Torn ACL Leads to Uncute Fashion Choices, Public School

September 11, 2012

As you know, I hurt my knee a few weeks ago. ┬áIt turns out I tore my ACL, which is a common injury among athletes, apparently. Also a common injury among dogs, according to Brook Gideon. I am neither a dog nor what one might call an athlete (although I’m super athletic in my head). Just unlucky, I suppose.

The nice thing is, I guess, that it’s such a common injury that the medical establishment knows what to do. Some people don’t do anything about it, and just work on getting stronger. I can’t really walk, so I’m opting for surgery. On October 1 I’ll have allograft surgery (allograft is a euphemistic medical term for “putting a dead person’s ligament in where yours used to be”).

Being on crutches is a pain. You can’t really carry anything. I’m kind of crutch-walking now, so I can maybe carry something, very slowly, if I shove one of the crutches into my armpit and hold it there. For the next three weeks I am working on regaining my full range of motion (I can’t straighten my leg, and can barely bend it) and putting weight on my leg.

It also turns out that my wardrobe is not at all suited for a knee injury. I mostly wear skirts. You can’t wear a skirt if you’re lying on a table with your knee bent, having a medical professional mostly looking underwearward. I have one pair of decent shorts, and I mostly only wear them for hiking or biking or house renovating. I do not look cute in hiking shorts. Not awful, mind you, but not really like I’m paying attention. Not that it’s about that. At all. It’s just: isn’t September all about dusting off tights and scarves? Not about hiking shorts. June is about hiking shorts.

Goodbye, cute skirts, I'll see you when my knee heals | World of Julie

Oh skirts and dresses, I miss you.

The worst part is truly that our bedroom is in the attic, and, because we’re renovating our second-floor bathroom, the only bathroom is on the first floor. So I now cut off liquids (for me) after 6 pm, like I’m a 4-year-old giving up nighttime diapers or something.

So many stairs. Crutches are hard. | World of Julie

This is the SECOND set of stairs I have to ascend to get to my bed. It takes me a good five minutes to get all the way up there.

The other thing that has been happening, for a few months now, is that we’ve been going back and forth about whether to keep homeschooling. I love it, and we all love it, but it was also causing a LOT of stress. A few days before I hurt my knee, we found out that we could maybe send the boys to one of the “better” schools in our town. We were still debating, and then I tore my ACL, and we figured we might as well apply. Our feeling was that, if they got in, that’d be good, but if they didn’t, that’d be ok too. And they got in.

So today marks one week of school. So far it has been really, really good. Both boys are making friends and love their teachers. Henry’s teacher seems to be book-obsessed (though are there 4th grade teachers who aren’t?) (not that they’re all Colby Sharp or anything, but I would imagine every 4th grade teacher loves books), so that suits book-obsessed Henry. Eli’s teacher is sweet and kind, and about two inches taller than he is.

We didn’t really tell them that we were viewing this completely as a trial, and if they hated it, we’d pull them out. I mean, they knew, I think, but I didn’t want them to go in wanting to hate it. But they don’t hate it, at all. Eli is still not completely sure (“She made us do the hokey pokey. Do you have any idea how embarrassing that is?”), but Henry is clearly loving it, all of it, from kickball to multiplication worksheets.

Eli’s mood about school increased 1000-fold on day 3, when he got a love note:

My first grader Eli's love note | World of Julie

So, to sum up: I’m ok. Tore my ACL. Can’t quite walk, but I’m working on that, and I’m hoping to be walking and driving by…what? November? I’m feeling surprisingly vain about my inability to wear skirts and cute shoes. And the boys are in school, and that’s ok.

yellow Camper platforms, red Miz Mooz heels | World of Julie

Goodbye for now, cute shoes. I'll see you in the spring.

