Monday, April 29, 2013

Fit Test

I forgot to tell you all but when we were in Orlando, I got to go to the Lululemon outlet there. I was more excited about this than Disney World.

It was smaller than I expected and we get a lot of clearance Lululemon stuff in the yoga studio, some of which I even get a discount on (thus the whole paying to work thing), but I still found a pile of clothes to try on. There was a line for the fitting rooms and I waited patiently before finally getting my own stall.

I tried everything on and did my downward dog mirror test on all of it, when I found myself at the last piece of clothing--a cute tank with a built-in bra. I really liked it, I decided to put it in the "keep" pile.

Then I tried to remove it.

I managed to get it halfway off and then I was stuck. Really, really, really stuck. I struggled for a moment and managed to become more entangled. One arm was stuck in the air, one caught up oddly in the shirt, my face halfway covered and my belly exposed, the shirt not budging...not up or down.

I considered my options. Mr. Ashley was at the front of the store but my only hope would be to call him on the phone--my limited mobility was not going to allow that kind of maneuvering. And what, he was going to march past the line of people and break into the fitting room to rescue me? I mean, he would and all, but ugh. I struggled for another minute and started to panic. I was in pain from my contorted arm.

At this point I was really freaking out. 

I thought about calling out for the fitting room attendant, and then remembered that it was an attractive young guy. I struggled some more, genuinely afraid I was going to obstruct my face and suffocate for a minute there.

I decided I might just have to use Hulk strength to bust myself out of the top and hope the checkout person didn't notice the tattered condition of the shirt as I bought it. I gathered myself for a mighty struggle, quickly cursing the durability of Lululemon clothing and giving up again, feeling exhausted.

I just could not call for help, I was having visions of the fire department coming in with the jaws of life; everyone in line pissed about the hold up, the fitting room guy telling his friends at the bar later that night.

I calmed myself, took a few deep breaths and told myself that much like a fox stuck in a trap, I was going to do whatever it took to get out of that fucking shirt, up to and including chewing off a limb. Like a wild person I fought and wriggled and squirmed and after practically dislocating a shoulder, managed to free myself.

That was some scary shit. I'm pretty sure I almost died.

I did not buy that shirt and I will never even attempt to buy a shirt like that ever again.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

People Haters

Last night Mr. Ashley said, "I hate people."

"Me too!" I said. "I was just thinking earlier about how much easier life would be if it was just me and a world full of cats. If I only had to associate with cats."

He scoffed. "No! Cats are assholes!"

"People are assholes! A world of cats would be wonderful. All quiet and everyone just doing their own thing. No phones, no traffic, no working, lots of naps."

"Ashley, they'd be running around shitting and pissing everywhere."

"They'd be outside! Running free! I wouldn't have to clean their litter boxes, who even cares?"

"There would be kittens everywhere. Cats breed like crazy."

"Kittens are in the 'plus' column! I love kittens! There aren't nearly enough kittens running around. Kittens are cuter than babies."

"I don't know about living in a world full of cats."

"I don't know about living in a world full of people!"


Friday, April 26, 2013

Fashion Advice from Kids

Although he hates it, I love taking Big Kid shopping.

He has a good eye and no poker face whatsoever.

"You look like you think you're a toddler," he said of a bathing suit with a ruffle.

"You are too old for polka dot pants," he once reminded me firmly.

"I'm sorry but it just looks...not good," he's said with a head shake.

"Your stuff is kind of out," he reported, making a vague motion to where cleavage would be if he had it.

Occasionally I'll try something on that he can tell I like and he pauses before cringing and apologizing.  He tries to be gentle.

Sometimes when catalog shopping, I'll hold up the page and say, "Cute or ridiculous?" and he'll answer with just a glance.

I take his advice 98% of the time.

(But I do think a little cleavage is okay.)

little kid thinks everything I've ever considered looks amazing. He means it too. The other day he stopped dead in his tracks at Sears and BEGGED me to try this outfit on:

"Oh my God, NO!" Big Kid gasped.

"Why do you like that?" I asked, highly amused at the thought.

"You would look like a kung fu girl! Like a black belt!!"

I would, indeed.

I love him to death. But won't be asking him for fashion advice.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Family Anniversary

This weekend marked the very special occasion of our 12 year anniversary.

We chose to take the kids to Disney World. Where we experienced a freak cold front and were forced into buying $40 Mickey sweatshirts. And my flip flop broke 5 minutes after arriving, so I got to rock some Mickey flip flops too.

