). Believe me when I say, I try to take my own advice, and I do not think I am better than anyone else. I prefer to think of these more as "common sense," which, obviously, some people are sorely lacking. (Just saying.)

Here we go...

10. Moms who try to make their children (especially boys) wear jumpers and peter pan collars when the child is over four feet tall, should lose custody of the child.

9.  On the flip side of the coin, parents who allow their children to look "sexy" are not allowed to be surprised when their child takes on not-so-admirable behaviors (like running with a questionable crowd, having sex, and other such things).

8.  If you have a "muffin top" when you try to wear low-rise pants/shorts/jeans- please don't wear them.
 7.  Outfits that look really "sexy" on television and in the movies end up looking "trashy" and "sleazy" when a soccer mom tries to wear it while driving her mini van.

6.  "Sensible shoes" may feel great- but they can totally destroy even the most beautiful, well put-together outfit.

5.  Just because a piece of clothing comes in anything over a size 4 doesn't mean it should be worn by any of us who are slightly/some/much/lots larger.

4.  A "jury of your peers" will never convict a woman for killing a whiny, skinny woman for complaining that she "just can't gain weight" and "nothing looks good" on her.

3.  Just because some of the 80's fashions are back in style, does not mean you can wear the clothes you actually wore in the 80's.

2.  When someone says, "I mean this in the nicest way, but" or "I don't mean to sound mean, but," you are a "fashion don't".

1.  Just because something is "in style" doesn't mean YOU should wear it.

I'm sure I'm missing some. And some may have other tips that they feel should replace the one(s) I have listed. But I think we can all agree, this is at least a very good start.

To any who are offended by my list, I would contend that, like Shakespeare says, "Me thinks thou dost protest too much." (In other words- if it hits too close to home, maybe you're reluctant to admit you are a "fashion don't".)

My suggestion? Find a friend and ask them to be honest. If you still aren't sure, post a picture on Facebook. If you don't feel comfortable posting a picture, then you shouldn't wear it. (Just saying.)

Ciao for now...
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Who's the Baddest?

 Tigger hanging out 

Dixie begging 

It is only human to compare ourselves to others. Sometimes comparisons can inspire us to do better. But sometimes comparisons make us feel better about ourselves. And sometimes, comparisons make us feel better about someone else.

Such is the case with my dear children. No matter how aggravating they may ever be, there are members of our family who consistently exceed the children's ability to make me want to punt them to the curb: our pets.

We have the most precious little dog you have ever seen. She is all of six pounds fully grown. Dixie is a mixture of Maltese and Shih Tzu who thinks she is a Great Dane. She barks and carries on like she's going to eat you. But in truth, she could only graze your ankles.

Then there's our sweet kitty, Tigger. He is a medium-haired orange Tabby. He has the softest fur ever, and is the most affectionate cat I have ever seen in my life. He absolutely craves attention and will literally try to climb you to get you to pet him.

They sound great, don't they?

Well, they are. Except...

The cat is the poster child for all cats when it comes to curiosity. He sticks his nose into absolutely everything. And since he likes people so much, there isn't much he's afraid of. Add to that the fact that he loves, loves, loves to push things off of high places to watch them fall. (Like a baby with the "Oopsie" game who loves to watch things drop to the floor- just so you'll pick them up.) He doesn't care if you pick them up, though. He just loves to watch them splat on the floor and make noise.

The salt shaker isn't bad. And pencils roll off the table nicely for him, but cause little actual damage once they hit the floor. However, cups of milk or juice left at the breakfast table are sure to be puddles of yuck by the time we get home. And honey bottles whose tops open when they hit the floor are gooey, globby messes to clean up.

But the cat is the better of the two.

Dixie loves the great outdoors. In fact, we have had to erect a virtual fortress in our back yard to keep her from escaping and running amok in the neighborhood. Now that we have the yard secure, she simply runs to her favorite places in the fence to scramble through and looks surprised when she can't get out. Every time. (Not a brilliant dog.)

My absolute, all-time, most maddening thing about any member of my household is that my little six-pound ball of fur refuses to go to the bathroom outside. I could leave her out all day long, and she would patiently hold it- until she got inside. There she would go to her favorite little spots and relieve herself, as she does every single day.

We finally ripped up the carpet and stained the concrete floor so that it would be easier to clean up & sanitize. But it is just gross.

Even the most devout animal lover will agree that daily "accidents" in the house make it hard to "adore" her. We have taken her to the vet, who informed us she had no physical reason for doing this. She also said we were doing everything she could think of to help Dixie unlearn this awful habit. But, she concluded, Dixie does not score very high in the IQ department, and maybe, just maybe, Dixie is a little "slow."

I would question the good doctor, except that I have witnessed Dixie do other things that qualify her as a "special" dog. For example, it took her at least a month to realize there was a glass door attached to our front door. We would open the main door, and the poor thing would run, gathering steam as she went, to try one of her famous escapes- only to be stopped quite suddenly and decidedly by the clear glass pane. She would wear a truly confused expression as she wandered over to lick her proverbial wounds.

That is not the worst or the grossest of poor Dixie's habits. But for the sake of discretion, I will leave it at this.

There are days- in fact, usually many times in any given day- that I would gladly trade my animals for a nickle. But I love them, so that just will not do.

And the kids love them. They love to play with them and pet them. (Even though they would rather eat pet food than feed them, walk them, or clean up after them.) And, ultimately, no matter how awful the kids are being- the pets are always worse- in their own little animal ways.

So when I say, "Kids, you are making mommy have a headache," the kids can (and do) reply, "Yeah, but Tigger knocked over a whole glass of milk, and Dixie peed on the floor again." Suddenly my headache compounds. But the kids are in much better favor once again.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

When I Grow Up...

Justin BieberImage by sheilapic76 via Flickr
I have been so busy lately, I've been unable to write much. But I've not had any lack of material. My muses (aka: my children) have kept me jumping around and provided so much humor and poignant moments.

Last Friday I went to pick up the kids from school, like I usually do. The minivan door slid open and my youngest stuck her face in, looking worried.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"My friends all laughed at me."

"Why, sweetie?"

Tears welled up in her eyes and her bottom lip poked out. "They said I couldn't be Justin Bieber's co-manager. But I told them I could because I can be anything I want to be. I'm a good dancer and I know everything there is to know about Justin Bieber. But my friends said I couldn't because I was too young. But I'm not too young, am I Mommy?"

Okay. Where do you even start with that?

"Well, um, honey-"

"You don't believe me, either!" she wailed.

"I do believe you, honey. And I believe in you." I was walking on very thin ice. "How... How would Justin Bieber know you wanted to be his co-manager?"

She stopped and looked at me. The wheels were turning. "Could I write him a letter?"


She was completely sunny & happy again.

Of all the things she could've said, could've been upset about- a fight over having an impossible grown-up job- right now- was not anywhere near my list.

That's one of the benefits of being a child: you don't know what you can't do, so you think you can do anything. I guess I used to be that way. But it's been a long, long time.

Maybe she will never actually be the co-manager for Justin Bieber. But I have no doubt that she will be amazing at no matter what she does.

And, she has reminded me that  I need to blog. Not just to have "stuff" on there. But also, because this is a kind of journal of my kids' childhood. And this "stuff" is just way too special to forget...
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