CATEGORIES: homeschool, Julie

Forty = fancy

March 31, 2011

Today, friends, I am forty years old. Hurrah! A birthday, and so: Why not dress up? I mainly blame the subscription to Lucky that Sutswana somehow got, and which she passes on to me. It makes me want to be just slightly more chic. You’d think it would also make me want to wear wedge sandals, but it doesn’t. Maybe this is because I am all mature and 40 and everything.

I apologize for making you all turn your heads. For some confounded reason, I can’t get this photo to rotate. I am not a computer idiot. It keeps saying it’s rotated, but it forgot that I have eyes and can see that it’s still sideways. Maybe I am so sleep deprived that even photos of me try to lie down.

So I pulled together this outfit, wearing one of my most favorite skirts, bought at the Gap on a post-birth wardrobe overhaul with Zeile about seven years ago. It goes well with this new Target cardi, non? I should dress up more often. It was fun. But I also need some nice flats. I put on jeans at noon because I couldn’t feel my toes anymore. Do women really wear heels every day? Maybe I’ll get some espadrilles like Liz.

And that’s way more about fashion than about turning 40. I kind of like the idea of being 40. A new start! Now I am officially a grown-up, and will be responsible, work hard, and clean my toilet without expecting praise for it.

Today’s birthday is also exciting because I finally made the salted chocolate tart that my cousin Christina recommended two years ago. I’m pretty excited about it. I haven’t added the salt yet because I know I’m going to be the only one who wants the salt, and I don’t feel like dealing with the grousing. Let’s have my birthday be the day where no one complains about the food I put in front of them.

CATEGORIES: Julie

I’m ten minutes away from legwarmers

November 24, 2009

Ok: I hate being pregnant. I know there are some women who get all ecstatic and rejuvenated and glowy, but that’s not me. I’m not glowy. I’m ashen and sullen and there’s a permanent crease between my eyebrows. I hate being sick, that’s for sure, but that ends (as it has, thank you), and I still hate it. I do sort of like the ultrasounds, but honestly that’s just a science geek thing and I would be just as satisfied watching that NOVA special about pregnancy. It’s the lumpiness, the frumpiness, and the clothes, really, that I hate. As soon as I get pregnant I not only get the belly, but also sprout some love handles and generally give off a Bosc vibe. No good. And these clothes — can someone please make maternity pants that don’t fall down? I think I need maternity suspenders.

It’s really just that it’s impossible to look hip and sexy when you’re pregnant. (Or, at least, when I’m pregnant.) Any attempts at hipness somehow just up the schlub factor. There’s no getting around it: me pregnant = schlubby. And it’s just depressing. I know I’ve got at least another year of wearing someone else’s body. I’m trying to make the best of it, but I just want it to be May already (or May 2011). This time I didn’t even move my regular clothes out of the closet; I just shoved the stupid maternity stuff into a big pile in the closet and I just grab whatever’s on top.

Lately I’ve been trying to distract from the schlub factor and burgeoning midsection by clever accessorizing. I’m wearing very large necklaces, for instance. And capris with striped socks. I’ve starting wearing patchouli again; maybe someone will become so distracted by the scent of dirt and pine essence that they won’t notice I’m pregnant. The other day I wore (really) a paisley headscarf that (with the striped socks) made me look like Rhoda Morgenstern on crack, but I think it may have been sufficiently distracting.

When this is all over I’m buying matching lingerie and burning the maternity crap in a bonfire.

CATEGORIES: Julie

Recent Goodwill Scores

July 23, 2009

A few weeks ago I went into Goodwill looking for capri pants, since my only capri pants were sad and stained (well, ok, one pair was sad and stained, and the other pair fits fine if I’m standing but if I do something as daring as sitting or, heaven forbid, squatting, I show the entire state my butt crack). I didn’t find any capri pants, but I did get two awesome pairs of corduroys. (more…)

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CATEGORIES: Julie

Try on everything in your closet

May 27, 2009

I was completely inspired by Michelle Slatalla’s recent column about cleaning out her closet. The idea is to try on every single item in your closet, get rid of things that don’t look good, and then I guess reconsider everything that does look good, so that you think about wearing that fancy velvet blazer with jeans (that was her example; I don’t have a fancy velvet blazer).

