Category Archives: Shoes

Fits, chocolate, the Dear Hubby, and composting

A couple of days ago, my hubby very greatly surprised me with an envelope inscribed in his all-caps, neat, architect-style printing:

FOR:  MY DEAREST
KAREN JOY
(OPEN WHEN I’M @ SMALL GROUP)

I was expecting a kind and encouraging note.  We seem to oftentimes communicate best through the written word.  The envelope, however, did not contain a note.

Mmmmm....

I will also mention that my receipt of this surprise came on the heels of me pitching a fit that he wanted a few squares of my horded (in the freezer) chocolate bar, to which I’d been treating myself THREE SAVORED SQUARES, nightly.  I should have just said, “Yes, Dear.”  In fact, I did say something like that, but it it required a Herculean effort to share, and I guess my body language reflected my internal dilemma — not really wanting to share, yet knowing that HE’S MY HUSBAND and he should be able to have any bit of “my” chocolate that he wants.

We ended up having an argument, and I really didn’t think he understood, that, at times, I find it difficult to deal with “all I have is yours”, especially since I have no stipend/allowance/spending/pocket money to spend as I’d like, and instead, have to carve a bit — in this case, $1.50, on sale — out of some section of our budget — in this case, groceries — in order to have a little something nice for myself.

I still don’t know where the right spot is on this topic.  God made humans with the innate desire to earn and own (which is why Communism doesn’t work).  However, the American culture takes that whole concept of earning and owning WAY TOO FAR over the top, to the point of materialism being the defining “god” of our country, and perhaps — Dear Lord, let it not be so! — that has permeated my heart.  I absolutely don’t want to be selfish — my husband and I do have everything in common, and I believe that is Biblical.  But, it would be lovely to have some discretionary funds, to purchase, willy-nilly (or carefully considered), things like chocolate or earrings or a pair of shoes I don’t really need or an additional long-sleeved shirt or two or on a fancy coffee or something decorative for our family room wall or a pretty little candle.  Or something.  Anything.  Without having to make a down-to-the-penny accounting for its necessity.

I don’t regret not being employed, which means, by default, that we have to be careful — very careful — with our funds.

All of this came to the fore, when it felt like I was required to share what I had hoped would be mine.

And, I guess that is a fit.

~sigh~

I didn’t handle it well.  I’m not even sure if I apologized, because, at the time, I felt justified.  NOT in not sharing — I was willing, though unwilling (if that makes sense) — to share.  I felt justified in feeling (and expressing) that it would be lovely to have some freedom to purchase something just because it made my own heart happy, and stymied, because that’s just not in the budget.

Like I said, I’m not sure I have an entirely Godly attitude about this.  I’m not sure what is the right and Godly attitude.  Give all of my chocolate away with no regrets, I guess, and never feel wistful for a cute and entirely impractical pair of shoes.

One way or another, even if I’m not walking in complete supernatural maturity on the issue of sharing, I just wanted my hubby to understand my heart, my thoughts, even my sadness.

In the end, though I felt like he completely did not understand where I was coming from, perhaps he did.

To my shock, inside the envelope was a hundred dollar bill.

I believe it’s from the money he unexpectedly earned for playing guitar at a friend’s wedding.  Every time he is asked to do music for a wedding, which is usually 3-4 times yearly, he assumes it’s for free, and that way, we’re pleasantly surprised if there’s payment involved.  Occasionally, he gives the money back.  He didn’t, this last time.

I remember, early in our marriage, when I was more prone to argue over just about everything, I’d cut into him up one side and down the other, and eventually, he’d capitulate.  I learned very early on that:

a.  This made for very hollow victories
b.  Getting “my way” really didn’t matter much if

  • I had a husband who was wounded, and
  • who didn’t trust me to be kind, and
  • there was no peace in our home.

So, I’m very careful now, over what I’ll argue.  My husband is, himself, so kind that, even if I’m wrong — either in what I’m saying, or how I’m saying it — he’ll cover me with his mercy, and choose to give me (or agree to, or whatever) that on which I was insisting.  That can be much more humbling than losing, lemme tell you.

I was not asking for money.  I was asking to be understood that I struggle with having to say, “Everything belongs to you.  I own nothing.”