We were supposed to go to a water park but got rained out. We were supposed to have a nice dinner at Downtown Disney but again, the pouring rain canceled those plans. We ended up at Medieval Nights. Where we ate meat with our fingers and watched a show comparable to Wrestlemania but with horses and swords.

We spent a lot of one day locked in a hotel room with two wild kids. Mr. Ashley knocked for re-entry at one point and I pretended the security guard was with him, just out of sight, asking us to please be quiet and quit jumping on the beds, more for my own sanity than out of consideration for other guests. Later in the day, little kid locked himself in the bathroom and insisted he wasn't coming out because he was tired of being in trouble and demanded that our behavior change, when he was the one acting like a monkey on meth. We refused to change our behavior and insisted he stay in there.

We looked at each other around that time and said, "Remember the last time we said we were never celebrating our anniversary with them again?"

That was the time one child spent the entire dinner show at a Japanese restaurant stink-bombing the bathroom so bad that people were just turning around and leaving upon entering. Then when we got back to our food, the other kid barfed all over our shared table and down a hallway.

We can pretty much never go back there.

But that was a few years ago so we forgot. We always forget because we love them so much...but while locked in our hotel room, I pointed out that if we were at The Standard in Miami, we wouldn't care if it was raining. That our feet wouldn't be sore from walking, that they would be getting massages from beautiful people in a luxurious room together, and lounging around in the heated marble hamam, and taking baths on the hotel room's patio. That there would be no kids. That no one would be locked in our bathroom making absurd demands.

At one point, while hugging and reminiscing about what we were doing 12 years ago at that time, little kid came and hugged us, making sure to wedge himself in between us.

"You do not belong in that hug, little kid!" Big Kid shouted.

"I belong in this hug! It's my anniversary too!" He replied. 

We rolled our eyes and laughed and whispered "Never again!" and we mean it (at least for a few years).

But despite things not going as planned, it was still wonderful. I love being at Disney World because the boys are so happy there, and now that they are older we have a blast on the roller coasters and maneuver easily through the park.

Medieval Nights was hilarious--an accidental treasure. I would have never chosen that, but we had so much fun cheering, and as a mom of boys, I'm embarrassed to admit that Wrestlemania is kind of right up my alley these days.

Those cheesy Mickey hoodies? I just bought myself the same hoodie the boys the three of us wore matching hoodies all weekend. When else could I get away with something so ridiculous? We loved it. (I did, at least. They didn't mind.)

I love them and I love being with them and I love seeing them happy. These are the moments our memories are made of.

But next time I'll be at The Standard.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Can't be Beat

little kid got beaten up by a 3rd grader on the bus this week, and I have spent the last two days on the phone and in meetings. It has been a roller coaster of emotions and a highly calculated battle on all sides, and I think I've finally got everyone's attention and have learned this ridiculous bureaucratic dance one must do to get anything accomplished. Exhausted does not even begin to describe how I feel right now--it feels like I've been crying for 3 days, and I've been too mad to cry at all.

Because they are also parents, I believe the school administration now realizes I'm a really good parent...but they will also probably be cringing at the sound of our name for a while. I feel bad about that, but not really. I'm confident they'll get it right if there's a next time, though.

Anyway, little kid is mostly fine and his regular, hilarious self. The day after it happened he came home and did jumping jacks and push ups, and stacked his bean bags up to practice punching them as hard as he could, asking me if I thought he hit hard enough to hurt someone. He's getting karate lessons and permission to defend himself however necessary. (Yeah, I'm that mom now.)

Yesterday morning while we were snuggling, he told me that I was so beautiful that someone should build a building that looked just like me.

"Yeah?" I asked, imagining a huge Kim Jong Il-like statue of myself.

"I'd build it myself, but it would be super hard." He offered.

"True." I said.

"It would have to be a pretty small building because you are pretty small and I really don't know how to do that. But if I could, I would. A building of you--that would be awesome."

Hell yeah, it would. How could you not love this child?

Then today he mentioned that he thought his brother would be rich when they grew up.

"I think you could be rich. You have charisma and you're a hard worker. You're good with people. I could see your bubby being some successful creative genius and you making a ton of money off of something more technical. Or politics! You could be the president!" I told him.

He wrinkled his nose. "Why would I want to be the president?"

"You would be famous! And you could change the world."

He looked unimpressed.

"Or you could be a lawyer. Or maybe just a governor or something. Someone who talks a lot would be good."

"Wait, wait!! Who are those guys who boss around the president?"

"Secret service? You'd be a great--"

"No! No! Those other guys...the ones against everything?"

"Do you mean...congress?"