And so, while Dave was occupied ripping siding off of our house, I attacked the closet. I pulled out absolutely everything and tried it on. The big surprise was that everything fit pretty well. I guess I know what looks good on me, because I didn’t have a lot of duds. I thought for sure that some of my party dresses would go, especially the hot pink silk halter dress with shiny beading, but that actually looked a lot more classic than I remembered. There’s a lot I’m not proud of from my shopaholic days, but at least I was obsessed with Banana Republic and J. Crew, so that the clothes I’m left with now are all cut really well and are all fairly timeless.

Here’s what I learned:

  1. I randomly look best in party dresses. It is certainly not any life of mine where I’d wear party dresses on a regular basis, but they were the only things I put on that made me think, “That looks GREAT!”
  2. I look best in brown.
  3. All of my t-shirts have a small stain on them somewhere.
  4. I look best when the waistline of pants hits right below my belly button. Surprisingly hard to find these days.
  5. We have moths in our closet.
  6. Never take someone else’s cast-off clothing. Or at least think really hard before doing it. Most of the clothes I got rid of were ones someone else was getting rid of.
  7. There are a lot of clothes in my closet I don’t wear, but should. Like a cute grey fitted 3/4-sleeve button down that looks good with jeans. And all those twinsets. I don’t know if I’m brave enough to wear my silk sweatersets while parenting, but I might. And the navy blue printed polyester button-down (Anne will know this as the “coffee bean shirt”). I regret that I rediscovered it now, when the weather’s a bit too warm for it.

The whole exercise (which took about four hours with continual interruptions) was also a great motivator to finally get back on the fitness horse. I’m almost there, but I need to reacquaint myself with Jillian Michaels and get shredded and all that. I stopped exercising when I was working on my final project a few weeks ago, and I need to get started again. Standing in front of a full-length mirror, trying on outfit after outfit, I could see how if I tightened things up a little in the general ab area, everything would look a million times better. So it was a worthy activity just for that extra (needed) motivational push.

In the end I only got rid of one big bag of clothes, and my closet didn’t look any sparser or more organized afterwards, but it was extremely helpful to remember what’s in there. Next step is to do the same thing with my dresser (jeans and pants, mainly). I should have done it at the same time, but I had closet fatigue and needed to move on to something else.

CATEGORIES: clutter

Salt Marsh

May 5, 2009

Why do I always forget about the Scarborough Marsh? It’s close, beautiful, and theoretically an easy walk for the kids. Plus Henry voted for A Day in the Salt Marsh as the Chickadee Award winner, so he was all full of salt marsh facts, which made him happy. And he spied and correctly identified a pair of red-winged blackbirds (thanks to the latest issue of “Your Big Backyard”), so he was feeling like Little Johnny Muir or something.

In other news, this is what happens when the same person (me) buys all the clothes for everyone in the family. Suddenly I go through an odd Red Fleece Jacket Phase and then we become one of those matching families, though it’s not really on purpose. In other other news, you will note that Eli once again dressed himself.

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CATEGORIES: Henry, Parenting

It’s nice when the kids dress themselves

April 24, 2009

…but sometimes they come downstairs looking like one of the Village People.

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CATEGORIES: Eli
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Clutter Update

April 3, 2009

After my Goodwill haul on Monday, I did a thorough combing of the baby bins and took two huge bags of boy clothes to the 16-month-old across the street, and another big bag of clothes that would be too small for him went to Goodwill. I added a bit more to the bag of special girl clothes that is being saved in the hopes that one of my two good friends who is currently pregnant will have a girl (you know who you are! it’s a fight to the birth!). I also made it to the consignment shop to drop off all the jewelry I cleared out a week or so ago, thinking of Christina the whole time, because I was actually moving the clutter beyond my own personal property and into the hands of someone else.

