Sunday, June 08, 2008


I'm posting a discussion question about teens and dress over at MidCenturyModernMoms today. Anyone with anything useful to say on the subject is urged to comment over there. Not that this topic is a thorn in my side, or anything...

Okay, this is my favorite editorial cartoon of the week. It sums up Hillary's non-concession speech better than I ever could. I haven't gotten to listen to the real concession speech yet. But I know how it ends.

It's in the 90's here for the next few days, with humidity over 90% and frequent dangerous thunderstorms threatening life and limb. We all know what that means, don't we? It means it is time for Larry to undertake extremely exhausting outdoor work, work that should not be attempted in this type of weather by mere middle-aged mortals, susceptible as we are to heatstroke and back injury.

So Larry is digging up our 400 square-foot backyard in order to construct a flagstone patio complete with cobblestone edging. That translates into 9 tons of stone dust and 1 ton of cobblestones. All needing to be trucked in by wheelbarrow from the parking lot out front.

At least I won't be tempted to tease him about his lack of a regular exercise routine for a while.

Of course, right after Larry began excavating, we were inundated by weather wet enough to make me consider googling "blueprints ark". The precipitation turned our half-dug yard into a muddy swimming pool which is apparently irresistible to various children belonging to me and to my neighbor. She wasn't too happy the day she had to wade into our mud pit to drag her 5-year-old twin boys out by their arms. I expect to see a For Sale sign in front of their house any day now.

You know, it just occurred to me that no one seems to last very long next door to us.

In an attempt to escape the heat and humidity (and the angry neighbors whose property values we are doing our best to destroy), I took my best friend to the mall yesterday to help her pick out maternity clothes. (We brought our teen daughters with us, for which favor they owe us undying love and adulation.) They wandered around while my friend and I spent an inordinate amount of time in Motherhood, attempting to find maternity clothing suitable for a woman who is not under 25 and stick-figure thin.

Is there any way to let clothing manufacturers know that there are expectant mothers who would like to have shirts that do not accentuate the rolls of fat down our sides? Is that too much to ask? This horrible trend of looking sexy and svelte during pregnancy started when I was pregnant with Susie over 3 years ago, and it shows no signs of abating. I remember weeping because I couldn't find a simple pair of elastic waist shorts with a belly panel (at that point, the maternity fashionistas had decided that I would be more comfortable in shorts that did not cover my belly at all) and an attractive, flowing shirt that would cover up (rather than show off) my middle-aged pregnant body.

So. We finally staggered out of there with 3 acceptable outfits (I do love spending other people's money), a bathing suit (another note to manufacturers: pregnant women need support in the bust area, fellas), and a couple of nursing bras (one more thing? If a woman is wearing a D or larger cup, anything less than 3 rows of hooks in the back of her bra is just a joke. Got that?). I had walked in there a teeny bit jealous of my pregnant friend; I left thanking my lucky stars that I didn't have to go through the humiliation of trying on every single piece of clothing in the store to find something that looked appropriate.

Since the clothing ordeal wasn't enough for me, I came home and decided it was a great day (hot! sunny! weekend!) for the kids and I to take a 5-gallon cooler of lemonade to our local bike trail and charge 50 cents a cup for some refreshment. Did I mention it was hot? And sunny? So hot and sunny, in fact, that there was hardly any business. The kids whiled away the time drinking up their potential profit, while I tried to knit on a sock (bamboo needles and humidity don't mix well) and worried about how many cups of lemonade Susie could hold before she would need the potty. I'm surprised one of the few people biking by didn't call the police and accuse me of child endangerment. It was that hot.

But the kids stuck it out, because they are too young and innocent to realize when their mother is being abusive. And they netted about 17 dollars, which made them feel like Rockefellers. So I guess risking death-by-broiling was worth it.

Have I mentioned it's hot?


  1. At least you didn't send the kids up to sell lemonade after they had rolled in the mud. $17 isn't bad. My kids never make more than $2.
    A friend of mine entered a 5K race under the pseudo name of Hillary Clinton so that even if she lost the race she still won.

