Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Answer is in the Heel

Most women have a stash of shoes in various places. Drawers at the office, the trunk or backseat of the car, or all of the above. We have this because our needs are constantly changing. I walk almost a mile from the train to the office. I can’t do that in the heels I’ll wear all day. Plus all that walking can’t be good for the heels (or my feet in the heels).  Then there’s the after dinner drinks, lunch that you’re walking to but is still professional so you want heels, weekends and time chasing kids, or going out on the town.

Never mind that we need shoes in different colors or styles, the main reason we hoard shoes in a million places is because one height doesn’t work for everything. You can’t walk a mile in stilettos twice a day for years, just like you can’t wear a low heeled oxford with a dress on a date night. This constant changing is how we end up with drawers full of shoes scattered throughout the various
Heels with flames. Love this.
places we live our lives like some kind of adult Hansel & Gretel.

Once woman has created a shoe that solves all of these issues. You can wear the same shoe out chasing the kids around as you did to the office this week with that smart skirt suit with just one small adjustment. The heel.

Tanya Heath has created a shoe that can fit into many facets of our life with her multi-height shoe. Switch out the heels from low to chunky to high and slim. There are even options with spikes. The collection of actual heels is as expansive as the different styles and colors of shoes.

I have not yet tried them, and at 350€ per pair (heels not included) they’re a little out of my current price range. Individual sets of heels are 50€ each, so the whole shoe is a bit of an investment, but still more affordable than many other designer shoes (which only have one heel). As soon as I get that executive office I’m good for a pair. Something this logical is perfect for busy women, and the ultimate business trip shoe. Pack one pair of shoes and multiple heels. Just hope TSA leaves your bags alone because I imagine explaining why you have multiple heels with no shoes would be a little

The only thing I don’t understand about the shoes is how they are pitched so that one pair of shoes is able to accommodate multiple heel heights.  I guess these are the great questions of the world. That and where does one store all those loose heels?

Here's an interview with the designer, Tanya Heath, discussing her creation.

Friday, April 3, 2015

What Have I Become?

There’s life changers that are really obvious and turn your entire life on its ear (like the day I came home with twins), and then there are the subtle changes that you don’t really notice until you have some reason to look back. At that point it sometimes makes you wonder “Who am I?”

The other day I was texting with a friend and we were discussing work, jobs, next steps and the path that got us there. We've been friends since we were about 15, moved to the city around the same time, spent our 20s putting in 50+ hours a week at the office, trying to establish ourselves in careers, and spent weekends bar hopping, drinking too much and making some questionable decisions. Eventually we started spending weekends in, got married (me, not him), moved, got new jobs, kept working a million hours a week (does that stop?), had twins (me again) and once in a while we manage to not have meetings on the same day and we meet for lunch.

Closet vomit. I seriously need to get this under control.
So as we were discussing careers and the general trajectory of said careers I was whining about not being able to find a new suit, which can be shocking because I work near Michigan Ave. in Chicago, and I texted, “Between meetings, yoga and work I haven’t had time to shop so I impulse bought a Cynthia Rowley jacket this weekend and still need a fucking suit.”

This stopped me dead in my tracks.

Not because it sounds totally spoiled and crazy (because I’m aware it does), but because I realized I am becoming that woman. I am the woman who has a closet full of blazers that pair with statement necklaces. I get my nails done on lunch hours, do yoga, eat organic and consider a smoothie a full meal. I wear giant black sunglasses, carry a bag that could fit a small human or a mid-size dog and check my work email at all hours of the night and on weekends.  Now with two little kids I feel like I have become some kind of suburban cliché, but from a Tim Burton film.

You can’t truly be a cliché if you’re in on the joke, right?  

Just as I’m staggering at this vision of myself and start to get the sweats thinking I've sold out and become some kind of faceless Corporate Barbie, I realize that I forgot to put the laundry in the dryer and I trip over the pile of shoes and boxes spilling out of my closet like some kind of spiky, leather and colored vomit.

Dress me up in suits and give me all the kale smoothies you can handle, you don’t have to go too far to find that driven girl who works hard and plays hard and spends all her money on shoes. I’m still kind of a disaster, but now I get to break more expensive things.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Sweatpants, Jeans, Divorce and Humor

These are not pretty or flattering.
I've decided this week it’s a good thing I’m not a celebrity.