I’m not sure if the gift in the envelope was him capitulating (which would be a rather unsatisfactory outcome), or if, upon thoughtful consideration and prayer, he thought maybe I should have some pocket money, every once in a while.  He’s humble like that, and willing to bend, when I am usually not.  ~sigh~  I do so have a lot to learn.

In any case, for the last two days, I’ve been carrying the envelope and its contents around in my pocket, dreamily considering how I might spend it.  His only stipulation was that I not spend it on anything for the kids.

I haven’t entirely decided, but it would fit in with another of my goals — to get my raised-bed garden to grow something other than weeds — if I spent some of the money on a composter.  Every time I send a carrot peeling or the heel of a stalk of celery into the trash, I regret not having a system for composting, and a flourishing garden into which I can put the compost.

I spent some time, this morning, looking into composters.  I’d really like a tumbling one.  But, the composters of any variety which I can afford are flimsy, and seem like a huge waste of fifty or a hundred bucks.  Even used, on Craigslist, most of the good ones are going for $150 and up.  Then, I discovered that the City of Phoenix has a program, in which they re-purpose damaged trash bins, turning them into compost bins — really, just trash bins with big holes drilled in the side.  The city sells them for $5.  I was worried, though, about being able to properly aerate the bin, and mix up its contents.  Then, I stumbled upon this contraption, called The Compost Crank, which, by all accounts is a very effective, nearly effortless way to turn over the compost pile.  I’m still looking for one locally.  I found one shop that normally carries them, but is currently out of stock.  I’ve found several online retailers, but with shipping (it’s an 8 lb, 45″ long, one-piece stainless steel tool), it would run me about $50.

So.  If I went this route, It would cost me $55, tops, to have an mega-environmentally-friendly composting system.  Not just because I’m composting, but because the bin is repurposed — not another piece of newly-minted plastic junk — and the Compost Crank is made from post-consumer recycled stainless steel.  Voila!

I feel very good about this.

It’s something I’ve wanted to do, but hasn’t been in the budget.  It’s for me, but it serves my family, as well.

Seems like a win-win.

(And, if I do some very careful shopping, I’ll still have money left for a cute pair of shoes, and a top, and some nice little trinket or two for our home!)

 

Bread that is kicking my rear, mothering genes, sandals, and your questions

  • 32 loaves of bread in a 2.5 week span will, apparently, cause your Sunbeam Mixmaster to irreparably break.  Anyone have a KitchenAid they wanna sell cheap?  In related news, if you have a KitchenAid on Craigslist in Phoenix, and you’ve sold your mixer, please delete your ad, because nonfunctional ads have caused my hopes to be raised and dashed a number of times in the last few days.
  • 32 loaves of bread that never quite work out the way they’re supposed to will, also, eventually lead to a sense of Baking Inadequacy and discouragement.  😦  I’m knocked down, but I’m not knocked out.  Not yet, anyway.
  • 32 loaves of bread in a 2.5 week span will also help you pack on a few pounds.
  • I read this with interest:  Can a Bad Mother Help Her Nature? in the Times of London.  When Ethan, my oldest, was born, I often felt like there was some sort of mothering gene that was supposed to kick in that, in me, wasn’t.  It may be that I wasn’t far off.  According to the article, and my own experience, a solid community of support is critical for the development of mothers to whom mothering doesn’t really come all that naturally.  (Makes your posts, Daja, about post-partum care come to mind — your post which I cannot find.  If you send me a link, I’ll post it here, if you don’t mind. Find all of Daja’s relevant, beautiful, and important posts about post-partum care here — especially read her “Time to Heal” series.)
  • Stride Rite Lollipop

    I’d also really like to find a pair of NARROW little girl’s sandals, white, real leather, that DON’T cost $30+.  I’m still looking.  If you have any tips, send ’em my way.  My fave so far:

  • I had something else I wanted to say, but now I can’t remember.  I’ll have to save it for another day, I suppose.  However, I also thought that if anyone has any questions of any sort for which you think I may have an answer, I’d love to give it a shot.  Any topic!

