She's the source of the curly hair gene in our family. Well, she passed down the curly hair, my father passed down the genes for hair that sticks straight out like a mad scientist who put his finger in a lightbulb socket, and I split the different perfectly. Ah, genetics.
The kids were excited to see my mother. I have worked hard to help the kids develop a deep-seated respect for their elders, so naturally they greeted my mother while wearing underwear on their heads. Look, a Tiger Mother I am not.
Whenever my mother visits, she always takes us shopping. This is somewhat of a joke because I intensely dislike shopping under most circumstances, although when I go with my mother and sister it's really quite fun. David was surprised to see me cheerfully head out to the mall, but I told him not to worry, that I'd probably only buy three or four pairs of Mahalo Blaniks. That would probably throw a little more fear into his soul if I actually knew how to pronounce that shoe brand, the really expensive one that people wear on Sex in the City. Mahelo Blahnicks. Maloho Blahinsk. You know what I mean.
Joking aside, Stella actually does have an eye for fancy shoes. Here she is at Kohls, trying on suede peach platform high heels that had a zipper up the back. To complete the outfit, she is wearing a Cookie Monster stocking hat. Fashion sense like that has to be born, not made.
My goal for the shopping trip was to get a pair of winter boots. REAL winter boots, not those fake Ugg-style so-called boots. Those might work if you're worried about looking good while engaging in some fairly undemanding activity in a relatively mild weather, like checking your IRA balance on a unseasonably cool March day in Dallas, but this is Wisconsin. If you want to keep your feet warm while they trudge through eight inches of snow topped with two inches of freezing rain, you need REAL winter boots. Here are my mother and sister helping me in my search for REAL winter boots, which are surprisingly hard to find, even in Wisconsin.
And here's an unwelcome development that I just discovered: Many boots now only come in whole sizes, not half sizes. Is that something new? It sure made it hard to find boots that fit. Perhaps it's a result of the recession. I'm sure the lack of half sizes is Bush's fault, but I have yet to figure out the mechanism by which he wreaked this additional small bit of havoc on the world.
After bemoaning the lack of REAL winter boots at store after store and sounding like a world's oldest, most crotchety 37 year old, I did manage to find a pair of boots that I liked. Kids these days, they're all too busy playing with their jet packs to know what REAL winter boots are.
The kids also got winter hats and mittens. This was maybe just a little bit cute.
After a quick two-day visit, my mother returned to Pennsylvania last night. We'll see her twice more between now and the end of the year -- once when I travel to Washington, DC for a conference and she will come to DC to babysit the kids, and then again at Christmas time. I'm already looking forward to seeing her again, and who knows, maybe we'll go shopping again. I never did get that pair of Maholo Blernicks.