I mean it’s unfortunate because if I was I’d have a lot more money and would be able to do things like see my kids for more than an hour a day and go to the gym, but it’s good because the world would think I am a complete an utter bitch (which I can be, but part of that is also an Olympic case of bitchy resting face). But I already have enough problems saying what I think and having an overly dry sense of humor, and in today's humorless society, that would not go over well. That means I get to leave the funny comments to real celebs, who will then be jumped all over by a humorless Internet full of people grasping their Starbucks cups and pretending they're going to yoga right after this last Facebook post.

Case in point, Eva Mendes who said sweatpants cause divorce.

Good for her. They’re horrid things that don’t look good on anyone and aside from being comfy, have no redeeming value. For me they aren't even comfy because my ultra sensitive skin is allergic to the fuzzy inside of sweat-anything and I get a rash. Seriously. Sweatpants literally give me a rash. And apparently are a cause for divorce. We should burn them all.

Giant P.S. to the entire world; Eva was freaking kidding. It was a joke.  And, in my opinion, a funny one. Everyone who isn’t a total asshole knows that sweatpants don’t cause divorce (I’m not naming names, but you can do a search and find the assholes). Being a total asshole can be a cause of divorce, growing apart, an affair with the pool boy, the nanny, the neighbor, stress, money…all these things have been cited as reasons for divorce, but sweatpants, never.

She just rolled out of bed.
On the other hand, if you’re lazy and never leave the house and wear sweatpants all the time, maybe there is a deeper psychological issue playing out here. And ladies, I’m not just talking to you. This whole sweatpants thing goes for guys too. Christ people, you’re grownups. Put on some real pants to leave the house and leave the athletic gear to the gym and varying sports (and yes, this includes yoga pants).

A couple days later, Mendes was criticized again for saying that she dislikes jeans and finds them uncomfortable. The internet was on fire with chatter about another thing she hates that’s a staple of Americana. And again, I wonder why anyone gives a shit.

First, the woman can wear a paper bag and look better than most of us on our best days. Second, who gives a shit if she likes skirts more than jeans? Sometimes skirts are more comfortable than jeans, and when you have an ass it’s hard to find jeans that fit properly.

So internet, take a chill pill and stop getting your panties in a bunch over the fact that Eva Mendes doesn’t like your sweatpants or jeans. Instead why not march into your closet and putting on a pair of big boy or girl pants (or a skirt) and dress like an adult for once. And if your closet is void of anything other than sweatpants and jeans, it’s time to go shopping and buy some adult clothes. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Fail

I think in past years I have blogged about how I epically fail at spring fashion.  Something about the bright colors, airy fabric and colors (yes, it’s worth mentioning twice) that are really a problem. By the time summer rolls around I spend my days in variations of black skirts, dresses and cigarette pants with sunglasses firmly planted on my face until it cools down to fall.

This year I have my girls and their bright, pastel infused, happy looking baby wardrobe to highlight
So happy and pink.
my epic fails at spring. They have a dress covered in a pink tailed mermaid paired with hot pink leggings. I am in black leggings and a short sleeved burgundy sweater and ankle boots. Denim dress with floral leggings for them, black pants with a black top and a leopard infinity scarf for me.  I even went out and bought a pair of leopard loafers for the spring and summer that can be easily slipped on and worn to chase children all over the place, but they’re pony hair (which is probably why they were on sale) and that’s really not very spring or summer.

I have another pair of loafers but they’re velvet.  My one pair of sandals is a three inch platform wedge and not really conducive to running errands while carting babies during the summer months.  Apparently it’s not just my clothes that need spring and summer help, but my shoes too.  If the girls wore shoes I’m sure they would be seasonally appropriate and cute.

Am I suddenly a fashion failure because of my kids, or are their bright colors and flamingo covered jumpers just highlighting the total and utter lack of color in my wardrobe?  Have I really spent all previous summers on this plant covered in black, traipsing around in sky-high wedges, sunglasses as big as my face and a smear of red lipstick that threatened to melt off my face in the searing Chicago summer heat?