Christmas, clothes, and too many “Bud Vase”s, year-end video

  • I recently was going to post about how dearly I love wee flowers, brought to me by my kids, cheering my world in the bud vase on my counter top.  This sweet image, though, has been overridden by my husband overhearing my 3yo daughter saying, “Bud vase,” and thinking she was saying something naughty… then, him laughing hysterically about it, the all the boys catching on, and now, days later, my husband and me up to our EARS with the boys calling each other, “Bud Vase.”  (Say it aloud.)
  • The five best kids ever (and the doggie), Christmas morning

    Christmas!  I have only a few grainy pics from my phone.  Ugh.  However, my Dad tells me that, rather than repairing my camera (which he’s had since… June?  July?), that he’s going to buy me a new one!  That’s fabulous.  We’ve been essentially camera-less since April, and that’s a long time.  Anyways.  Christmas was great — lovely, happy, full of family warmth.  On The Day, we had my Mom & Stepdad, Martin’s Dad & Stepmom, my brother, his wife, and two of their three boys (the other in California with my SIL’s parents) over for the afternoon and evening, eating a non-traditional dinner of Thai omelette soup (I should post a recipe!).  Our home was full, loud, and happy.  And, GOD PROVIDES.  If I went into detail, I’d be typing forever.  So, suffice it to say that our Christmas, which we all thought would be spare and lacking in provision, was overflowing.  Overflowing.  God is so good;  He’s amazing.

  • I am now a size 6.  I haven’t been a size 6 since before I had kids.  I now weigh less than I did before I got pregnant with my oldest, who is now 12½.  But, even there, God provides!!  Slacks on clearance at Macy’s for about $10 each, plus some borrowed jeans from a sweet friend who also has recently, unintentionally lost weight and is now a size 4!  So, I have four pairs of jeans on loan from her, two sixes, and two eights.
  • The little rosette, the heel height & shape, the rounded toe... perfect

    Not really size-related, but I also found a FABULOUS pair of black pumps on the 26th.  I haven’t been this excited about shoes in a long time… mostly because we just don’t have the money to get as many shoes as I would LIKE, so I typically purchase shoes that are sensible and long-lasting, rather than cute… Then I admire the shoes of my pastor’s wife, Nancy.  However, I found these for $6.99 on clearance at Ross, so I figured I could spend seven bucks on some totally insensible shoes.  I’m so excited about them, I wore them to the grocery store last night.  Hahahahaha!  I have huge feet — size 10.  But, as I’ve lost those nearly-30 pounds, I have discovered that my feet have shrunk a bit.  Who knew?  I had fat feet.  So now, I can wear a 9½ again — and these shoes are even 9W!  They’d be better in a slightly larger size, but this was the only pair Ross had.  🙂

  • Our church’s year end video…  FANTASTIC.  Many on here have commented about my church’s dynamics.  If you would like to see it in action, there’s a nearly-34 minute video here.  In a way it’s a best-of-the-year video, and in a way, it’s just really typical as to what takes place.  My whole fam is mixed in there…  Some personal highlights are:  My older two boys quoting Psalm 102 at 1:22;  My hubby leading worship at 5:07 (he’s in LOTS of other places, too); Me leading worship at 5:20;  Audrey being a “PUWH-son” at 12:36… And my son Ethan at the soundboard at the very end.  🙂

YAY! Shoes for Audrey, and $10 coupon for you, too

I have searched, for likely too long for the last couple of days, trying to find a reasonable price on Skechers Twinkle Toes for Audrey.  She saw a commercial on Saturday (which is pretty much the only time she sees TV that has commercials), and started squealing over the shoes.  On Sunday, there was an ad for a local shoe store that is selling the shoes.  I showed it to Audrey.  She kept the ad, and is now sleeping with it.  Sleeping with it.

However, those shoes are stinkin’ 40 bucks!  Or, maybe $35, depending on where you purchase them.  I just can’t spend that.  I searched in vain for a better deal — Craigslist, eBay, every website and shopwiki imaginable.  I just could not find a pair for less than $35, shipping included, in Audrey’s size.

Plus… the reviews I read for these shoes were spotty, at best.

Aargh.  My daughter’s in love with expensive shoes that fall apart!

Then — and I dearly hope I’ve done the right thing — I found a similar pair of shoes that got much better reviews, and was $25.  $25 is still more than I think I’ve ever paid for a pair of kids’ shoes.  I think she will adore them;  I don’t know if she will think they are Twinkle Toes or not… or if the sequins that are on these shoes will be enough special sparkle.

