Well-dressed floundering

I have had about 1,001 things that need doing before summer, and this weekend, I knocked that list right down to around 995. Hooboy. We are rockin’, now. Look out, world!

Many of you have asked to see for a picture of my wedding dress and I am not trying to be coy, I am just… ummmm… I don’t know what I am. Superstitious? I don’t think we can call me superstitious when I’m getting married in a multicolored (including orange and fuchsia) cocktail dress, really. So that’s not it. Weird? Well, THAT’s hardly a debate; obviously I am weird. But that’s not the issue, I don’t think. I think it’s more like the baby names thing. You never tell people what you’re THINKING of naming your children, because SOMEONE will invariably say “Oh, I knew someone named Chickadee and she was a chronic nose-picker” or something, and then your love for that name will forever be tainted. But if you NAME your kid that, even the most boorish people can generally be counted upon not to say stupid stuff like that when faced with an actual human. So.

All of this is to say, I will post a picture after we get married, and then if you hate it, OH WELL. As a consolation, would you like to see my blurry kids?

(Disclaimer: These pictures are crappy. They make the baby Jesus and Otto cry. But you forgive me, because at least I am attempting to include visual aids. Moving on….)

It turns out that the suit issue solved itself, after a fashion. The kids got home tonight and I asked Monkey to try them on for me. The grey suit fits pretty well, even though it seems to make Monkey want to strut around the kitchen penguin-style. (Don’t ask me. I just live with him.) The camel suit, on the other hand, would be an excellent hobo outfit. Somehow, in spite of being the same size (numerically), it’s gigantic in every possible way. Also, it’s sort of shiny, which didn’t bother me initially, but now it does. So, I could try to get that same suit a size smaller, but I don’t think I will.

And that only has a little bit to do with Monkey insisting that he was “totally handsome” in the grey one, while Chickadee opined that “this one is really a much better getting married suit, mama, because it’s more serious and this is serious business.” Right, then! Grey it is! Because getting married is serious business!

After forcing Monkey to try on both suits and let me take his picture, I took Chickadee upstairs and pulled her dress out of the closet. “Ohhhhhh!” she said. Her clothes went flying as she stripped down to try it on.

“I don’t know,” I teased, as I slid it over her head, buttoned the back, and tied the sash, “This dress isn’t very pretty. Maybe we should just forget it.”

“NOOOOO Mama!” she protested. “It has an INNER FLUFFY THING!” She bounced and swayed and twirled with glee while I tried to figure out what in the world she was talking about. I felt the skirt and then understood.

“Honey, that’s called a crinoline.”

“It’s an inner fluffy thing,” she insisted, primly. “And I LOVE INNER FLUFFY THINGS!” She spun and dipped and finally let me take her picture. Then we discussed shoes briefly (“with a HEEL!” she begged, because just one inch of heel makes her feel like a princess, and who am I to say no to that?) and I only had to chase her around the room for five minutes to get her to take the dress off again. I think she would’ve slept in it if I’d let her.

So. The children have clothing to wear. I have something to wear. We have aaaaaalmost set a date. The other 995 things will get done, eventually. I think. I hope.

Chickadee is talking about the move. It’s as if the dam broke last week and now she’s ready to discuss it. And discuss it, she does. Let’s talk about the good things! Let’s talk about the bad things! Let’s talk talk talk about the move while I cry about it, Mama, and you can bite back the urge to tell me how great it’s going to be and instead nod and say, “Yes, that part will be hard. Yes, I know it’s scary.” She was thrilled to help Monkey with the suits and try on her dress, but 10 minutes later she was creeping into my lap, sniffling about not wanting to move.

It’s reasonable, and it’s right, and it’s good that she’s finally talking. None of that stops me from feeling like a big creep when it happens, though.

So we had our before-bed weepiness and assurances that it will all be okay, and then I tucked everyone in with kisses and hugs and came back downstairs wondering if it will ever stop being hard, if I will ever feel 100% certain that I am giving them everything they need.

“Mama?” From the top of the stairs, a pitiful wavering.

I sighed. “What is it, honey? You’re supposed to be in bed.”

“I know. It’s just that I forgot to do my homework.” Homework is given on Mondays and due on Fridays, and she did it on Monday last week.

“What homework?”

“From Daddy’s church. We have homework.”

“Oooookay. Can we do it tomorrow?”

“No.” She giggled. “Thank you.”


“That’s the homework. To thank someone. Thank you!” I’d made my way to the bottom of the stairs, and she smiled down at me from the darkness above. My own mouth twitched upwards in return.

“Whatcha thanking me for?” I braced for the inevitable “I dunno” response.

Instead, she threw her arms wide. “For EVERYTHING! Night, Mama.”

“Good night, baby. Sleep tight.”

I have got to get me one of those inner fluffy things.


  1. Elena

    Oh, Mir, you ALREADY HAVE an Inner Fluffy Thing. That’s why we (meaning Otto, your faithful blogreaders,and also the world) love you soooo much and read you sooo devotedly!
    I got married last June; God, I am glad that is all over with. On the other hand, it probably improves the experience immeasurably when you get married in a dress like a tropical cocktail. Yep, that’s where it all went wrong for me.

  2. Heather

    Aw they look just as adorable as a faceless kid can! Very cute :-) And I’m glad Chickadee’s talking, and she’s a princess, and that Monkey is the handsomest. Congratulations, again.

  3. Ruth

    I could go for an inner fluffy thing too. Today my second son gave me a coupla special hugs – big from a boy who has wiped off kisses for a long while.

    It’s the greatest, isn’t it? While we can never be perfect parents, they still grace us with forgiveness and joy. (among all the less attractive challenges)

  4. GetSheila

    Oh pictures! I love pictures. Very nice. Thank you for indulging us.

  5. Krisco

    That is so sweet. Okay, you were the only one home. (Doubting she would thank her brother. ) But Seriously, that is so sweet!! : )

  6. Lady M

    I totally agree with not posting the gown picture until afterwards, when we can all oooh and ahhh.

    I didn’t know that having many inner fluffy things (in ballgowns in my closet) was the source of my variable inner peace. Cool.

  7. Kendra

    Just wanted to say the kids look great and can’t wait to see pics of that gorgeous couple on the big day.
    And to Ruth–thank you for putting my mind at ease…my 4 y.o. son has just begun wiping off my bedtime kisses. He told me they were boring–he get’s zurburts (sp?) now :)

  8. tori

    Your kids are beautiful, blurry faces and all! I have to say, I am glad you aren’t posting the photo of yours until after. I would be worried about the same thing you were, and would hate for your day to be less than perfect because someone didn’t think before the gave their opinion. With our first baby, we told everyone what we would name her, and people said the meanest things all in the name of “helping”. We learned from that and then kept future baby names secret until they were assigned to actual people. I can’t wait to see the dress though!

  9. LadyBug Crossing

    That camel suit – he does look like a hobo! LOL!! Love the grey one!

    Don’t feel guilty about moving. There are kids who move every year – not to say that they all turn out normal, but one move is good. My kids didn’t want to move and now are sooo happy that we did. They got good friends, life in the country, and a super school system. They are very very happy.

    Enjoy that inner fluffy thing!!

  10. chris

    Awwwwww, that was sweet.

  11. Brandi

    Aww, that’s incredibly adorable of her.

  12. Judy

    Chickie is the coolest! She’s gonna come out of all this okay… and it’s because she knows you and Otto love her for who she is (even if sometimes you don’t like her.. and that’s okay.) The kids look great and I’m so excited for you all.

  13. CCE

    We picked up and moved our entire family away from the grandparents and the friends and the park just down the street. And for awhile they cried that they missed their Nana, and I cried that they missed their Nana but felt really good about the place we ended up with the good schools and the beautiful forests and the gorgeous summers. Now Nana comes to visit and we visit Nana and everyone just kind of lives life without a whole lot of sadness or guilt because just getting through the day is exhausting enough. What I’m trying to say is, this anxiety will pass and a year from now you all will just be living life somewhere else. Happily.

  14. Randi

    All I’m going to say is AWWWWWWW…

  15. Sheila

    I HAVE an inner fluffy thing– well, it’s not exactly FLUFFY, but it does serve the same purpose, pouffing out my skirts, and my pants, plus also my sweaters. It’s called EXTRA POUNDAGE and I’m not nearly as excited about it as Chickadee is about her inner fluffy thing. Oh, but hers is so much more flouncy and twirlable!

