A little bit of everything

By Mir
March 12, 2012

Every now and then I realize that I’ve left you hanging on a variety of things—by accident, and because I’m disorganized (not on purpose)—and/or I think of a few minor things I want to share that aren’t entire-post-worthy. And then I throw them all together in a single mish-mash post and call it a day. Hooray!

First of all, I can’t stop watching this video:

(No, that has nothing to do with anything, I just love it. You’re welcome.)

* * * * *

Next, I realized I never filled you in on the recent developments in Dog Saga-land. After a lot of consideration and discussion and research, we decided to pursue getting an autism service dog for Monkey. This was exciting, both because I think it’s something he’ll love and also because we assumed it would alleviate some of the issues we need to deal with when Hippie School changes next year. We picked an organization to go through, and one of the reasons we picked the one we did was because they boasted the “shortest match times in the industry,” citing a statistic about most kids having to wait upwards of two years for an animal, but their averages were closer to six months, etc.

I bet you know where this is going, but I’ll tell you anyway.

We made arrangements to visit their facility—two states away—and of course they couldn’t even give us a workable appointment for over a month, but we went ahead and scheduled it and life went on. And then life imploded, but when the day came and Chickadee was in the hospital we went anyway (Chickie understood), and hopes were high.

The facility was nice. The people were very sweet. The dogs were simply darling. Monkey got a lapful of standard poodle puppy and couldn’t stop laughing. He fed bits of hot dog to an apricot goldendoodle pup who probably would’ve viewed Licorice as a tasty between-meal snack.

It was a great day. I felt giddy. And then the head trainer told us that some things have changed lately (oh how I have come to loathe that word, “change”) and BY THE WAY their time from contract to placement of a dog is about two years.

Monkey happily played video games and read books on the way back home, and I didn’t spend the whole drive crying, no, because the drive was about five hours and I just don’t have that many tears left.

* * * * *

And in the meantime, Merry wants us to come in and finalize the agreement for next year, which has now moved from “maybe we should consider not doing full-time” to “he will not be allowed to attend full-time.” Even though it’s March and we’re talking about next August. Even though he’s growing so much, so fast, right now. Even though it’s going to break his heart.

It’s not an indictment of him or us. I know that. I know she has to balance the needs of the whole school. I know why she thinks it’s best, and I know the subtext here is that we should be (and are, don’t get me wrong) grateful that he’s being allowed to return at all.

But does it smart? Yeah.

So we’re left trying to figure out how to structure it so that 1) he feels like it was our idea and 2) he thinks whatever we end up deciding to do for those two other days is way better than what they’re doing at Hippie School. This gets complicated, quickly, as Hippie School does a ton of field trips, many of them on the days he’ll be out. While all are welcome to join on trips, it means scheduling something else on those days will mean either missing a trip or missing the other activity, a good way to cause a Monkey Meltdown.

In short: it sucks. The end.

* * * * *

Bathing suits confuse me. This has nothing to do with anything, really. I just feel the need to include it here because I happen to know this beautiful nearly-14-year-old who made the completely reasonable request—in light of discovering that none of her bathing suits fit anymore—that I buy her two new suits: One, a single-piece “good for actual swimming” kind, and one “pretty but not hoochie” two-piece. Let me tell you what happens when you reach the no-man’s-land of sizing when you could technically still fit into Girls’ (but girls’ sizes aren’t shaped for curves) but really you wear the smallest Junior sizes: NO SWIMSUITS FOR YOU.

Rather: You can still have an athletic one-piece, if your mother is willing to spend $70 on it (hint: she’s not!), and short of that modest racing Speedo, your choices in “cute” suits range from string bikini to buttfloss. Your choice! While two-piece suits with a bit more coverage exist, they don’t come in her size, which is Toothpick With Boobs (given society’s insistence on this particular shape, you’d think it’d be easier to find items in her size, but you would be wrong).

Moral of the story: eBay is your friend for the racing suit, at least. And your mother rather enjoys listening to your commentary on the bikini options. (“That’s not a bathing suit, that’s a piece of string and a couple of nipple band-aids.”)