Audrey is not bratty and demanding; normally I know she would ADORE the shoes I’ve purchased.  But, I really do want to give my kids things for Christmas that they want.  (This is the only thing we’re purchasing for Audrey.  I got a lovely white wood doll crib and high chair off of Freecycle that needs some minor refurbishing.  That, and the shoes, will be her Christmas presents.)

Although my website has forever been totally non-commercial, I decided to go ahead and post a coupon to a site where I finally found the BEST deal.  They currently have a coupon code “SHOP” that will get you 20% off, plus free shipping.  They also have free return shipping, in case the shoes don’t work out.  And, in interests of full disclosure, if five people click on this and use it, I will get a $100 giftcard, which would be nice.  🙂

Save on shoes, accessories, handbags and apparel at Shoebuy.com. We’ve got something for everyone and for a limited time, you can save $10 on that special something. Valid on purchase of $50 or more.

Mismatched shoes, “love you man”, baking, babies, and books

  • Saturday.  Shopping at Trader Joe’s.  Baby Fiala with me.  I’m shifting in the check-out line, biding my time.  My feet feel weird.  I look down.  I am aghast to discover that I had on one BLACK shoe and one BROWN shoe.  I was sssssooooo embarrassed that I had to confess to the check-out lady.  😆  I can’t recall that I’ve ever done that — wear mismatched shoes out of the house, that is.  I think I’ve randomly confessed to checkout ladies at the grocery store before, though!!  Hahaha!  The shoes were vaguely similar in style, but one had a hard sole and the other soft;  I can’t figure out quite how I could let that happen.  I so wanted to take a pic, but the battery on my phone died.
  • We’re not doing a gingerbread house this year.  The deadline for judging was November 30, which would have meant we would have had to spend the week of Thanksgiving doing the house.  That wouldn’t work.  I thought the kids would be crushed, but they weren’t.  They just asked, “Are you still going to make a bunch of cookies?” and I assured them that I would, but I still haven’t.  😮
  • I still love farinata.  I still make it every day, sometimes twice.  I don’t let the batter sit for four hours first though;  I can’t figure out why most recipes instruct you to do that!  I just whip it up and pop it in the oven.  Some brands of garbanzo flour, I’ve found, are lumpier than others, and benefit from, oh, 15 minutes of sitting.  But not four hours.  My fresh rosemary plant is plucked to twigs;  I had to buy some fresh sprigs at the grocery store  last night!!
  • Thanks to my friend Allison, we’ve been enjoying the Horatio Hornblower series as a family.  Love it.  My hubby and I did see the first four when they first aired on A&E years ago, but we haven’t seen the newer four episodes.  Everyone in the fam has been watching it.  Then, come to find out that there are BOOKS upon which they were based (written in the 1950s & ’60s).  Duh.  Should have figured that out long ago.  An e-mail just popped in from the library to to tell me that the first two in the series, by C.S. Forester, are now available to pick up.  The boys will be thrilled!  I was told that the Hornblower novels were based on Horatio Nelson’s life, but at least according to Wikipedia, maybe they weren’t — at least not entirely.
  • My hubby and I swapped trucks on Friday, so he had the nicer one in which to pick up a guy from the airport.  I thought this was FABULOUS.  It tells you that a) his truck has a LOT of miles on it, and b) the guy who does work on our vehicles is a really good friend!!!
  • I still don’t have my Christmas decorations up.  😮  I want to have my house perfectly clean before decorating, and, um, it’s not.  I was just reflecting that, in general, this has been my worst year of housekeeping EVER.  Fiala is such a precious, happy little girl, but she has been very time-consuming, and as she still wakes about every 3 hours, 24/7, to nurse, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in, oh, a year.  That saps the energy, lemme tell you.  I’ve been thinking about asking my hubby for once-a-month maid service for Christmas, just to do dusting/polishing.  I can get everything else done (usually), or assign it to one of the children as a chore, but I’m sickened (not literally) by the 1/4″ of dust that piles up on everything.  Then, it picks at the back of my mind and drives me batty.
  • Speaking of housework, I’m now off to mop the floors!!  I get odd satisfaction of having REALLY clean tile floors.  Nothing like a crawling baby to tell you whether or not a floor is clean.
  • OH!  Speaking of crawling babies, Fiala is now almost-walking.  She still prefers crawling when she needs to get somewhere in a hurry, but she regularly takes steps now.  Her record is 16 in a row.  We all get excited and exclaim and clap, whereby she promptly sits down.