    I do hope that the twirling moments soon begin to outnumber the crying moments. I don’t “know you” know you, but what I do know is that you are a great mother: funny and anxious, optimistic and realistic, and most of all extremely smart and loving. No wonder Lovely Chickadee thanked you. I thank you, too, for sharing these moments with all of us and helping me want to be a better parent. I’m so glad I found your little corner of the internet. Twirl on!

  16. Brown Eyed Girl

    It’s moments like these we remember why they are so ridiculously special.

  17. Kellie

    Love the pictures–blurry faces and all :) Chickadee’s dress is gorgeous and Monkey is quite blurrily handsome in his gray suit.

    I smiled and even felt a burning of a tear in my eyeball at Chickadee’s answer to the homework question. You are a fantastic Mom. I hope as my years of being a Mom pass, I am able to be as wonderful a Mom to my daughter as you are to your children!!

  18. tammy

    Inner fluffy thing! Hee!

    I think we should make her the best garden bedroom EVER. With lots of fluffy things. And maybe some flowers hot-glued to the walls.

  19. David

    By golly, that was a wonderful post. Inner fluffy things and handsome suits and princess heels and top-of-the-stair thank yous. *sighs with pleasure* Yes, that was nice indeed. Made my morning. :-)

  20. Susan

    Oh my gosh that made me cry.

    Must. Get. Tissue.

  21. hollygee

    Chickie is so grownup and tall! Monkey is so…monkey? Thanks for the picts. You are going to be a lovely wedding. If only you had that date!

    Sheila [above], our kind of inner fluff is great for twirling and bouncing and flouncing in bellydancing.

  22. Heidi

    To accessorize the hobo suit, Monkey can apply cold cream and coffee grounds for a five o’clock shadow. Plus he’ll need a stogie. The gray one looks great! And serious.

  23. MomCat

    The kids look great! And what a cute story. Brought a tear to my eye. Okay, I’m putting a tissue box by the computer from now on so I can read your blog. :)

    Kids are so smart. Chickadee knows you love her and you worry and you want her to be happy. And that’s all that matters.

  24. Mom101

    I know I’ve never actually gotten married so perhaps I’m not entitled to an opinion on such things, but my sense about the bride’s wedding dress? Is that it’s up to the bride. And not the whole wide internets! Isn’t that great? So orange and fuscia it is. And if you want to top it off with a purple fedora and ruby slippers we’ll all ooh and ahh and tell you how glowing and beautiful you are behind it all.

  25. Cele

    I got married, er the third time, in a black floral off the shoulder, tea lenght dress with ALOT of inner fluffiness. I think those are the best wedding dreesses. Think of how often you can wear your Floral wedding dress? It’s all worth it.

  26. Chewie

    Mir…you have such amazing taste that I think we can all rest assured you will be stunning in that wedding dress. And your boobs will be in just the right place too.

    Your kids will be gorgeous in those outfits. I think it is so special for them to be getting amazing sweet clothes. What a memory they will have of this. Of course it is hard, but I have found in life anything worth doing is hard.


  27. Liise

    Yup me and Susan *looks up* – ya made us cry.

    How come? I mean what a lovely post and all feel good and then WHAM! Crying.

    It’s ok though, I put too much eyeliner on this morning anyway

  28. Melanie Marie

    Awwww, they are so cute in their outfits! Inner fluffy things are the BEST!

  29. hillz

    i love chickie’s dress. Its absolutely gorgeous. I need to get me an inner fluffy thing, it would be perfect at work to cheer all the patients up

  30. Sophie

    What a terrific snippet from your life. Thanks for sharing it and the photos, too. Chickadee’s dress is wonderful!

    BTW, I wore a blue cocktail-length dress for my wedding gown. I love being unconventional; it’s so much more fun.

  31. dorothy

    Love it.

  32. Karianna

    Looking forward to seeing the dress after-the-fact. I am glad to wait, especially given the cute pics of the kids: they look festive!

  33. carson

    You probably didn’t miss me but I’m slowly evaporating from the blogosphere. Anyway, I may have mentioned this before, but my sister was married last fall in a dark purple dress. As in, pour that glass of Merlot & hold it up to the light. It was beautiful.

    As I’m sure yours is.

    Be beautiful.

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