Big Mama Blog

How ’bout them cars and taters?

Okay, I’ll just go ahead and admit that I didn’t do The Shred at all over the weekend. I really wanted to, but then I remembered that verse in the Bible that says, “Man cannot live by shred alone” and decided to take those words to heart. Not to mention that I think I did something wrong during the ab workout on Friday and, as my MeMa used to say, I was down in my back.

The good news is I’ll be back on the shred train or wagon or whatever by 9 a.m. this morning. The bad news is I think if I’m honest with myself I have to move up to Level 2. I’m not looking forward to this new adventure in torture, but I completed Level 1 pretty easily on Friday and wasn’t even sore, except for the aforementioned back issue which was really just due to user error.

Yesterday I stayed home from church because I had a headache and just didn’t feel that great. Part of me thought that maybe it was the swine flu, but then I remembered that our entire yard is covered in yellow pollen which is my personal kryptonite. Seasonal oak allergies aren’t really newsworthy and certainly don’t get you any sympathy, although P did come home from church and cooked me a delicious breakfast taco using leftover tater tots from Saturday night’s dinner.

We are a people with a very sophisticated food palate.

And we ate tots while watching the Nascar race on Saturday night.

Then we bought four new tires for our house.

Anyway, later in the day I started feeling better and had the insane notion that it would be a good time to clean out my closet. I faithfully reorganize my closet twice a year and get rid of all the things I haven’t worn from the previous season, but I have been woefully late in taking care of that chore because I have been very busy figuring out who should play the lead role in the remake of “Footloose” now that Zac Efron has dropped out.

When I walked into the closet, I realized it was in need of a major overhaul. The whole thing just felt dusty so I decided to completely empty it of every piece of clothing I own. Here is our bathroom after I completed that process.


I swept it all out, dusted the shelves and then sat down and cried when I realized I’d have to put all that stuff back in there. And did I mention I also decided to clean out all my dresser drawers? And that I had a helper?


A helper who discovered a purple wig, mask and feather boa that I wore to a Mardi Gras party back in the days when we used to do more on a Saturday night than eat tots and watch Nascar.

After it was all said and done, I have three huge bags of clothing and shoes to give away. It’s the last vestiges of my corporate America wardrobe, some poor attempts at finding a denim skirt, some gauchos that I really can’t even discuss because I’m ashamed, and eight dozen t-shirts that seem unnecessary since I wear the same four t-shirts all the time.

Oh, and I had to throw out my favorite pair of pajamas EVER because they have a giant hole in the bottom. I tried to keep wearing them anyway, but P shamed me into letting them go. He has no appreciation for festive Hula girl prints.


I guess they weren’t classy enough for Nascar and tater tots.

As I packed up all the bags, I kept feeling like some things were missing that I’d just put in the pile. What the heck? Where are those leopard-print ballet flats that no longer have any fur on them? Where are those black ropers that I’ve worn exactly none times in the last twelve years?

Oh, here they are.


Apparently there was a mass exodus to the playroom via a five-year-old in the market for some new dress up clothes.

Now she and her friends can dress up as Sleeping Beauty or as Pharmaceutical Rep.

Many hours and chocolate chip cookies later, I had a completely organized closet.


And even more hours and cookies later, the playroom was clean and semi-organized if you don’t count the fact that I just threw random Polly Pocket shoes, Barbie accessories, and dried out playdough all into one bin.


And if you count that, I’m not sure we can be friends.

Unless, of course, you’re a fan of Nascar and tots.

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Edition 60: Fashion Friday

I realize there have been moments this week when I’ve made light of the fact that we are in the midst of a swine flu pandemic, so I feel like in all fairness I should be serious for a minute and provide some tips on how to avoid contracting swine flu. Fortunately, my friend Corrie sent me this photo which serves as an excellent reminder of behaviors that should be avoided.


You’re welcome.

And seeing that pig serves as an unwelcome reminder that swimsuit season is right around the corner. Only the Shred can help me now.

Several of y’all have emailed with questions about swimwear and I wish I could produce some miracle of modern spandex that would solve all your woes. Just remember that you have nothing to fear except the fear of a swimsuit.

I don’t even know what that means.

In the interest of laziness and the fact that it’s way late since I stayed up to watch a live video feed of the Compassion bloggers in India, let’s start with a few tips that I blatantly copied and pasted from last year’s swimsuit edition of Fashion Friday.

When trying on a swimsuit:

1. Make sure you actually move around in it like you will when you wear it. Bend over, lift your arms, and move around to make sure everything stays in place. Because when your child takes off a full speed towards the deep end of the pool, you don’t want to have to worry about the girls falling out in mid-run.

And, hypothetically speaking, if your pool has a brand new slide that you decide to go down to impress your daughter, you don’t want to have to worry about almost losing your bottoms. Hypothetically speaking.

2. On that point, try different sizes to get the right fit. If the bottoms don’t have enough coverage, then try different bottoms. Going up a size isn’t going to necessarily help and may just give you saggy bottom syndrome once they are wet.

3. As painful as it may be, look at yourself in a three-way mirror to make sure everything you want covered is actually covered. Just a quick look is all it takes, don’t torture yourself.

4. Last of all remember that NO ONE will be more critical of how you look in a bathing suit than you. Every other mama is a lot more worried about how she looks than how you look. Find something comfortable that you feel good in and call it a day.

I realize this advice is over a year old, but it is still relevant. There are certain truths that will always remain and those are a few of them.

Now for a few recommendations:

If you’re looking for a suit that may perform a few miracles, then Lands End is a great place to start. They have swimsuits that offer all-over control and have a cute retro look to them. There’s also this halter-style one-piece that offers control.

If you need a little (or a lot) of underwire with your swimsuit, then one of my favorite sites is Aerin Rose. It’s a great line of swimwear with one-pieces, tankinis and bikinis that all have great support. Plus, they’re having a sale right now.

Here are a few more links to sites that have good swimwear selections. Beachbliss, Figleaves, Swimsuits for All, Lion’s Lair Specialty Swimwear, and Best Swimwear.

And here are a few suits that will get an extra shout out just because I think they are so cute. I love this Tommy Bahama suit, this paisley one-piece , and this darling tankini.

One last thing, check out all the cute cover-ups. I am particularly in love with this one and this one that can be worn as a skirt or a strapless cover-up.

Of course you could always go with something like this, rock a side ponytail, and channel Chrissy Snow from “Three’s Company”.

On a completely unrelated note but of much greater substance and importance, there are not words to describe the power of this post by Melissa and this post by Angie from the Compassion India trip. Both left me in tears as I read them yesterday. INCREDIBLE.

Y’all have a great Friday.

Here’s Mr. Linky if you have something to add on a fashion-related note.

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