Thrift store shopping online

I’ll admit it:  I get annoyed when shopping thrift stores.  Occasionally, you can find great deals, but often, when I need jeans for the kids, of course, there are no jeans to be found, as every other parent is shopping for the same thing at the same time.

I guess I value my time more than the potential steal;  I want to know that an item is going to be AVAILABLE if I go shopping for it.  I will go to several different stores if need be, but only if I DON’T have the kids with me.  Every time I unload five kids from the truck, it’s a MINIMUM of 30 minutes in and out, and usually a lot longer than that.  That gets tedious.

Every time I go to Target, I check the clearance racks.  Most often, of course, it’s off-season stuff, and sometimes I stock up for next year…  And Ross.  I like going to Ross for new clothing for the kids, and I usually buy their shoes there, too.  I also like Ross in that the kids’ stuff is close by the toys, so usually the kids can look at the toys and still be within eyesight as I check on clothes or shoes.

We also live on hand-me-downs.  I love hand-me-downs.  And, the occasional Freecycle bag o’ clothing, which is usually about half-usable.

I'm not a huge fan of animal prints, but Audrey is!

Especially for my girls, though, I get most of their clothing from eBay.  I set myself a limit of $2 per item, including shipping.  This almost always means that I have to purchase things in lots.  When I need to buy something, I just do a search in the size I need, usually including the word “lot” in the search, find what fits the bill, and place my max bid.  I get out-bid a lot.  I stick to my guns and almost never go back and up my bid.  The only time I do is if I’ve already won something from that seller, and the seller will combine shipping, so I can afford to pay a bit more.

This past weekend, I bought some clothes for Audrey — 15 pieces for $27 and change, five from one seller, and 10 from another.  Two sweaters, five long-sleeved shirts, one short-sleeved shirt, two skirts, a pair of tights, and four pairs of pants.  Everything in “excellent used condition” except for one pair of jeans that are a bit worn (no holes) at the knees.  Most of the stuff is from The Children’s Place.  (I like TCP, because their clothing is usually trendy/up-to-date, but higher quality than Target clothing, and not nearly as pricey as Gymboree.  I’m not necessarily into name-brand stuff, but there are a few brands I like because I know it’s going to mean that the item is well-made.)

So, mission accomplished:  Less than $2/item spent, and now Audrey is just about set for this winter (with those items combined with the hand-me-downs, Freecycle clothes, and a few new things she already had).  Woo hoo!

I know there are a lot of thrift store adherents out there, and eBay isn’t quite the deal that it used to be, but there are still bargains to be had for moms like me, whose taste (and the clothing needs of seven people!) exceeds her budget.  🙂

Audrey the Fire Cat

My mom thinks my daughter Audrey is the greatest thing ever.  Actually, it’s nice to have someone regularly sing Audrey’s praises, because it keeps things in perspective for me, and helps me not to focus on the squealing/screaming/yelling all the livelong day.  (Audrey, enjoying her standard ear-piercing decibel level, will often joyously proclaim at the top of her lungs, “I’M LOUD!!!“)

Audrey is similarly smitten with Grandma, because a) she is always available to read a book to her, and b) wears jewelry, which are probably Audrey’s two highest criteria for character evaluation.

So, of course, Audrey and Grandma sit next to each other at the dinner table when my mom and stepdad come over for their weekly visits.

Last week, my mom looked over at Audrey and started chuckling.  “What was that book?  The one with the cat who…”  Immediately, I knew where my mom was going with this.  “…has huge paws that he needs to grow into?”

The Fire Cat,” we all answered her, since we own the book, and everyone is familiar with the story.  “Pickles the Fire Cat.”

“Hahaha!  Yes, that’s right.  Audrey…”  my mom went on about the parallels between the two, largely dwelling on foot size.

I glowered.