* * * * *

In the wake of recent events (see also: suckitude, extremely a lot of), when I dropped the children off with their father on Saturday morning so that I could have five minutes to myself for the first time in two months so that they could have a nice visit, I may have skipped a little bit as I headed back to my car. I decided to run some errands, stop at Goodwill—all of the mundane sorts of things that have been so hard to do lately. All was well (if you’re willing to overlook the Goodwill employee who opened a fitting room while I was in it, trying on a shirt, which I am because eh, my current level of “give a fuck” is at an all-time low), until I got to Macy’s.

I don’t really do the mall, you know. But I had a few things to return there (like the swimsuit I ordered the kid from Lands’ End Canvas, where the top was too small and the bottom too big and WHERE IS OUR JUST-RIGHT PORRIDGE ALREADY?) and I happen to have a Macy’s gift card for some reason. So I wandered in and commenced perusing the clearance.

Either my timing was off or the mall is even more dreadful than I remember (either is possible, frankly), but the clearance was pitiful. I have no need for a sweater made of muppets, so it really wasn’t my finest shopping day. (Oh, except the top I was trying on at Goodwill that resulted in me flashing the whole store? Banana Republic, $4. That was pretty sweet.) After wandering around Macy’s for half an hour it occurred to me that Chickie has put in a request for a new pair of yoga pants, so I finally located a salesgirl and said, “Where would I be if I was exercise gear?”

She pointed, elaborated that I was looking for the items “to the left of the maternity section,” and I thanked her and headed that way. Do you know what was to the left of the maternity section? OLD LADY JOGGING SUITS. I kid you not. A veritable SEA of bedazzled velour greeted me, with nary or a sports bra or other ACTUAL wear-while-working-out clothing item in sight.

Look, I get that I wasn’t exactly looking my finest. I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and sneakers, and no makeup, and my hair was in a ponytail, but… I spent the entire rest of the day wondering if that salesgirl thought I was 70.

My Macy’s giftcard remains unspent.


  1. Mary

    I can not get past that video! OMG! I’M A SLUT! I’M A SLUT! I’M AN S-L-U-T, SLUT!!!!!!!!!

  2. Midj

    Thanks for the ‘Mir fix’. Great big hugs winging your way… PS I flashed the dermatogist’s office on Friday when the NP left and I was changing. The asst opened the door because the Dr (male) wanted to step in and say “hi”. Luckily they only have you undress to the undergarments so the nurses station/back of the receptionist area only saw me slightly indisposed… :-)

  3. Megan

    Aaaand the final item is why I haven’t been to the mall in nearly 2 years. [I’m not counting the oh-so-trendy outdoor mall which I go to because it’s the only Williams Sonoma in town and I like to drop in and pat the Le Creuset now and then.

    Sorry about the greatness of the suck, especially the Monkey suck because it does seem unfair that life would hit BOTH kids with suck at the same time and I suppose I had been hoping that lack of Monkey updates of the suck variety PLUS slug-licking outings w/ the Hippie School meant things were actually look up on that front.

    I will petition the universe for a whole lotta boring to head your way – SOON.

  4. Fran

    Reminds me of the time my friend and I were in Victoria Secret – I needed a special bra for under my Mother of the Groom dress ( <– indicates I'm a woman of a certain age). We were browsing on our way out when a sales clerk approached and excitedly asked if we realized terry robes were on sale…

  5. kakaty

    I can’t help with anything else but LE Canvas has some good sales on bikinis that might meet both the coverage and cute criteria. Check out the Cabana Ring Bikini or the Swim Essentials Underwire Bikini Top and bottoms which can be had in women’s XXS (i.e. size zero) and for less than $30 for both the top and bottom.

  6. kakaty

    (aaand…perhaps I should read more carefully. Since I now see that you tried LE Canvas. I’ll shut up now).

  7. Karen R.

    Best wishes and hopes for Monkey’s school situation and service dog.

    As someone whose daughter spends half her life in the pool and goes through 6 competitive suits a year, swimoutlet.com is your friend. And, if you get on Speedo’s mailing list, they have notices of sales and percent off deals that bring their suits into affordable range, especially if you don’t mind wearing last year’s patterns (my daughter doesn’t). I usually stock up when they have a percent off on already clearanced suits, so I end up spending between $20 and $30 per suit, rather than $70. They also have some more modest two-piece suits at both sites.

  8. SarahS

    I know they’re expensive… but ModCloth swim suits are the best.EVER for your daughter’s body type – they fit beautifully and are retro-chic and they are decidedly NOT string bikini or buttfloss. Here’s a link (hopefully this works) http://www.modcloth.com/shop/twopiece-swimwear

  9. Arnebya

    Giggling at nipple band aids. My 11 yr old who is built the same way thinks all the suits geared toward her age group are “hoochiefied.” “And where is the rest of my boob supposed to go?” Also, “ew.” The prices are what get me. I can’t (and won’t; I just wont!) pay $85 for a swimsuit she won’t fit next year (and which may be saggy butted this year b/c of the inability to find one that actually fits).

    Sorry about Monkey’s dog. And about Hippie School. I wish I had some kind of enlightening words to offer, some witty phrase or quote to give you perspective, make you laugh, ease the all at onceness you must feel so often lately. I ain’t gots shit. Other than my thoughts and hopes that things work out (but I remain convinced that you will see to that so my words are moot!). Still, I wish there was more.

  10. Ani

    As a Master’s swimmer and swim parent, I echo the love for swimoutlet.com. Also, go for polyester, a tad more expensive, but last a lot longer. Our pool eats Lycra for breakfast. My solid color polyester competition suit in size not-toothpick was $19.

    Other than that I just send prayers that 1. a dog will be matched soon, 2. Monkey’s school situation will work out (hmmm…how about “you have to stay home to be with the dog!”) and 3. Chickie will continue to recover and also find rocking bathing suits on sale.

    As for Macy’s…can’t help you there. use the gc for housewares? :-)

  11. Little Bird

    There just HAS to be a place where you can buy a two piece in separate pieces! That way you can totally get the size you need. I had to do that when I was just a bit older than Chickie. Just wait ’til she’s a bridesmaid and has to have a dress MADE. Hello large top that somehow must be attached to the small bottom!
    I’m willing to bet that you are creative enough to come up with some pretty awesome projects and field trips for those days when Monkey is home. Things that Monkey would cheerfully give up a limb if it meant he got to go there or do that.

  12. Ladybug

    I’m glad you can still find life’s humor with everything that’s going on. The video was hysterical! I sent the link to my mom, along with a note to thank dad for working all that overtime back in the day to pay for my college tuition! Hopefully someday they’ll forgive me for being a very well-educated SAHM.

    I’m dreading the day my daughter grows beyond the swim-mini-and-rash-guard swimsuit phase. My sympathies. I hope Chickie continues to feel better.

    Do your guys wear Levis? What I buy at Macy’s are the 501’s my husband has been rocking since he was 16.

  13. Joan Allison

    What a big bunch of suck all at once. Being sent to the old lady jogging suit section was just the cherry on the sundae, huh?

    I don’t have anything much to offer on any of it, except my prayers for all of y’all, and the thought, especially regarding Monkey and Hippie School, that sometimes when a door like that closes, the door that opens offers something as good or better.

    I know that’s hard to believe from where you are. And it’s not always the case. But sometimes it is. When my mom’s assisted living apartments announced they were closing just three months after she had moved back in after recovering from a bad fall, I was terribly upset. I cried about it for two days. But the place she’s moved in to is much cheaper, has more activities, and is better in almost every way. (The other place did have a better location.)

    Basically, worrying about the future won’t change it, but it will make the present less pleasant.

    Hope this didn’t come across too annoying chirpy. I hate chirpiness, especially in the face of real problems. But choosing faith rather than fear has helped me through some hard times in the last couple of years, so I feel compelled to pass it along.

    Good luck.

  14. Aimee

    Add my voice to the chorus of “Dammit, I thought the lack of news about Hippie School meant it was good news.” I know you will find the best solution for Monkey, but can’t the world just help you out a little? Grr.

    I don’t care if you weren’t wearing makeup, there is no way IN HELL that anybody sane thought that you were in the market for a bedazzled velour jogging suit. Clearly that saleperson was a banana.

    And finally, that video? Made my morning. Now all day I’ll be singing about what a slut I am, and forwarding that video to all the sluts I know. ;)

  15. Mama Bear

    Mir, Swimoutlet.com is a great place to get “racing” suits. (Nike, Dolfin, Speedo) Be patient, they go on good sales now and then. I buy my daughter MANY suits a year through them as when you are on the swim team, and spend hours a day in chlorine, your suits wear out at an astounding rate. Or they start to sag so much in the rear that you could fit your towel in there with you.

