A Change of Attitude

Summer break is here. The tiny one is out of school. We all (well not sweet Daddy) sleep in a little later and have our days completely free. We have zero plans in general, with a bit of swimming thrown in later on in the summer. It is both daunting and exhilarating. Tiny 1 is against plans. He inherited this from me. I shun planning in general. He shuns planning AND clothing. He likes to be free to work. He told me last week he had too much work to do to go to a party because his work would probably take him all day. Knowing him, I have not signed him up for any camps. I have gone back and forth on this decision, but he’s at his happiest working in his backyard.

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Knowing his tinier brother, I have ordered a gate for the yard. This adorable, little blonde meatball is a menace.
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Summer just started and I found myself yelling at everyone on Monday, rolling my eyes, threatening and basically being a rotten human, not just a rotten mother. They were naughty, but they are 4 and 21 months, not adults. I thought to myself that the summer was going to be awful and I should find something for them to do, for someone else to watch them sometimes. I went to bed that night and could not sleep. I felt so ashamed. I have 2 tiny, wonderful boys and their moods revolve around mine. If I am naughty, they will of COURSE be naughty. I spent a long time reflecting upon the challenge given to me this summer and the gift of these boys. My original plan was to savor their tiny selves and I was failing, audibly. I decided I needed to change my attitude, something I had been commanding my oldest child to do that day. I prayed that I could do it. I asked for help, and I thought of how much I loved open summer days when I was little.

Guess what? I’m on day 2 of pure bliss. There was a giant temper tantrum in Target yesterday where I ran into so many people I knew, including someone I have been trying to integrate into my friend circle. I was calm and kind. I kept focusing on my attitude change. I was punched in the eye by the tiny meatball and I was again calm and kind–and put him in bed. Attitude change is my motto on refrain.

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Today, we have been building with boxes in our courtyard. We woke up with a mission! We drove around looking for free boxes and then bought a few. Their little eyes sparkled with joy and their faces were colored orange with fake cheese from chips. They’ve eaten primarily junk food and we have been having a marvelous time. They each got to choose a paint roller at Home Depot. The meatball kept throwing both rollers out of the cart, severely upsetting his brother who chose his with such care and would never behave in such a manner, but I could see the humor in it and told him to just sit on them so the meatball could not get to them. I gave the little naughty blonde more Doritos to sidetrack him. He snuck 4 lollipops while I wasn’t watching. It’s summer. I’m cool with it with my new attitude.

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We got home and planned, arranged, rearranged, cut and taped the boxes. My tinies chose a tall wardrobe box to be a house with a tunnel connecting to an apartment. An empty plant container is a chimney. After nap, the painting began.

Daddy came home early and was somewhat caught off guard, but the excitement pulled him into the fun while I went for a quick workout. We couldn’t get Tiny 1 to come inside until his stomach forced him. He painted the outside of his work and then started the inside. Tomorrow he plans to draw and hang pictures for the inside. His pride is palpable. Tiny 2 ate a popsicle after painting for a while. It was a glorious day.

It is hard to be patient sometimes. It is REALLY hard to manage big feelings, but it is my job. I signed up for it. It was worth it today. I pray I remain the adult and keep up the attitude change. Summer is full of possibilities with an empty schedule. “It is well with my soul.”

 

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Because Swimsuit Season Always Sneaks Up On Me

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Close friends were coming to California and invited us to spend the day with them at the Montage in Laguna Beach. My first thought was, “Yaaay! Good friends, a pool AND the ocean, and cocktails during the day. Life is good.” My second thought was, “Oh this could be bad. I am so not ready for a bathing suit and ‘Julie’ looks phenomenal after 4 kids. FOUR!” Starvation was not an option. Neither was liposuction. I debated looking into extreme Christianity to justify a full body bathing suit, but that was just weird. I decided to go for an old school glamour look where curvaceous women were celebrated. I self tanned like crazy, pulled my hair into a high bun, wore gold dangling earrings, bright lipstick, and of course high heels. I had never worn a one piece before until I had the tiny one, but with a bright pink color and sweetheart neckline, I am really into it. My glamorous front was sort of thrown off when I casually tried to move my lounger, only to find it stuck and I had to get into a deep squat sans cover up to try and move it, but I choose to focus on the positive. (Or, it’s too embarrassing to relive.)

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Here’s what I have learned about the glamour of the one piece bathing suit, because I am now so on board.
1. There is a fine line between glamourous and trashy. If it is labeled as a monokini, it is trashy. No ifs ands or buts.
2. The print and/or color can make a difference between sporty and glam.
3. Strapless tends to be more glam, but an unusual strap can be also. Avoid a regular strap if you’re going for a sultry look.
4. Ruching/shirring is not just for hiding a belly. It can draw attention to an hourglass figure, which is always the goal for glamour and sex appeal.
5. No bathing suit can make your thighs look thinner, but they can make you look feminine. Go up a size from regular clothing for the best fit, if you are a curvy girl.

They are not inexpensive generally, but a great bathing suit can improve your pool day immensely. Here are fun and innately feminine one piece styles to try this summer season.

My swim suit!!!  LaBlanca $109

My swim suit!!! LaBlanca $109

Lenny Niemeyer Ruched Halter Mailot $221

Lenny Niemeyer Ruched Halter Mailot $221

Camilla and Marc $240

Camilla and Marc $240

Gottex Lace Panel $158

Gottex Lace Panel $158

Zinke Starboard $132

Zinke Starboard $132

Old Navy $20

Old Navy $20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Summer Wardrobe Saver

I am regularly convinced when I am in wardrobe crisis mode that I will open my closet and something perfect that I have never seen before will be casually lounging on my closet door, waiting for me. This has yet to happen, but I still fervently believe it will. The closest I have come to this coming true is when I pulled out my skinny clothes that were in storage and found items I had forgotten I owned. While I am waiting for my wardrobe Prince Charming to appear, I can always count on a dress to do the job for me. Women who do not wear dresses are missing out. I believe a great, casual dress is the singularly most important piece you can own for summer. A dress multitasks like your boss on Starbucks. As I write this, I am wearing an animal print jersey dress that is hiding the fact that I am beyond tired due to insomnia not induced by the tiny one. It is allowing me to be dressed for the day, but the jersey fabric feels like the pajamas I wore less than an hour ago.
The perfect dress is a jersey fabrication or extremely soft woven. It is not form fitting, but follows the line of your body. The simple silhouette guarantees years of wear in style. It hits right above your knee, or right below. You should be able to easily dress it up or wear it casually. It should be a second skin for whatever occasion you need it.

Here are some that I recommend: