Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Little Girl's Clothes (AKA my 401K)

Amelie with her cousin Wilder wearing The Proper Peony

Two very dear grandmother friends asked me where I buy Amelie's clothes. The dirty truth is that I buy most of them from friends. I'm sure your city has a "Facebook Mom Page" where you post something like "Florence Eiseman jumper 2T $15" and someone comments, venmo or paypal's you and then they grab it off your porch. It's like drug dealing but way way  more satisfying. *I have never dealt drugs. I have been doing this for almost 3 years now. When Amelie was little I would load the kids up at 6am (my kids wake up early), give ford his iPad, Amelie a pacifier and drive all over this city doing my "porch pickups". I looked something like this:

I also shop off my friend's Instagram pages. I have become good friends with people I follow on Instagram who have kids exactly a year older (I'm looking at you Morgan) and now they sometimes just message me what they are getting ready to sell to let me have first dibs.

BST (Buy Sell Trade) boards on facebook are another favorite. BST boards and Instagram are Tinder for Moms that love clothing. I'm serious. If a Mom is posting clothes that line up size/season/taste for me I'm definitely swiping right. I literally have a group of girlfriends in Rock Hill that I met this way. Love you RH girls!

Social Media for kids shopping is AMAZING. Kids grow so fast and there are very few companies I will pay retail for. So my other favorite sources for kids clothes are these!

Hands down one of my favorites. I splurge on these once or twice a year and try to buy the rest off the "boards". This blue tulip dress will stay in Amelie's forever box and their holiday dresses are perfection.

I met Mollie when I offered to take pictures of her daughter's birthday party. Her brand is local to Charlotte! And I can never say no to a buffalo check.

Leda's beautiful clothes are exquisitely classic and perfect for dressing babies and kids. And somehow we are related! (isn't everyone from Louisiana cousins somehow?) Her Pima rompers are the perfect baby gift too!

Pixie Lily Holly Daygown

Little English
Another boutique favorite and this dress is a MUST have for this Fall. The shirt is attached!

And this...I mean stop it.

A jumper and bathing suit favorite in our house. I had to get the long sleeve style of this dress since Fuchs = Fox!

LaRoque Mini
One of a kind outfits from an adorable store in South Carolina!

I mean look at this dress for back to school!

Inlet Smocked Clothing Company
These ladies are out of Murrell's Inlet and  I'm kicking myself for not ordering this dress

Bella Bliss
Love their jumpers and they have a great boy selection as well. I think our little Swiss Amelie needs this outfit!

Instagram stores (for Florence Eiseman, Squiggles, Viva la Fete, etc)
One of the best ways to buy clothing is truly on Instagram. I know that sounds insane but I never go "shopping" anymore. Several stores even call each season to see if there is anything I need (which makes me feel insanely important). Carousel in Columbia is a favorite as well as MCall's, Shop Loozie Loo, Banbury Cross,  Spinout Kids, etc! Here are some of their Instagram pics:

And the little English Dress I fell in love with through McCall's IG

Instagram Brands: Cecil and Lou, Smockingbird

I never get to see my friend Abby so I always make sure I attend her S/G trunk show. Last year I purchased my favorite dress for Amelie, this Fox Dress. They have great pieces and aren't too expensive. When the kids were younger that have great brother/sister matches.

Play Clothes
Kids and school are tough on clothes. I don't send Amelie in anything that I love and Ford at this age only wears Under Armour. I don't know how they cornered the market for boys 5+ but his Adidas and Nike were just not good enough. I am very thankful I can find most of that used. A woman here in Charlotte even invited me over to dig through her bins and bins of UA. We are set for a few years. Companies I like for play clothes are

Hanna Andersson 
Beautiful bright play dresses and some of my favorite pajamas!

Dad, I think Amelie needs this. I mean....since you haven't taken me duck hunting yet.

Fauxden (Fake Boden on Amazon)

Old Navy/Gap/Target
Katie Quinn Organics Fox Dress at Target...why isn't this in a 3T!

If you are a local in Charlotte one of my favorite consignment stores is The Argyle Alligator. Casie Carpenter played on the Blondes vs Brunettes team to End Alz so I will support all of her business endeavors. Here are some items she has in the shop now!

 What are your favorite brands for little girls? Happy Shopping!
PS: Amelie is a 3T. Wink Wink

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I Was a Stranger

I have held off writing about this day. It shocked me it came so quickly and I don't think I really have absorbed how it felt.

Our trip to Asheville for the Fourth of July was interrupted by a stomach bug so I made the trip by myself since I needed to bring Dad a load to take to the beach for us.

That Sunday Dad and I took BB coffee like we always do. She was parked in the main auditorium listening to the Sunday Gospel singers. I don't like visiting her in there because she gets distracted by other people she recognizes and wants to scoot over to them. 

I walked over to her first and she looked up and with a blank look in her eyes said "I love you". She says this to everyone so at first I figured she was being polite and not being loud. Her typical response is to start smiling, then laughing and then crying from happiness when she sees me.

We wheeled her over to the corner and she saw Dad and her eyes lit up. She didn't take her eyes off of him. It began to occur to me that she did not know I was Katharine, her daughter. Her daughter she carried for 9 months (early baby). That she had an emergency C-section with because placental abruption. Who told her all of her crazy teenage secrets. Who she drove to ballet and tap every Saturday morning for 8 years. Who she screamed "Smoke em Smoltz" during my serve at my tennis matches. Who she snuck into summer camp and brought pizza to. Who she went to Lilith Fair with and shared underage margaritas.  

She didn't know me.

She kept looking at Dad and listening to him and taking sips (through a straw) of her Starbucks. I looked at Dad and under my breath and said "She doesn't know". And he said of course she does! BB, this is your daughter, this is Katharine, your little girl.

Nothing. She turned her gaze back to him. 

It was like I wasn't there.

He tried again, hopelessly looking for a reaction. BB, this is Kat, she came to see you, your little girl. You are her Mommy....

She looked back at my face, then my necklace, and went back to looking at him. 

I held it together because I didn't want to upset her. She didn't even look in my direction the rest of our visit.

Once we passed the double doors into the waiting room I broke down into sobs. Dad just held me and cried along with me. 

I was gone to her.

For those of you that will say, "but she knows who you are in her heart." That is nice. It really is. And I know when she dies she will get her memories back and I will be her daughter again. 

But on this day, I was a stranger. And I cannot begin to describe how that felt.

I came home and Ford overheard me talking to Max about it. The next day in the car he started crying and said Mommy, if you get Alzheimer's will you forget me? I don't want you to forget me!

I was speechless and tried to reassure him I wouldn't get ALZ. But that is a lie. I cannot guarantee that. There is no cure, no prevention, only promises of exercise and a healthy diet to try to keep this monster at bay.

Please donate here so that future generations of sons and daughters do not have to be strangers to their parents.