Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall Fashion - Sunday

No costume for me today. I'm not much of a Halloweener. Even when I was a child, I wasn't big on the holiday. And now, while I'm happy to bring vegan treats to your party, I have trouble getting into the spirit.

Last year, the Seattle Symphony played the score to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho live while the film showed on the big screen. And I couldn't not go! Because, well, that's only one of my absolute favorite films. (And I was a bassoon-playing orchestra dork through the eighth grade.) So Rob and I had an unusual Halloween night date. And this is what I wore:

Sunday

Sunday
It's kind of impossible to photograph these shoes, but let me assure you - they're awesome.

Sunday Sunday Sunday
Dress - Forever 21, thrifted
Necklace - Vintage, gifted
Tights - Goodwill
Shoes - Rocket Dog
* * *

So that's it! Another Fashion Week over and done with. A huge thank you to Emery Jo for hosting, and to all of you for your kind words and inspiration.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall Fashion - Saturday

I didn't want to get dressed this morning. After a difficult night last night, I just wanted to laze around. But I had errands to run, and I'm not a pajamas-to-the-grocery-store type of girl.

So, naturally, I took my lazin' around outfit (tank top, leggings, socks), and threw a dress over it. And then I threw some other stuff over that. With questionable results.

Saturday

This often happens on my don't-want-to-get-dressed days. I end up wearing something a little...odd.

Saturday Saturday
This outfit, at least, is odd in a way that makes me want to accessorize it with a guitar and an indie rock song. If only I played guitar.

Saturday
Brown dress - Thrifted (label says "Isshu," which sounds like something out of Pokémon because it is)
Lavender tank top - Banana Republic, thrifted
Necklace - JanetJewelry
Rings - were my mom's
Belt - Target
Leggings - American Apparel
Boots - Same as always
* * *

More Fall Fashion Week(end) goodness waits at Moms are for Everyone. I can't believe it how these fashion weeks fly by!

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Fashion - Friday

Here it is: The sweater-coat I mentioned on Monday that I wear all Fall/Winter/Spring(/Summer?^) long.

Friday

Friday Friday

I bought this sweater when Westley was a baby, mostly because it was big and stretchy enough that I could zip it up over the baby in the baby carrier. And then I never took it off. I wear over my pajamas. I would wear it instead of pajamas if the zippers were slightly less stabby.

Friday Friday
Sorry the photos are so dark. It was cloudy. In my house. Yeah.

Friday Friday
Funky-cozy sweater-coat of awesomeness - Target
Spoon ring - was my mom's!
Black dress - Forever 21, thrifted
Gray T-shirt - Thrifted
Fuchsia! leggings - American Apparel
Bracelet - Crocheted by my mom (thanks, Mom!)
Boots - Thrifted

^I actually did wear this sweater during the summer this year on a couple icy cold July days. Thanks for that, Pacific Northwest.

* * *
More Friday Fall Fashion at Moms are for Everyone! Go for the style, stay for the poses.
Some of you could grace the pages of Vogue tomorrow. Not kidding.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Fashion - Thursday

I have come down with a terrible case of the horizontal stripes.

Thursday
Postmodern pirate?

I'm trying to put together Fall Fashion ensembles that don't rely heavily on solids (as I mentioned [much] earlier, I'm kind of pattern-shy). And I'm discovering that I own a ton of horizontal stripes. Yes, indeed. I might just have to dedicate a post to stripes.

Even though I really don't think they do me any favors.

Thursday
Goth lite?

Thursday Thursday
Thursday Thursday
Nope, my shirt's not on backwards. It's actually lower in the back than it is in the front.
Also? Taking a picture of your own back isn't easy.

(one of my 80 hozillion) Striped top(s) - Thrifted
Vest - Thrifted
Anatomical heart necklace - Paraphernalia, gifted (thanks, Mom!)
Bracelet - Handmade by me!
Snakeskinless flats - Gifted (thanks, honey!)
* * *

Head over to Moms are for Everyone for more (stripey?) Fall Fashion!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Fashion - Wednesday

I have a fashion confession: I only have one wardrobe.

The contents of my closet do not change with the seasons. While I own a few things I think of as seasonal (a "fall" jacket, a couple of "summer" dresses) just about everything that's not an open-toe shoe is in rotation at all times.

Sometimes I wonder how I survived four years in New England with no winter clothes. And then I remember: layers. I used to go to class with workout pants under my jeans to keep from freezing my ass off while discussing feminist film theory.

Anyway. This is technically a "summer dress."

Wednesday
Summer dress, schmummer dress!

The red-orange (orange-red?) sweatery top is something I've had for ages. And it's been sitting in my closet, waiting to be mended, for ages. I was going to put together another black-and-brown-and-grey sort of ensemble, but other Fall Fashionistas have made me crave something more colorful.

That's right. You are the reason I finally got around to mending this top.