Yes. That’s exactly what happened. And after taking a look at my closet full of black sun dresses, tank tops, cotton skirts and cigarette pants, I’ve decided that’s not going to change anytime soon. In fact, I just ordered new black cat-eye sunglasses from Betsey Johnson and had my manicure done in medium gray.  So come on over spring and summer. I look forward to spending another sweaty, sun drenched season avoiding color and acting like a vampire while enjoying your beaches under a canopy in SPF 50 (and a black swim suit) while my girls discover their love of sand, sun and all warm weather things in covered in hot pink mermaids and pastel polka dots.

Writers note: It just snowed in Chicago. Pretty sure I can keep wearing all black for a few more weeks. Apparently spring isn't coming to Chicago this year. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Learning to Share

Having twins means they fight over a lot of things. They haven't really gotten to the sharing part, but they do steal from each other, make the other one cry, and then fight about it (even if there's two of the same toy).  This week they decided to start sharing when they shared the stomach flu.

Wednesday I got up, nursed them and then started to put them back in their cribs when D made a noise and I heard a splash like she spit up. I turned her around and after a couple "urp" noises she vomited all over me. It was them that I saw the dark shadow of vomit that was all over her crib. And then she puked on me again. 

I woke up hubby, who wasn't really happy to see me holding a baby and covered in vomit at 5:30 in the morning. The urping started again and I ran into the bathroom with D and stood her in front of the toilet. It was when she started playing with the seat that I realized babies don't understand the toilet, let alone throwing up into it. Instead she was deposited into an empty bathtub to be hosed off and cleaned by dad while I stripped and remade the crib. Once back in the the crib she went right back to sleep. 

My laundry room is not this clean. 
I, on the other hand, had to shower baby vomit off me and get into a suit to go downtown for a can't miss work event. Husband stays home with them every day anyway, so he takes pukey and her sister and keeps me updated on things like vomit, diaper output and how many outfits they went through via text. 

When I got home all was well, there was no more puke, everyone was happy, got a bath, and I did a giant load of laundry. 

Thursday morning everyone is vomit free at the 5:30 feeding, and despite running late I feel like I'm winning when I get in the shower and don't have to wash baby vom off myself. I rush around like an asshole, realize the shoes I want are in a drawer at the office (I think), pick other shoes because I'm not going to the office and get out the door only a little late. 

First text of the morning informs me that S woke up in a crib full of vomit. Awesome. 

Thursday was four or five more outfits, more crib bedding, and when I came home the house smelled like baby poop because they have been going through diapers like shitting is an Olympic sport. I took off my suit before touching anyone, and relived a somewhat bedraggled looking husband. Changed some more diapers, did more laundry, fed babies, took out all the garbage in the house and sprayed eveything with Lysol.  And I'm still convinced I got the easy part of dealing with this flu.

Hubby should get a medal for what he deemed a 48 hour flu. Instead he got the flu. Then I got the flu. In fact, this post was delayed more than a day because I was busy emptying the contents of my stomach and generally feeling like death warmed over.

This is their first time sharing, and they did it with everyone in the house.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have more laundry to do. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Shades of Gray

This is not about that shittily written book or the movie, which I will probably hate-watch when it comes to Netflix. Instead it’s about counting, assholes and how I can’t keep my footwear straight despite the fact that I only have like 6 pairs of shoes that fit.

Last weekend I packed up the girls, tossed them and their crap in the car and headed out for errands. I had to return a pair of oxblood boots to DSW because the heel cap on one shoe disintegrated after 2 wears in my office. Of course they didn’t have any more in my size in the whole wide damn world, and so I had to return them (and of course get something else).

The girls and I pursued the clearance racks because, well, sales, and I eventually picked out a pair of Adrienne Vittadini leopard flats that look like something logical I should own so I can chase babies, and a pair of gray d’orsay Vincent Camuto pumps. Admittedly the latter were somewhat rushed.

These two are nothing alike. They can both stay.
D was holding the flats, happily playing and S was starting to squawk at everything to passed in an effort to voice her displeasure at being in her seat.  Of course I also decided to wear Dr. Martens to DSW because I apparently subconsciously didn’t plan on trying anything on.