  2. I liked the editorial cartoon. I don't like that woman, but I thought the cartoon was funny and right-on-target.

    And now I'm off to check out and/or add to the brouhaha over teenagers and clothing.

  3. So how's the weather where you live?!

    I'm not too fond of the bikini trend for pregnant women. Frankly, I really don't think a 9 month pregnant belly is all that attractive to the general public.

  4. We had two little league games yesterday in that heat. I sweat in places I didn't know I had. I'm not sure why we thought sending our children out in the 100 degree heat to entertain us with their athletic abilities was a good idea, but nobody passed out so we had that going for us.

    Today? The pool.

  5. You're so right, whey cant these darn manufacturers realize that not all women want to expose their stretch marks for everyone to see?

  6. It's really hot here too. And unfortunately, the pool isn't open yet!

    I wore my bikini when pregnant. I didn't want to go out and buy another suit I would only wear for a couple of months. I guess I'm in the minority, because I loved my tummy-hugging maternity clothes and low-rise pants. For the first time in my life, I was completely comfortable with my body.

  7. I think if you ever sell your house you should have an auction. The surrounding neighbors will be more than glad to bid it up in an effort to rid the neighborhood of Those People.

    We're Those People in our neighborhood, and we're surrounded by family.

  8. AnonymousJune 08, 2008

    How funny that we have the same blog titles today!

    I hated shopping for maternity clothes and am happy to be done with that stage of my life. The bras were the absolute worst.

  9. AnonymousJune 08, 2008

    Lol, the muddy backyard strikes a cord, we just had an incident of someone turning on the hose, which resulted in a mud pie fest big enough to include all 4 kids and the dog. Who promptly raced threw the house with her muddy self, anf got it on things I can't even reach.

  10. I can't complain about being hot here, when you have that kind of humidity where you are. You're ruining all my fun. :-)

    Mud daughter is so there.

    Googling "blueprints ark" made me laugh!

  11. I am sorry you have such heat and humidity. I don't do either very well. My mother-in-law wanted us to come to Arkansas in july. My hubby told her there was no way. It is too hot and humid.
    You are a great mom to at least do those fun things with your kids.
    BTW a secondhand store might be the place to go to find maternity clothes that real women might wear.

  12. My daughter used to run a lemonade stand down the road from Lambeau Field. She learned a lot about customer service and money management! And by the way, I've tagged you for a meme. It'll be up tomorrow (Monday).

  13. And here I am, whining in Utah that Spring and Summer are NEVER going to get here.
    The cartoon made me laugh and your friend makes me grateful the last time I needed maternity clothes was like 2 decades ago since our youngest was carried by someone else. Whew, I escaped the horrid fashion trend.

  14. Hey, I hear it's hot over in your neck o' the woods. You may not have noticed.

  15. For some reason neighbors don't last long next door to us either... That mud pool sounds so bad, my floor is looking good.

  16. Hot here too. At least we don't have the humidity but when I'm out in the heat that fact doesn't seem to matter.

  17. I hear ya on the maturnity clothes. I had my first two when i was early 20's, the last two in my early 40's (I know what was I thinking) and 40 pounds heavier to start with, so those pregnant belly shirts horified me. belly shirts for pregos? are you kidding me. I settled for just a few items and called it good. What happened to flowing tent shirts, oh now the skinneys want to wear them.

  18. The day I saw THONG undie in the Motherhood store...I knew it was all over. Blessedly, I lost 45# before I conceived I just wore my regular "fat clothes" through the whole thing...ooops, I forgot...I'm still wearing them.
    Hey, is it hot there?
    Blessings, EJT

  19. elizabeth - Yes, I wondered about those maternity thongs also...I mean, are there pregnant women who want to feel even more uncomfortable?

  20. This is one issue that causes me to become shrill and stutter. I think I had better stop now, but I do want to say that I have taught my children to explore the division of labor BEFORE they get married.

  21. Want maternity clothes for real women? Penny's Catalog! It was a life saver when I started a pregnancy at over 200 lbs. If it can handle that, it can handle the average "real" woman.

    Fine! I clicked the link to the cartoon! Are you happy? I clicked!

    P.S. The cartoon was funny.