I seriously have the biggest, ugliest feet of anyone I know, and it was much to my consternation that, from literally hours after her birth, everyone was exclaiming over Audrey’s ginormous feet.  Why couldn’t I have given my big feet gene — which I got, incidentally, from my mother — to my sons???  Nope, it’s my girly girl, who is absolutely enamored with shoes, who gets the too-big-for-cute-shoes-and-don’t-even-think-about-strappy-sandals foot-size gene.

She won’t even be three until April, and at last weigh-in, was 27 lbs.  The last pair of shoes I got for her were toddler size 9, which are typically worn by four or five year olds.  Compound it with her spindly little legs, it’s sadly comical.

My own dear husband has held shoes I’ve purchased for Audrey, asking skeptically, “You sure these will fit?  They look way too big.”  Then, she tries them on… yes, they fit.

Poor girl.

Woo-hoo! A hiking trip!

Willow ValleyI’m very happy that my friend Erin and I have settled on a weekend in May for an overnight hike.  The location isn’t quite decided, but we have some good ideas. 

I am SO excited about the trip.  I love to hike, but my hubby doesn’t.  My kids simply tolerate hiking, except Grant, who adores hiking, too.  And, hiking by one’s self isn’t really safe.  So, going with a friend is a fantastic plan, IMO.  Plus, I really don’t get many opportunities to spend time one-on-one with a girlfriend, so I’m really looking forward to conversation and hanging out with Erin. 

I’ve actually never been on an overnight hike;  just day hikes.  I have a TON of camping equipment, but it’s all for “car camping,” not hike-in camping, which means it’s all heavy.  This means I’m either going to spend a ton of money, or borrow a bunch of Erin’s stuff (she’s a frequent overnight hiker).  Actually, my plan is to borrow quite a bit, and keep my equipment expenses under $200.  Rather like when we started camping as a family, we borrowed a bunch of stuff from my parents, then every trip we made, we purchased more of our own, and borrowed less.  And, now that we have everything a family of six needs to camp, we haven’t been camping in two years.  But, that’s another story. 

We want our hike to incorporate water, and the place I have in mind has several big stream crossings, so I’ll need to get some different shoes.  I usually just hike in my tennies.  I’m looking forward to getting some new shoes, like this or this or this.  I’ll need to get some pants, too.  Nylon ones, so they’ll dry quickly.  But, I’ll also be 4+ months pregnant, and will need some elastic in the waist.  I really don’t like the idea of spending $40+ on hiking pants, but I might get something like this.  Well, here’s some on sale for $18, but I don’t like the look of them.  We’ll see. 

To make things easier on my hubby, I have one son shipped out for the weekend, and will likely get my oldest son “placed”, too.  I have to get a babysitter for the Friday we’ll be gone, too, but we do have some wonderfully responsible and reliable babysitters, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

I’ll pack my camera (in a waterproof bag) and some extra batteries, and hopefully, do a nice blog writeup of it when we finally go.  🙂

 

Audrey: The Shoe Meltdown and the Hello Kitty Discovery

I surely looked like the uncaring mother, today in Target. 

We had to get a few things, and I decided to swing by to see if they had any shoes on sale for Wesley, and to see if the white-leather-with-sparkles tennies were on sale for Audrey, too.  I’ve been watching for a good two months now, waiting, hopefully, for them to go on sale for $10 or so.  Well, though they appear to be on sale online, they weren’t in the store.  However, I decided to suck it up and pay the full price, $15 for them.

While we looked at shoes for Audrey, she squealed.  Well, while we looked in vain at shoes for Wesley, she squealed.  I mean, loud.  Piercing, complete with near-hyperventilation.  Then, when I could see that they did not have her size, I had to try a bigger size on her already-ginormous feet, to see if they would work… She squealed when I removed her little mary jane.  Then, she squealed when I had to take the trial shoe off of her because it was just way too big.  Actually, at that point, the squealing escalated into full-scale screaming, complete with tears.

And what was the root cause of this meltdown?  The nearness, yet the inaccessibility, of so many shoes.  Audrey adores shoes.  To obsession, she adores them.  But, like many addictions, merely holding the shoes, inspecting them, trying them on, or even BUYING a pair doesn’t soothe her.  She doesn’t want just one pair or two, she wants all — ALL — of the shoes in the whole store, and she wants them immediately.  And when I cannot comply, the meltdown ensues.  She’s 19 months old, and her shoe obsession, which began young (and with no encouragement from me) is full-blown, and totally out of control.