“You babies wait here while Mommy wrestles this boot off so I can see if these flats I’m not even sure I like fit. Now wait while I take 10 minutes to lace this shit back up.”

Bad plan.

So I ran out of there with two pairs of shoes, not really satisfied with my purchase and went to Target. By now both girls are freaking out and are pissed to still be strapped in, so I put one in a cart, strap one on in an Ergo, and go into Target.

Now Ergo baby wants out.

I smoosh them both in the seat of a cart meant to apparently hold one very wide child and we’re off.

The next 30 minutes we zipped around Target picking up odds and ends while the girls marveled at life from the seat of a shopping cart (did I mention this was their first cart ride). They looked at everything, tried to touch everything, and every time we passed a person D laughed at them. Loud. In this weird inward breathing baby laugh we refer to as “inward chicken singing.”  This of course makes people notice her and then they stop and talk to me.

The one in zebra (D) is mocking you.
“Oh look, there’s two of them.”  Seriously, I heard that like 15 times. As if I don’t know how many babies I have. I grew them, I was the one who was the size of a house, couldn’t breathe, and had two babies torn from my body two minutes apart. I am also the same person who has been caring for them the last 11 months, including every night when they wake up, usually twice. I am really, really aware there’s two of them.

All comments about how many children I have sitting in the cart were then immediately followed by, “Oh, a boy and a girl?”

What? Sure. The boy is the one in pink. Or is he the one in zebra with hearts on the pants? They’re both wearing Cabbage Patch Kid hats with pigtails? Obviously the redhead. With the pigtails.

Assholes. I am no longer embarrassed that my baby is inexplicably laughing at you. It is obvious it’s because she realizes how dumb you are before you open your mouth.

Finally we packed up and went home for a vaguely overdue lunch. I unpacked all my stuff, looked at the shoes, placed them in the closet, and realized that the Vince Camuto heels are the exact same style and color as another pair of gray heels I just bought. But they’re different shades. Maybe I should just keep them both. Going out again to return them is entirely too much effort.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wear it Once

I’m a total clothes nut. So are my mom and both sisters. Mom also loves buying her grandchildren clothes. As a result, I have yet to really buy a lot of clothes for my girls, which is good because I think they were in 9 month sizes for literally a month, and then they shot up to 12 months, which they are now rapidly growing out of.

They are also skinny and their pants fall down all the time leaving them standing in a diaper like life is one giant episode of “Pants Off Dance Off,” but they need the height (cause they’re all of 2 feet tall).  Wearing 12 month clothes at 11 months isn't really an accomplishment, and they’re still kind of little peanuts even though they seem really huge compared to when they came home.I'm pretty sure the growth spurt is coming from their new love of food.

So far they're not big fans of salami. That's it. They eat eggs, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, all kinds of fruits, veggies, tacos, tortillas. They even had salsa. Husband and I literally just give them little finger food portions of whatever we're having (unless it's pizza night at which point they get something healthy) and they feed themselves.

Tortilla party!
Yes, this is as messy as it sounds, but they're obviously getting something into their mouth because they're growing like crazy.

With their first birthday right around the corner and a closet full of 12 months clothes, we are now making an effort to have them wear every outfit at least once before they outgrow it. At least that’s my goal. Husband would be content to let them hang out in pajamas all the time. “They’re just going to shit it up anyway,” is a common sentiment in my house. Also, we are still in the rabid squirrel phase of teething, which means that everything they get near is immediately covered in drool. This includes shirts, hands, toys, the floor, the crib, the bed and the dog.

So here’s to trying to get them to wear all their outfits in the next month before they turn 1 and move into the next size (again). I’m not sure they care what they’re wearing, but I do, and they’re always going to look cute.  What you're wearing is important when you're trying to accessorize by rubbing refried beans in your hair. We also need to invest in some drawstring pants or baby belts because as soon as they start walking, which we are dangerously close to, they’re going to get even skinnier. In fact, as soon as they start walking I think we’ll all get skinnier as we chase them around in different directions. 

I think I'm going to need new shoes for that.