Thursday, September 15, 2011

I believe in the glamorous life

I got my hair cut! My sister-in-law Trish gave me the angled bob I’ve been wanting for awhile now. I showed her this pic of Keira Knightley and I think she did a GREAT job copying the style with my fine, stick-straight hair.

Hair inspiration

I love having short hair again. It is so much more “me” than long hair. It makes me feel more stylish, more sassy, more fun. (Plus I can’t wear it in a ponytail like I was doing all the time with long hair, I actually have to spend a few minutes styling it, which is a good thing if you ask me -- it's easy to get lazy about your appearance (I'm too tired/ I'm too old/ I'm already married, so who cares anyhow?). I don't want to get lazy. I don't ever want to get stuck in a rut ... or a decade. I'm not trendy but I like to think that I at least pay attention to the trends so I kind of know what's going on with the "hip" crowd. I look at some of the girls I graduated with and I think, "Seriously? You have the EXACT SAME HAIR YOU HAD IN THE 90s?? Why are you so scared to try something new???" That makes me sound like a bitchy, conceited know-it-all, which is totally NOT my personality, I just wish (some) people tried new styles every now and then, just to mix it up, just because we can.

Speaking of fashion (and my new hair!), the pic below was taken at the Neiman Marcus Fashion Night Out Sept. 8 at the downtown Minneapolis Neiman Marcus. I’m pictured here with the VP of our company, Jamie (aka fearless leader), my marketing department (oh how I LOVE these girls! They are smart, funny, kind, fashionable, and make going to work every morning fun rather than dreadful), and my good friend Katie D. (our magazine’s style editor). Katie helped pull products for the fashion show and then emceed the big event. She looked like a glamorous movie star! It was a fun night, and made me realize that if you have the courage to be outrageous, you should go for it (stay true to yourself!), shoes really do make or break an outfit, and a genuine smile is often your best accessory.

L to R: Jamie, me, Katie K., Alex, Katie D., Kelly and Sara (my boss) at Neiman Marcus Fashion Night Out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I've seen many parents try to maintain their composure when their toddlers throw tantrums at the grocery store or Target or the mall, and I'm sure I've been both annoyed and sympathetic when it happened, but somehow - in my delusional mind - I didn't think it would happen to me. Not that I think my kids are perfect by ANY MEANS, I just figured, by now, we had the whole shopping thing down. Adam has been my shopping buddy since he was only a few weeks old and Ben has been on the same path. I've taken them into the dressing room at Macy's (I know, pushing my luck here), I've taken them on long, drawn-out grocery shopping trips, up and down the aisles at Target looking for the Noxzema (it's FACE SOAP, it shouldn't be so difficult to locate!), to Marshall's for specific items (a strapless bra) and not-so-specific items (that book is on sale? I love this sweater! I need a brown belt, don't I?). Usually our trips are uneventful.
Not today. Today was a day that tested my patience and made me question my parenting skills. (or lack of) I cried today, out of anger and frustration, and I hardly ever break down like that.
Adam, Ben and I were at the checkout at Marshall's when Adam asked to be let out of the cart. I scooped him out, we were almost done, and he marched over the beverage case (since when does Marshall's sell cold beverages at the checkout, anyhow?)
"Hey Mom, can I get a Sprite?" I glanced at the water (a better choice) but I was kind of thirsty for a Sprite, too, so I said yeah, fine, just bring it on over so we could ring it up. He proudly set the Sprite on the counter, then noticed a rack of Jellybeans. "I changed my mind. I want Jellybeans."
Too late. The transaction had been made and I wanted to go.
"I got you a Sprite," I pointed at the green bottle.
"NO! I WANT THE JELLYBEANS!" he screamed, clutching the little baggy like he was a crack addict and this was 50 rocks.
I tried to grab the candy, only to have him shriek even louder "I WANT THESE! I WANT THESE JELLYBEANS!"
When I tried to take them nicely, gently from his hand, he held on even tighter and shrieked, "NOOOOOO! I WANT THEM! GIVE THEM TO MEEEEEE!"
I knelt down at his level, tried to calmly (key word = tried) explain that I bought him a Sprite and he needed to put the candy back and we were going NOW and he screamed at the top of his lungs. It was an ear-piercing ugly shriek.
WTF do you do in a situation like that? It feels like all of a sudden there are 10,000 people in the store, staring at you and your little monster, and you're so embarrassed and so angry it's all you can do not to:
a.) Start screaming back at him
b.) Swear at him like a truck driver
b.) Leave him standing there (anyone want a naughty kid?)
c.) Break down and cry

I was so furious I don't even know how I managed to get the Jellybeans out of his hand, remember my wallet, remember my bag, remember Ben, get Adam out of the store, get us all safely to the car, get them buckled into their carseats, and drive us home without rear-ending the cars in front of us. The screaming didn't stop, either, which only aggravated the situation. What do you do when your kid starts shrieking like a wild animal? I think it's his way of getting attention, and I think it happens when he's overtired (nap time has been a challenge at daycare), and I know he's not being horrible ON PURPOSE (keep repeating: "I love my son, I love my son, I love my son, he's usually a smart, funny, affectionate, sweet boy who is only temporarily acting like a deranged lunatic.")
Talk about testing boundaries and pushing buttons. My buttons weren't just being pushed, they were being jabbed with blunt force trauma.
"You were HORRIBLE in that store! We do NOT act like that, Adam! We do NOT treat one another like that! You're going to bed early tonight!" was about all I could choke out before I called Aaron on my drive home and totally lost my shit and started venting to him and yelling at him for playing softball and not being home for moral support (sorry, Aaron! I love you!) and then started crying. Aaron was very sympathetic and listened patiently while I blew off steam.
I managed to pull it together enough to wipe away the tears, get the boys in the house and make dinner, but then started crying AGAIN when my brother Shawn called. I was overly sensitive and running on empty and I didn't even think I was going to cry until I heard his voice. He instantly went into protective big brother mode and I think I freaked him out, because he sounded really concerned and suggested I go to Mom and Dad's house for the night. Then he told me to call him if I needed to talk, then suggested again that I go to Mom and Dad's house for the night. The hard thing is, I can't run to my parents when I'm having a bad day, because I'm a grown-up now with kids of my own. I'm a MOM. I HAVE to figure it out. This is my life now.
Adam was distraught by my tears, "Why are you crying? You never do that. I don't want you to cry. That makes me sad." And he was distraught when I told him he was going to bed early without any bedtime books, and I tried to talk rationally to him and explain WHY he was being punished and why it's not OK to have tantrums in stores and why he has GOT to stop screaming when he's mad at daycare and use his words instead and who knows if he's comprehending any of it. Is this just an awful phase or am I going to be googling "defiant child" in the future (please God NO)?
Why does it seem like everyone else totally has this parenting thing under control?