  16. Megan

    I am in love with that YouTube video. You made my day. And swimsuits are hard for everyone. I have the exact opposite problem. Curvy everywhere except my chest, which pregnancies and nursing did nothing to help. You have my sympathy.

  17. Jodi F.

    Just had my co-worker read over my shoulder about the bathing suit issue because she has this same problem every year with her daughter (who is on the spectrum).

    Oh, and what a bummer about the wait for a service dog being longer than expected. Do you think they could have told you before you drove 10 hours round trip? Maybe?

  18. Mary K. in Rockport

    The SLUT video is great, great, great. I mass emailed it to just about all the women I know. Thanks!

  19. Meri

    Chickie is so awesome, she cracks me up. I get my Speedos at Costco for $20 – $25. They have women’s and girls sizes so one or the other ought to have a size that fits.

    I’m sorry about the service dog wait. My boyfriend started joking that he’ll train one for me when we get a house. :/

  20. elz

    I’m sure you’ve looked already, but Boden usually has lots of nice fuller coverage suits and one-pieces (kid, teen, and adult). Their sizing is crazy monkey on crack, but the quality makes up for it.

    As for the dog-2 years?! Egads. That is just crazy talk.

  21. erin

    Probably too expensive for your taste, but J.Crew has really nice swimsuits that you can buy as separates in a variety of cuts and they last and last. I bought my first one in 1999 and I still wear it every summer.

    Old Navy sometimes has cute ones and you can always buy them as separates.

  22. Paul

    As a parent of 2 myself, who has also been through some suck in my time, I am wishing much boring for you. I know boring, and I love boring!

  23. Gloriana Beausoleil

    I mis-read Macy’s gifttard. Which, given my abhorrence for the R word, is about how I feel when I find myself in Macy’s.

    Here is a decent place for suits of all sizes, recommended to my by a bloggy mommy friend: http://www.swimoutlet.com/

    And the school situation for Monkey? Dang it! That ain’t right. Come to Wisconsin–it’s better for auties and their families.

    I’m feeling your pain and sending you love.

  24. summer

    I absolutely love the new-ish trend to wear coordinated (rather than matching) bikini tops and bottoms. My bottom bit isn’t hard to fit, so I buy cheap bottoms whenever I see ones I like, and I stalk figleaves.com’s “designer outlet”, aka clearance, for tops in my weirdo bra size. As a frequent stalker, I can assure you that the really odd sizes, like 28D, for the boobed toothpicks often wind up there for cheap. Mixing and matching is the bomb.

  25. Daisy

    I ache for you and Monkey. He’s making so much progress. So much!

    As for the suit, does Old Navy have anything suitable? My daughter, now 25, has had some good luck there.

  26. Frank

    I like the Detritus category. Always good for a laugh.
    Know what you need to do the next time you feel the need to post but dont have a lot to say? (or perhaps you need to snark and dont have a good topic?) one of those where you run thru your analytics to see what searches brought hits to your site… I miss those, and they are a scream.

  27. Kelly

    So sad about 2 years for a match for Monkey and the dog… does he want to play with my parents golden doodle? We could arrange that….

    I agree about the mall. Everytime I go, I swear to not go back… usually it is something I need for the kids that makes me return.

  28. Angie

    So sorry about Monkey and the wait time for a service dog, and the changes at hippie school. I wish I had words of wisdom or comfort.

    As far as swimsuits go, I know they’re a bit on the pricey side but I love Title Nine. They sell tops and bottoms as separate pieces, so you can even mix & match patterns a bit. Best of all, they sell actual swim trunks/board shorts, which I love because they are the complete opposite of butt-floss. I never felt as free as I did when I went swimming and never once had to tug my suit down to better cover my behind. Best of luck in the search for the perfect/good enough suit!

  29. Julie

    Two comments: our mall is utterly useless. And yes, 14-15-year-olds don’t fit into any clothing whatsoever. If I can find a blazer to fit my one, it will be a miracle. At least he wears men-sized shoes…

  30. Beth R

    Wow. Life gets crazy and Mir starts flashing people! Whoda-thunk? :)

    Add me to the “hoping quiet meant good things” camp. I’m sorry things are going the way they are. Wish I could help somehow, beyond the good thoughts being beamed your way.

