photo: ready to shop!
It was Tuesday. It was bloody hot. It was a day to seek A/C, embrace our inner girlie girls, and strike out on a mission - new shoes!
It all started when I noticed Ana's super-cute sandals one day... and told her she should take me shopping sometime and help me pick out some shoes.
Ana's inner girlie girl is alive and well, hungry for bling all the time. She will stop her mother in a store, point to the most glittery, shiny, gaudy, sparkly pair of shoes and gush, "Mom, those would look beauuuutiful on you!"
And to understand the whole picture, Ana's mama, my sister, isn't exactly into glam. She is an earth mama, who wears little if any make-up, runs the family farm, and shows up to meet cattle dealers in berkenstocks. Not that she can't doll up something fierce when she needs to - she can turn heads as easily as any grrrl - but she prefers bare feet and comfort-over-fashion most days. So she grimaces whenever Ana shoves a pair of hot-pink glittered stilettos at her.
photo: our "before" picture, with plain old shoes
So after my passing comment, Ana got jazzed. My sister sent me an email that said, "I hope you were serious about taking Ana shoe shopping... you can't say things like that unless you mean it!" And there began the quest, to find a day to shop 'til we dropped. Ana asked "When!?" every time I saw her until I was finally able to set a date.
Our first stop was a shoe store called - of all things - Girlie Girl Shoes! We thought that sounded like the perfect place to start, but unfortunately they only had women's shoes. I did a quick scan of the place to see if anything screamed "buy me," but there were no prices on any shoes and that is never a good sign for frugal-me. After oohing and ahhhing over some decadent handbags, we struck out for the mall.
We had a price limit in mind, and we weren't stopping until all three of us had new shoes. We got waylaid just inside the mall entrance, when a kiosk clerk nabbed us to rub lotion into our hands and buff our nails for a demo. That was fun for a while, but the man was less than thrilled when I kept saying, "Don't do it to my arm, do it on their arms!" as the girls got excited at the mini-pampering. Thankfully, just as the man started with his sales pitch, Maddie rolled her eyes and said, "WHEN can we go shoe shopping!?!" and that was the perfect exit strategy. One of the giggles of the day began... "don't let the lotion man see us! Oooh, there he is - let's go up the elevator so he doesn't see us again!" and we made a game out of dodging him for the rest of the day.
Maddie was the first to strike shoe-gold, in store #3. After trying on dozens of shoes, she put on these smart little yellow polka-dotted sandals and exclaimed, "I want these!" One girlie girl down.
photo: Maddie's new shoes!
Ana felt the pressure and hemmed and hawed over several pair at the same store, but I reminded her we had all day and many more stores to see and not to buy any unless she was really sure. So off we went. We passed a children's store that I almost didn't suggest, because I was thinking Gymboree prices and knew they'd be too costly. But we ventured in anyhow, and Ana took one look at a wall full of glittery flip-flops and said, simply, "Those." I found her size, she tried them, and the biggest grin crossed her face as she did a little jig in her new shoes.
photo: Ana's new shoes!
New sunglasses were on my list of things I need, and just then I spotted kids' sunglasses in the same store. The girls tried on several pair until they were satisfied with the ones they wanted. So, first new shoes, then new sunglasses! We were stylin' now.... little old ladies were chuckling as we posed for photos in front of the stores.
Photo: After shoes, sunglasses!
Alright, so now it was time to get serious about finding a pair of shoes for Aunt Laura. I'd spotted a cute pair as we'd passed through Macy's on our way into the mall, so I knew I had those to consider as a back-up. I didn't think it'd be as much fun for the girls to help me shop, so at each store I'd do a quick scan, and we'd move on to the next place. We decided we were hungry so we visited the food court. I'd hoped to be done shopping so we could find a place with good food, but we settled for mall food. Ana got a slice of pizza from Sbaros that was as big as her head!
Back to the task at hand.... shoes. We stopped at JC Penney's and saw an adorable skirt on our way to the shoe department. I made a mental note about it, but the girls surprised me by saying I HAD to try it on. Such a difference from shopping with my kids! If I even sniff in the direction of such a store, my boys begin their litany of begging not to go there. "No, no way, mom. Please don't make us go." And I don't. So it was such a treat to be with someone who actually encouraged me to try something on! Sadly, the skirt gave me that hmmmm, something's-not-quite-right feeling, even though the girls were enthusiastic about it. Ah well, we have a mission to accomplish, and it's not skirts!
Nothing in the shoe department there jumped out at me, so we took another skirt detour and went back to Ana's store so the girls could try on clothes. After they picked out their favorite skirts, they didn't want to take them off. The clerk had to put Ana on a stool so they could remove the plastic alarm tag! They were amused that we kept returning, buying things, and taking pictures.
photo: After shoes, after sunglasses,... skirts!
Time was running out, so it was back to Macy's where I was hopeful I'd find a pair of shoes I liked that weren't too expensive. The ones I'd spied earlier were very cute, but they were $50 sandals and they didn't meet my 'must have' criteria. And then we spied the racks and racks of hats near the racks and racks of discounted sandals. Double score!
The girls played in the hats and scarves while I tried on shoes, stopping them every so often to ask, "This one, or this one?" They'd look, very serious in their shoes, skirts, sunglasses, scarves and wide-brimmed pink hats, and give me their most astute observations. Then they'd skip back to the hats.
After I finally found "the ones" - woohoo! - I joined the girls for some fun in the hat racks, causing more than one shopper to stop and laugh at our antics. We were having a ball, and we didn't want to stop!
But alas, 'twas time to get home in time for Ana's baseball game, allowing just enough time to pitstop for a sugary treat.
photo: Aunt Laura's new shoes!
We paused in the mall exit to take just a few more photos - of our newly clad feet! We giggled the whole time, as Maddie wasn't tall enough to lean back, stick out her feet, and not fall off the bench!
All in all, a wildly successful girlie girl afternoon, our inner shopaholics sated .... at least for now....
Photo: The "after" picture - our new shoes!