Wednesday

The mother-baby necklace is more sappy-sentimental than I usually go, but it seemed to go with the whole "urban earth mama" thing I've got going with this outfit. The salt spoon necklace is equally sappy-sentimental, but secretly so (and also alliterative). When Westley was a baby, and we'd sleep together, he'd often end up on his side, with his back against my tummy. The littlest of spoons.

So, apart from putting something with sleeves over the top of it, how do you turn a summer maxi dress into cozy fall fashion?

Wednesday
Leggings. My (not so) secret weapon against the cold. Aawww yeah!

Red-orange/orange-red top - Thrifted
Navy maxi dress - Target
Necklaces - Gifted (thanks, Mom!)
Leggings - American Apparel

Rob saw this outfit and asked, "New clothes?"

"Nope. Old clothes. Way old." Ahh, the power of layers.

* * *

More (fun and inspiring) Fall Fashion at Moms are for Everyone!
It's never to late to join the fun. You might even win a prize. (No, really!)

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Fashion - Tuesday

What does a city(ish) girl wear to visit the farm? Why, an owl with tentacles, of course!

Tuesday
See the smirk? Yeah, I don't take this one very seriously.

No one saw this outfit, unfortunately. It was absolutely icy out, so I covered the whole thing with my vintage brown leather trench coat. I didn't take a picture of the coat, but I really should have. It's my go-to cold-and-rainy day outerwear.

Tuesday
Brown cardigan - Thrifted
Orange top - Thrifted
Octo-Owl tunic tank/babydoll dress - Deadworry, gifted
Jeans - Lucky, thrifted
Boots - Frye, thrifted (with mud stains from Fairbank Farm)
* * *

More Fall Fashion (with fewer cryptozoological anomalies, presumably) at Moms are for Everyone! And it's not too late to join in the fun. You know you want to!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Fashion - Monday

I realize it's been quiet(ish) 'round these parts. I've been staring down a big ol' heap of mental clutter. Putting together a comprehensible paragraph seems incredibly challenging right now. And a blog post? Out of the question.

Since I've been at a total loss for words, I was excited to see that Emery Jo would be hosting Fall Fashion Week, bloggy-style!


Summer Fashion Week was more fun than I expected, and it gave me a great excuse to focus on my "outsides" for a while. I truly believe that we can take care of our insides by taking care of our outsides, but I often forget that I truly believe it. Right now I could really use some inside-care in the form of sweaters and leggings and knee-high boots. So I was thrilled about Fall Fashion Week. Thrilled, that is, until I realized...I have nothing to wear. Nothing blog-worthy, anyway.

The truth is that I do Fall (and Winter, and rain-soaked Spring) in this one knee-length gray sweater coat. I was totally unsure about it when I bought it, but I wear it with everything. I've been known to wear it with pajamas, even. I have fallen into a serious Fall-fashion rut.

Here's my first attempt to dig myself out. With a different gray sweater. (Oh, well.)

Monday

This circle sweater has no buttons or clasps or anything, and I tend to wrap it around myself like a blanket.

Monday
Sweater - Thrifted
Striped top - Thrifted
White tank top (barely visible) - Target
Jeans - Cheap Monday (Urban Outfitters)
Silver flats - Bandolino, thrifted
* * *

Head over to Moms are for Everyone for more (warm and cozy) Fall Fashion!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fake It 'til You Home-make It

I don't know how to sew, and I'm particularly crafty (in either sense). Sure, I've knitted a scarf or two in the past. But the closest I come to "crafting" anything on a regular basis is when I make a kick-ass dinner out of incongruous leftovers and pantry-staple odds and ends. I had given up the dream of ever home-making a child's Halloween costume long before I had a child.

And then my child decided he wanted to be a completely obscure Muppet for Halloween.

"I wanna be Othmar! Mommy, can you make me an Othmar costume?"

Westley's favorite thing about Sesame Street is Oscar the Grouch. I'm really not surprised that Westley wants to be something Oscar-inspired. And when I try to imagine how I would put this costume together, my mind is a complete blank.

Image source: Muppet Wiki

But I tell him, "Sure I can, buddy. Absolutely."

After spending the past few days gathering supplies, I'm surprised - and delighted - to realize that I probably can pull this off. A little "Silver Coin"-colored Duck Tape, a lot of patience, and a 69-cent colander go a long way towards crafting your own tiny Grouch spaceman.

I just finished stitching four layers of batting together to pad the inside of Westley's Othmar helmet. I suppose I could've glued the layers together, but I figured dried glue might make the pad hard and itchy. Besides, now that I've actually sewn part of the costume, I can hold up my wonky stitches as a little badge of homemade-Halloween-costume honor.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Video Killed the Motherhood Star

Westley has become more and more interested in seeing pictures of himself, so last Saturday, Rob hauled out the video camera. Because we got the camera and the newborn around the same time, we never really mastered the art of getting video from the camera to some other format. Consequently, it still has bits and pieces of Westley's first year hidden inside itself.

Rob hooked the video camera to the TV, so Westley could see himself on the "big" screen (and so that we could watch him watch). At first, I was excited to see old Westley movies. After a few minutes of footage from the day before Westley's first birthday (he's eating his first cupcake: vanilla, no frosting), I wondered aloud, "Is there anything from when he was really tiny on here?"