Best of all, last Saturday at 3:45, Dave announced he had to bring some wood to the dump. We had only 15 minutes to get there before it closed, but as we were gathering our brood and throwing coats and hats on them I rushed down into the basement and grabbed the two broken bouncy chairs that have been languishing there for months. One was broken beyond repair, and the other was marginally usable but only if you’re ok with your baby bouncing next to some odd wires sticking up. On our way to the dump I suddenly had a pang about getting rid of these bouncy chairs, the ones we’ve used for all three kids, and the fact that they’re too big for bouncies already. When we got to the “Household Goods” bin and I was about to throw them in, I wondered if any part of me would regret getting rid of them. And then, as I threw them in, it felt like a literal weight was lifting off my shoulders. Regret? Hell, no! Elation! Getting rid of the bouncy chairs is not getting rid of my bouncy chair memories, but it is getting rid of two monstrous space hogs that don’t even work in the first place.

It made me feel like I may need to re-Freecycle the crock pot and the juicer. I like them but they don’t really get used enough to justify the space they take up. I’m still slightly on the fence about this, but leaning toward getting rid of them.

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CATEGORIES: clutter

Fitness Update

April 2, 2009

So I think I’m doing something more like the 60 Day Shred rather than the 30 Day Shred, but I’m doing it. This weekend I inexplicably decided to move up to Level Two, mostly out of curiosity. I’m glad I did. Don’t get me wrong — Level Two is hard — but I realize I no longer had that shaky, sweaty, “I’m going to die” feeling at the end of Level One (though I’m nowhere near being able to successfully complete that last strength move). I can just barely get through Level Two, and I have to stop to catch my breath a few times. But it’s good. After doing it the second time I feel fairly sore and wobbly.

The best part is still the continued encouragement to actually get in shape. Phrases like, “results don’t come for free, people!” while being mildly annoying, are successfully motivating me to work out regularly, and also to stop and think before I chomp down another cookie (sometimes I still eat the cookie, but that’s because I really neeeeeed it).

I am still on the lookout for decent running pants (Teresa says to go look at the L.L. Bean Factory Store, but I’m having trouble getting down there with my entourage). I did buy some cute new things from Sierra Trading Post, and that was fairly motivating as well. I got the very excellent Hind Pretty Speedy Wicking Shirt ($4.95!); the New Balance Texturetech T-Shirt in my favorite green color ($13.45); Hind Stretch Performance Running Shorts, which are such perfect running shorts that I’m going to order another pair ($6.25!); and a much needed item: a new sports bra ($19.00). Now if it would stop being bitter and rainy, I could go out for runs and actually sweat (I’ve been looking forward to that since December).

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CATEGORIES: Julie

Wearable Art Show this Saturday

April 1, 2009

For those of you in Southern Maine, check out the Wearable Art show this Saturday at Rise Gallery at 864 Broadway in South Portland. My entire inventory of shirts (sizes from babies to adults) will be there, and there are some really amazing one-of-a-kind clothes and jewelry as well. When I was dropping things off there was a woman who had made jeans (jeans! amazing! who makes jeans?) and an incredible top to go with it, and who also repurposes thrift store t-shirts into skirts. I also saw some excellent hats. The opening is this Saturday (April 4) from 6-9, and the show runs for two months.

Today I learned that it is nearly impossible to take a photo of objects in a storefront window. Or at least it was at the time of day I tried to. But in the first one you can kind of see the cool dress in the center, and my shirt with a skirt on the left. In the second photo you can get a better view of my shirt and the great Maine horse skirt (this must be one of the ones upcycled from a t-shirt, though I didn’t see it when I was in before), plus a necklace and a hat. (Though the second photo still seems to be more about the reflection of the electrical lines.)

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CATEGORIES: Julie
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