"Yes! I will be a congress." He said triumphantly.

I laughed so hard. Yes. He would be the perfect congressman. God help us all.

Especially this little jerk on the bus.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Last Day for Giveaway

Today is the last day of the Shabby Apple $50 gift card giveaway!

Did you enter?

Why not? If you hate cute clothes and jewelry, you could give the gift card to me. Because I'm serious about wanting that dress.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Socks and Slippers

Big Kid is a cat guy.

Our cat Pearl loves him, climbing the bunk bed ladder every single night to sit with him and purr while he reads. On the rare occasion he is sent to time-out, she goes with him. Each morning when we snuggle in bed, she lies on his chest and purrs.

He's asked if he can take her to college and since I cannot bring up the fact that she is very unlikely to be around then, I have agreed that if his housing situation allows it, he can. He often talks of their life in college together.

He also talks about his first cat that he will get as an adult--how he would never declaw it, how he will build an outdoor cat run, how he will feed it the best food, and get it when it is a little tiny baby after asking the person in charge of cat adoptions which kitten is snuggliest.

But recently he came across a photo of Bill Clinton's cat Socks and decided Socks was the coolest cat ever. He thinks the name Socks is the cutest thing in the world (but almost died of a laughter-induced heart attack to hear that a stray that hung around at the same time was called Slippers) and regardless of what it looks like, insists his future cat will be named Socks.

The exact photo that started it all. Socks is pretty bad ass, I will admit that.

So, Clinton's cat comes up in our home a lot, oddly enough. During his Socks the cat research, he heard a derogatory song about Socks and was freaking pissed about it.

"TURN IT OFF!! Socks wouldn't WANT to be free! Socks lived a very nice life, doing cool things. If you're going to write a song about someone's cat, it shouldn't be a depressing song!!" He insisted.

I had to eventually point out that Socks the cat was more famous than the guy who was lame enough to sing a song insulting a cat. He agreed, with vehemence. Don't get him started on that guy, though.

He also went from thinking Bill Clinton was the most creative, most awesome guy in the world (seriously--the name "Socks" is some genius-level shit in Big Kid's opinion) to being disgusted at the news that he left Socks with his former secretary when he got Buddy, as the two were unable to get along. I pointed out that at that point Socks was a celebrity and the cat version of a humanitarian--visiting children's hospitals, going to press conferences, and could probably never be happy again in Arkansas after the glitz and glamour of the White House. A dumb dog wouldn't know how good he's got it. He reluctantly agreed...but he wouldn't have left his cat. Big Kid's reasons for being suspect of Bill's loyalty are different than the rest of the world's.

Socks has inspired a fascination with other presidential pets, and he's in the process of making a list of animals that have lived at the White House. He is up to the original George Bush. So far, the only pet halfway as cool as Socks was Andrew Jackson's parrot, who apparently cursed so rudely and often that it had to be removed from Jackson's funeral. It is his other favorite, but hasn't inspired the want of a parrot or anything. Thank goodness.

I love cats. I'm glad my boy loves cats. I'm glad he's young enough that this is what occupies his mind and time--but I'm also slightly concerned about all of the brain power dedicated to presidential pets. Everyone thinks it must be so fascinating to have a child with such a high IQ. Sometimes it is...but sometimes you're stuck talking a lot about historically significant cats.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spam A Lot

I told you that I get a ton of spam comments but I didn't get a chance to elaborate. I've been saving screen shots of my favorites for a while now, but this one pushed me over the edge into having to share: 

"I'm mad and that's a fact I found out animals don't help Animals think they're pretty smart Shit on the ground, see in the dark" (link erased because I'll be damned if I give these people the publicity they are looking for)

That is what I deal with all day long. Some are more poetic than others; one was especially talented at throwing together the most beautiful words in the English language into one completely ridiculous, nonsensical sentence, and I really regret not saving those. Most of them were in reference to Loboutin shoes and they were accidental poetry but they have long since moved on to greener pastures where their comments might actually get published. But here are some others, click to enlarge:

 Please note my favorite from this list: She allegedly managed to flight from the fleshlight. The fleshlight is fiddling in clean up position to do it but it was no way to the mind, inhibiting adrenergic fountain from the bag approximately the globe. Fleshlight the fleshlight is as just as how he plant them sexually explicit pics of her kitty-cat I was pretty a good deal nix movies, looks can lead astray. You're departure to be the Hither today so he doesn't own a theme song fleshlight :)

What in the actual hell? Do I want to know?

Probably not.