Rob calls up video from Westley's first bath.

"Oh shit," I murmur to the screen with a mixture of awe and disbelief.

Westley is nine days old, with wide, dark eyes. I weigh about 600 pounds and clearly have no idea what I'm doing. I'm talking to him as I dry him off, trying to sound funny and confident even though my body is filled with question marks. Jovial and on the verge of tears. Westley is shivering, shivering. He's equally unsure, trying to nurse on my shoulder. Clearly freezing. Clearly.

I hear myself - the "now" me - say, "Jesus, mama, wrap him up!" I cross my arm over my chest and touch my collar bone. My heart is beating too fast.

Shrimpy, shivery Westley finally gets bundled in a towel, and then the video jumps to an overhead view of us nursing. The proportion is grotesque. Imagine a squirrel trying to eat a cantaloupe.

Rob switches to some video of the three of us playing on the bed. Westley is older, about 5 months, super-cute and giggling at Daddy. But I can't watch. I excuse myself to the kitchen and try to shift my focus to making dinner.

It was beyond odd, seeing myself like that. It's absolutely clear in that video that I have no idea what I'm doing. Not that I'm spectacularly good at anything after nine days. Still, I remember that particular incompetence like muscle memory. It's heartrending.

With Westley on the verge of 3, I'm finally feeling the tiniest shreds of confidence about myself as a parent. I'd very much like to erase everything about the mother I started out as. But even if I destroyed all of the pictures, deleted all of the video, she wouldn't go away. I remember that girl so well. Less than a week before that "first bath" video was shot, she'd lied on the pediatrician's form.

The question about being afraid of hurting herself or the baby. Hesitating, the pen hovering over the "Yes" box. Her husband putting his hand on hers, squeezing.

"Are you going to check 'Yes'?"

Four hours earlier, she'd been crying in bed, burying her face in her hands instead of picking up the squalling baby. "I feel like hurting him," were her exact words. Just four hours earlier.

The pen comes down, touches the page. "No." Check.

That girl who kept herself from getting help. Who suffered quietly, angrily. Unnecessarily. That girl has no business holding a nine-day-old baby over the kitchen sink.

I try to muster up some compassion for myself, then. I think over the list of factors working against that girl. I search for some kindness, some sympathy. But I can't find anything. All I can feel is absolute certainty that, even though that girl will always be a part of me, I never want to see her again.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

"It's You!"

I am not Rebecca Woolf, and I can prove it.
Rockabye
For one thing, her red top is a skillion times more flattering than my red top.

Not that you thought I was Rebecca, of course. But my son, looking over my shoulder at a picture of this gorgeous author on her blog, says, "Mommy, it's you!"

"No, sweetie, that's not me. But thanks!"

This exchange happens at least once a week. For the record, I am also not any of these lovely ladies. Though my son begs to differ.

If I'm perfectly honest, I have no idea what I look like. I never see women who (I think) look like me who aren't also related to me. But it turns out that, according to Westley, my doppelgängers are all on the Internet. And not all of them are bloggers. Some of them are kind of famous. Really.

First off, just as a point of reference, this is me:
Self
It's Noelle, Westley's actual Mommy!
Hi, everyone.

This is NOT me:
It's Westley's favorite, Lady Gaga!

Also not me (though I make this face all the time):
It's Drew Barrymore!

Definitely not me:
It's Jaime Murray!

Still not me:
Still Lady Gaga.

For a non-musician, I do a pretty kick-ass rendition of "If I Had a Hammer," but once again...not me:
It's Mary Travers!

Also not me:
It's Tori Amos (who I feel the need to point out is 20 years older than I am)!

And finally:
It's Jane Campion (Twenty-nine years older...)!

Does this explain why I never get carded? I look old enough to have had chart hits in the early 1990s with Baroque pop songs?

The real punchline in all of this, as far as I'm concerned, is that with his fondness for not-alike look-alikes, Westley has yet to accidentally call another woman "Mommy." At the rate we're going, it'll happen any day now.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cuddle Genes

Mirror/Mirror

I admit it: I'm always trying to see myself in Westley. I think every parent does this to one degree or another, searching that tiny, living mirror for similarities in appearance, behavior, likes and dislikes.

I also still have trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that I made him. Like, INSIDE MY BODY. (How? Wha-? @#$%!?) And part of me thinks that's less alien-sounding - and less Alien-sounding - if Westley and I share some traits.

Well, I found out today that we cuddle the same.

Almost inevitably, somewhere between getting in bed and falling asleep, Rob and I end up lying on our sides, facing each other. And whenever this happens, my right leg, my "top" leg, finds its way on top of Rob. It's easier to do than describe. Imagine the leg equivalent of putting your arm around someone.

I can't imagine when Westley would've had an opportunity to see me do this. But this afternoon, he snuggled up to me, rolled onto his side, and - thud - set his "top" leg on both of mine.

Couldn't've done it better if I tried.
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