She had a few toys, and her bottle with her, but of course, they offered no comfort.  Ethan tried to play with her, and she screamed all the louder.  I spoke to her, first soothingly, then sternly, to no avail.  I tried parking her around the corner of the aisle, out of the sight of the girl-shoes.  Whoops!  I didn’t see those shiny pink rain boots!  Lordy, that is loud.   

Worse, since they did not have the shoes I wanted at Target for Wes or Audrey, we had to go to another store.  A similar situation started unfolding there in the crowded, messy aisles of Ross, until Audrey grabbed a pink, sparkly shirt (much too big for her) off of the rack, and contented herself fiddling with it.  I got a few disapproving looks from a nearby mother, but really, I’d rather have her mess with a tee shirt than scream to high heaven, and so would Mrs. Evil Eye, even though she didn’t know it.

I did find a really great pair of Stride Rite shoes for Wes (only $12.99!), but nothing for Audrey.  Finally, I decided that I would go ahead and get her a new dolly, since our dog took Audrey’s ONE doll and chewed her ear off.  We found a doll, but upon passing this:   she dropped the doll and panted for the Hello Kitty, immediately begging for the “Kitty Dolly.”  It was only $5, less than the doll we’d selected, so we put the doll back on the shelf and went to pay for Wesley’s shoes and the Hello Kitty.

This innate longing for hyper-girly things just amazes me.  To the best of my knowledge, Audrey’s never seen anything Hello Kitty.  We don’t own anything of the iconic feline.  Yet, immediately, it grabbed her attention. 

It’s hard to tell from the pic, but this “Kitty Dolly” is really sweet:  soft plush, with “patent” brown shoes, a bouquet of felt roses, and a dress.  Audrey kept looking her over, inspecting, proclaiming, “wah-loh!” (flower) “dress!” “sooze!” (shoes) “Kitty!”  “Dolly!”  I mean, it had just about all her favorite things, all in one place.  Hug the kitty.  Kiss the kitty.  Look at the kitty’s outfit.  Touch the kitty’s bow.  Have Mommy kiss the kitty.  Hold up the kitty and demand of passersby, “Look!”

Ross, though, didn’t have the right shoes for her.  I blew into Famous Footwear, which is usually too expensive for me, but I was getting desperate.  As quickly as we could, I surveyed the toddler girl shoes.  No plain white leather tennies.  Audrey, in my arms, started again to hyperventilate. We’re outta there. 

My wise 10yo, Ethan, said, “Mom, you’re not going to be able to take Audrey with you anymore when you shop for shoes.  She’s getting worse and worse.”  He’s right.  I’ll have to do that, because, three stores later, and we still don’t have tennies for her.  She has three pairs of mary janes, and a little pair of moccasin-boots, but no daily-wear, casual shoes. 

Golly.  Girls and shoes.  And Hello Kitty.  How does one teach self control to a 19 month old?  Really, we’re working on it.  She knows how to say, “Please.”  But the whole, “I’m sorry, but you may not have that” sends her into conniptions, way worse than any fits any of my boys used to throw.  Ah, the joys and terrors of motherhood.

Shoe obsession. It starts young.

Speaking of shoes

My friend Shellie sent me a darling pair of white leather Mary Janes that are too big for Audrey.  The shoes were waiting patiently towards the top of Audrey’s closet until she spied them the other day when I’d left the closet door open.  She grunted her feminine little high-pitched, “Uh-ah!” with arms outstretched until I laughingly figured out that she wanted the shoes.  She had been content just carrying them around, but now she tries to put them on, picking up her foot and attempting to place it inside the shoe.

This is yesterday:  

  Trying on shoes (big)

In other news, we’re all fighting illness.  Last week, Audrey and Ethan were sick.  Then, Wes came down with a fever on Sunday.  Audrey got better, then a couple of days later came down with something else, and has been very congested with a fever, and is now throwing up (but I think that has to do with excess mucus, a cough, and a tender gag reflex)… and now Grant is running a fever.  Ugh.  Sadly, we had to cancel having some friends over today — a fairly new family to our church, who I already liked… but when I found out they homeschool, I liked ’em even better!  😉 

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