But THAT is why your comments are moderated, my friends.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Wall

First thing this morning, little kid hopped in bed to snuggle with me while I was still sleeping and since his eyes were open, of course his mouth was moving: 

"What if the British knocked out one or two blocks from the Great Wall of China--would it fall?"

"No", I answered, mostly still asleep.

"It might."


"What would they do it with? Swords? They couldn't do that."

"No, they couldn't. They wouldn't, either," I added, draping my arm over my face.

"Yeah, because they know they couldn't get through that wall.  What if they had cannon balls? Mom, do the British have cannon balls? Could a cannon ball go through the wall?"

"I don't know, babe. I really don't. I'm super tired."

"Yes, but do the British have cannonballs?"

"Yes, they do, hon. They have no interest in going to war with China, though."

"Because they know they couldn't get through that wall."

"They could get through the wall, little kid. They have bombs and stuff now."

"The British?!? Have bombs?!? Do they have tanks and stuff?"


"Wow! Hmmm. So they could get through that wall, I guess. Could a tank get through that wall?"

"It wouldn't want to, little kid! The British aren't going to war with anyone--they couldn't care less about China or its wall."

"Probably because they know they can't get through there--it's like a huge wall."

"Right." I agreed out of frustration.


"Yes?" I answered, my patience wearing thin.

"You are so beautiful that you couldn't even be sketched."

"Thank you, honey."

"Maybe you could be sketched by a robot but it would have to be a super good artist robot."


"Maybe it would need to have a finger that traced your face--I don't know, maybe the finger would need to be a scanner or something? It would be hard to get right.  Hey, are there buildings in China? And how do we know the British don't want to start wars with anyone anymore?"

"A lot, and I really don't know. The British have chilled a lot in the last 200 years or so."

"That's good because they could never get through that wall anyway, don't you think?"

"I don't know, little kid. Maybe not."

"I can't believe the British have bombs now."

"Yeah, me neither."

"You are beautiful though."


And that's a pretty typical start to my morning.

But watch out, England, little hasn't quite forgiven you for your participation in the Revolutionary War yet.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Favorite Things: Shabby Apple Gift Card Giveaway

So I sat down an hour ago to put together a quick post for a giveaway from an online boutique called Shabby Apple. Then I ended up looking at every single item on their site, including the maternity stuff for which I will never have a need for, because I got completely sucked in. I love the style of their stuff but I also Love (with a capital L) their photography and overall style. So cute and cool! I'm extra excited for one of you now, and I have 7 tabs of things I want open right now.

My very favorite is this pin-up style dress. We have an out-of-state summer wedding to attend and I'm thinking about getting this or this similarly retro pencil skirt to wear for the rehearsal dinner. The decision will come down to how dedicated I stay to this whole yoga thing over the next 8 weeks. It's nice that Shabby Apple offers free returns.

Shop Shabby Apple for casual and day dresses for women. We offer a great selection of vintage-inspired dresses and other stylish clothes for women.   or   skirt, skirts, vintage skirt, vintage skirts, retro skirts, retro skirt, stylish skirt, stylish skirts, modest skirt, stripe skirt, cotton skirt, pencilskirt

I really like clothes that enable me to pretend I'm on the set of Mad Men. I don't have a lot of opportunities to wear anything glamorous like the vintage-styled stuff at Shabby Apple, so when I do, I'm getting a new dress, dammit. I should probably just make sure I go to yoga and then reward myself with the dress. Or I could just get a cardigan too and not even worry about my arms. That's a thought. It's always good to have a backup plan.

I also like this vintage looking lace top.

And this silver shamrock necklace.

Okey doke, now that we've got some of my birthday wishlist out of the way and summer fashion plans out of the way, we can get down to business.

Shabby Apple is going to give one of you a $50 gift card and all of us get a 10% off code! I can't wait to use it!

The Shabby Apple coupon code is ashleyqf10off.  Follow the rafflecopter instructions below to enter for the gift card giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You must have a US mailing address to win. After liking Shabby Apple's Facebook page, use the link below to find a dress you like for the comments portion of the giveaway and then tell us which is your favorite. You must do both to be eligible to win!

“Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage and retro dresses.  Click Here: vintage dresses to see our selection!”

(I have to moderate comments for spam reasons--so don't panic if you don't see yours right away. It will be there. You can also comment anonymously and just leave your first name and initial along with your comment so I can match it up with your entry.)

Monday, April 1, 2013

What If

"What if you had a pet crow and you covered it in shaving cream and shaved it bald, then dressed it in a tuxedo and gave it a glass of wine and a top hat?" little kid asked.

"That would be amazing," I answered honestly.