    Hugs to the whole family!

  31. Jessica

    Note on Macy’s: Shop online! We had this (apparently super-expensive) flatware set given to us for Christmas one year that came from Macy’s. We looked all over the store for something that we could use, but neither my husband nor I could find a thing that we wanted. So we shopped online. :-)

    Also, you made both me and my husband laugh with Chickie’s statement about the “swimsuits” out there. We’ve made similar comments ourselves, but it’s refreshing to hear it from a teenager.

    I have “I’m a slut” stuck in my head, and it’s annoying my husband when I randomly break out with the chorus. I’ve been a slut in the past as well, but only with my husband (and after we were married). We don’t want to have children, so that makes me a slut, I guess. Oh, well – better slut than trollop, I always say!

  32. Jason's Mom

    You know, if you have a good dog training facility by you, you can train your own service dog. My son has mobility issues and we were given a dog by a local breeder to train as a mobility assistance dog. I live clear on the other end of the country from you, but it might be something you may want to consider. I realize you might not have the time in between all the excitement right now, but its a thought. You could actually get a temperament test for Licorice. She might be an excellent candidate. Poodles and poodle mixes often do well as service animals.

  33. Christal

    Try Sierra Trading Post.com for swimsuits and yoga pants. I got 3 swimsuits for lap swim for the price of 1. But I signed up for the DealFlyer & use their additional discount coupons from that (it generates a lot of e-mail from them though). I never buy full price from them anymore because there’s always another coupon coming in my e-mail. The only problem is things can sell out while you wait for the higher coupon. Did most of my Christmas shopping there for 3 years in a row. Zulily on the other hand… mmmm You have to be willing to wait a ridiculously long time for them to “consolidate” and it sells out quick too.

  34. Annette

    I can’t make myself watch the video. While I don’t think Rush was nice in calling her a slut. I am one of those people who don’t want to pay for someone else’s birth
    control. I know…crazy isn’t it? Nor do I like our government telling my religion how to practice our faith….what a nut case I am!!!! So… because my blood is boiling over the whole thing and the double standard of the media ( what did they call Sarah Palin?)
    I can’t risk it.

    As for the swimsuit…my 16 year old has taken the modest to a fashion statement and bought a high waisted 50’s style suit.:)

  35. jwg

    I’m not sure you want to move to open warfare, but is Hippie school allowed to discriminate against Monkey? Because that’s what they are doing and it makes me mad. Maybe a lawyer letter? And couldn’t you force his home school district to provide some support? After all, they obviously can’t meet his needs otherwise.

  36. Karen

    … why am I irked that Hippie School is doing this to Monkey. Sorry, I don’t mean to cause a stir. I just keep thinking. If the three days are fine, what the F is wrong with the other two?…

    LOVE the idea of a service dog, a pal that will always be there for him, even on the worst days. We could all use that.

    In my honest opinion, Macys has sucked for a while now… I don’t do malls very often either, but Macys used to be a good place if you had to get a decent outfit for an event or whatever. I was very surprised at the crappy selections and outrageous prices I saw there last month.

  37. kathy

    Splish. CHeck them for both 2-piece and 1-piece suits. I guarantee they will fit.

  38. kathy

    oh, and another thumbs up for swimoutlet with a coupon I got 2 dolphin suits for FIVE US DOLLARS EACH! :) Sweetness!

  39. Lisa

    Two things – and I didn’t read all the posts above so this may be up there – just saw yoga pants at Abercrombie & Fitch marked down to $12.90 and then 40% off of that so if you have one close by you may want to look there. They had a fair amount of XS which is what my twiggy 13 year old wears. Also, http://www.swimoutlet.com has some really cute suits, both athletic and not and usually have pretty good prices. Good luck!!

  40. Samantha

    I like two-piece suits, but need them to stay put (I’m a nanny. I can’t be stopping to adjust nipple-bandaids and floss). I’ve had good luck mixing and matching sizes of tops and bottoms both with suits from Target and from Old Navy. However, I have hips. It sounds like Chickie doesn’t.

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