gratitude: when the marathon becomes a sprint (aka: the Nike Hallelujah)

My shopping experiences with Bear have born a greater resemblance to marathons than sprints.  The girl’s never met a store she didn’t want to browse, and the concept of window shopping eludes her.  Every aisle, sometimes twice, running commentary the whole time. 

What can I say?  The girl loves to shop.

Except a single glorious experience when it came to back to school shoe shopping.

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things I can’t handle, school edition

“School days, school days
Dear old Golden Rule days
‘Reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hick’ry stick…”

Will Cobb and Gus Edwards ©1907

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This song has always left me with more questions than answers.  Why do they say “dear old” Golden Rule days?  Did they graduate out of that one?  Why does Reading have an apostrophe in front of it when you haven’t dropped a letter?  And how exactly does that hickory stick set the rhythm?  I imagine a teacher thumping a walking stick on the floor, but it also makes me think about nuns and those rulers…

At any rate, we’ve reached the final weekend before school begins – that milestone deserves an academic edition of Things I Just Can’t Handle.

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how new math ruined the grocery store

Come on, you know you’ve wondered about some of these.  I’m not losing sleep or anything, but I’ve run a few internal rants about some of these.  Check out Nick’s commentary on grocery stores:

Paper towels that advertise you are buying “Like 8” rolls when you are only purchasing 6 thick rolls –  It’s not “like 8” rolls.  It’s 6 rolls!  Recently, and I swear this is true, I bought a package of 6 paper towel rolls that are usually ”like 8,” but it had a large “BONUS ROLL” label on it because somehow it was “like 9”, when it was still only 6 rolls.  I hate this new math.  If I am going to pay for “Like 8” or “Like 9” paper towel rolls, I think I should be able to pay “Like full price.”

How are 6 paper towels like 9? Things that annoy me in grocery stores – nickclaussen.com

cheeky, extra cheeky, and the pursuit of full coverage

Bear’s turning out to be a pretty fun chick.  Funny, smart, silly…opinionated and not the least bit afraid to say what she thinks.  Hanging out with her is a good time.  Can she be a little hormonal at times?  Sure.  But then again, so can I.

Me and my girl, my girl and me.

Which is how the two of us have managed to survive not just jeans shopping but the pursuit of the ultimate retail unicorn:  swimsuits.

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ginger root, fennel, and a great rutabaga

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not big on vegetables.  Actually, “made no secret” might be a bit of an overstatement.  I worry my parenting skills might be questioned (or a blood panel ordered) if I openly admitted exactly how lacking in vegetable expertise I am.  Let’s just say, for sake of clarity, that I have an extremely limited palate.

And nothing makes that fact more glaringly apparent than a stroll through the Harris Teeter produce section.

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your guide to all things ‘Roe

Most of you already know I Roe since I dedicated Wednesday’s gratitude post to it.  Yes, it’s true – sometimes I’m grateful for housing and clean air, sometimes I’m grateful for ridiculous things like leggings.  So be it.

I completely blame sista-friend for this.  We met up for dinner last November, and when I showed up at the table she swiftly invited me to feel her legs.  (Yes, we do things like that.  Sure, even in a restaurant.  Carpe diem.)  She went on to describe the magical leggings that made her feel as if she could run a marathon which, considering she’s a teacher, is quite a perk.  You never know when you’ll have to chase down one of those little buggers in a hallway.

But I digress.  I took her up on her offer, then touched her leggings again, then ran my hand across her leg once more for good measure.  By this time I’m certain the patrons at nearby tables were starting to wonder, but it didn’t matter because I was mesmerized.  So soft…so buttery…SO on my list of things to buy as soon as I got home.

“They’re like butter, those leggings.  They are.

I know comparing an article of clothing to something you slather on toast might seem weird, but these leggings are deliciously soft to the touch.  When I see someone else wearing LuLaRoe leggings, I get this urge to go up and touch them (I know that’s really weird, but OMG these leggings).”

10 Things You Gotta Know If You Are Going To (Lula)Roe – Scary Mommy

grannies, hipsters, bikinis, and a g-string

BrightSide and I often joke about how men have it so easy when it comes to clothes.  There are only about eight basic levels of dress, from tore-up-scrappy to formal wear, whereas women juggle approximately 537 combinations when it comes to fashion choices.

If you want to use the conservative estimate, that is.

I thought I’d factored in all the variables, but recently a thought struck me like lightning out of a clear blue sky: I’d failed to take into account the skivvies.

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Missing Letter Monday: no Y

missing letter banner

Today’s post will tackle the horror of swimsuit shopping for girls.  Minus the Ys, of course.

No Why on earth do they make those itty bitty string bikinis for little girls?  Or Why don’t they sell these pieces separately?  Not everyone has a top and bottom that are the same size!  Or Why can’t Bear just wear a t-shirt and shorts to the lake so we can skip this torture altogether?

Nope, won’t be asking any of those questions today.  Or using the word today for that matter.

This challenge brought to you by The Mad Grad Student’s Missing Letter Mondays.


This is an annual rite of passage: the onerous hunt for Bear’s swimsuits.

It’s a precarious situation.  Show too much enthusiasm for a suit and Bear will pass it up without a second glance.  Exhibit horror and she’ll insist on checking it out.

It takes a delicate approach – using just a hint of suggestion – to get the right suits into the dressing room.  Because that’s more than half the battle right there.  With six suits I can live with, Bear’s got lots of room to choose.  Throw in one minuscule string bikini that she falls in love with and then we’ve got a problem.

Pourquoi?  (Sure, French meets the guidelines for Missing Letter posts.)  Because I’m looking a lot farther down the road than the cash register.  I’m looking at two weeks into the season when Bear feels fat and makes the mistake of putting on that string bikini, thus ruining it for the entire summer.  Because as we ladies know, once we put on a swimsuit while in a foul mood the image is burned into our brains.  Three weeks later that bikini might look just fine, but all Bear will see is the time she felt fat in it.  And the bikini will never see pool time again.

Nope.  Taking the right suits into the dressing room is crucial.  After that, it’s all about gentle guidance toward a comfortable fit and what will work best with Bear’s activities.

We did well this spring, all in all.  I’m throwing out a big old muchas gracias for full cut bottoms this season.  With luck, those will be in next summer, too.

Fingers crossed.