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A Coye Nokes Lullaby

My 16.5-month-old son has been a notoriously bad sleeper from the day we brought him home.

If you have noticed fewer posts from me in the past year, it is largely because every moment not spent feeding or rocking the boy is spent half comatose, watching bad reality TV or sitting on the couch drooling.

Until three weeks ago, I was up each night, at least once with my youngest child.  I love him, but this was a daily living hell.  Until these arrived:

These babies from new shoe designer Coye Nokes arrived on my doorstep, smelling of new leather and sparkling like copper.  Immediately, Alan wanted to hold them.

“Shoes!  Shoes!  Shoes!” he screamed.  And at first, I was thrilled.  Not only had the shoes inspired yet another new word in my boy, they were also keeping him from throwing a fit, which is usually what he does when I deign not to hold him for 3.5 seconds.

He cradled the shoes and scooted about the floor whispering “shhhh” into its shoe-ear.  Odd, I thought, but figured he would eventually let me try them on.

What I did not count on was the way this pretty little flat would change our lives.  After cradling his new friend most of the day, Alan insisted the shoe sleep with him as well.  When we put him down for the night, he asked for his “ishy (blankie) and shooooe!”  And so we complied.  Guess who slept through the night?

In the morning we rushed into his room to make sure he was still breathing and there he was, curled around his copper friend as though it were a stuffed toy and not a cold leather piece of footwear.

Since that night, my boy has slept 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. every night.  Now, I am not completely crediting the shoes.  They happened to arrive the same day we were making some other changes–putting him in his own room, ceasing night nursing.  To me, though, it was all the shoes.

Okay, so yes, they are beautiful and comfortable and can transition from playdate to date night with the hubs with ease, but these shoes are so much more than that.

Anyone with kids, particularly ill-tempered sleepless ones, I urge you to try these before you hire the $200-an-hour sleep consultant.  It will be $400 well spent and you will have a little something to sport on your feet that can help show off your bagless eyes.


Breaking the Black

I like boots.  This should come as no surprise given the outrage I felt last week when my cat sprayed five pairs last week, effectively destroying them.

Still, I have always been a pretty conservative boot buyer.  Even though I had a variety of styles, they were all either a shade of brown or good old black.  Because they are usually an expensive wardrobe addition, I always thought this just made good sense.

Last week, my husband approved a little boot mini-spree for me given the tragic state of the boots Melvin (the fat cat) ruined.  I headed to Nordstrom where I found a pair of Via Spiga, six-inch spiked heel black boots and a more practical wedge from Steven by Steven Madden

At first I tried both boots in black, as is my custom and while the Via Spiga ones were hot, hot, hot (and totally impractical for a mom who never gets out), the Steven ones were very cute, comfortable and perfect for both park and playdate.

I hemmed and hawed for about 20 minutes, debating the merits of spending $400, but since both boots were on sale and it would have been $600 normally, I decided to seize the day.  Boots be mine!

At checkout I made an even crazier decision.  I have a casual pair of black boots.  Why not try the grey?  I know I missed the boat on the super trend (that was last fall), but I do not have a pair of grey boots.  And neither did Nordstrom.  They special ordered them for me and yesterday, these arrived:

To say I love them would be an understatement.  They are just to the knees, a little slouchy, super comfortable and also kind of hot.  In short, they are perfect.

Last season or not, I am rocking the grey boots and feeling pretty good about it, to boot.  Thanks Melvin.  Your inability to control pee has blessed me in the strangest way.





The Cat Must Die

For most parents of very young children, there are few personal pleasures.  Our lives are consumed with diapers, feedings, midnight wakings and the needs of these mighty demanding munchkins.

I took my pleasure in shoes.  In boots, to be exact.  Suede ones and leather ones, tall ones and flat ones, wedges and heels.  After a long day, a simple glance at my boots could make all the work worth it.

Until last week.  That is when my cat (pictured here as the obese urinating machine he is) decided to pop a squat and spray five of my boots, all from different pairs, including my brand new fringe Minnetonka, suedes and another suede pair I just bought and am too sad to reveal.

My corpulent, evil shoe ruiner:

The fact is, cat pee is notoriously hard to remove and even though all my shoes spent the evening soaking in our second bathtub in a mixture of vingegar, baking soda and “nature’s miracle,” I am not holding out hope that any of these shoes are salvageable.

To say I am devastated would be an understatement.  How does one recover when they lose $2,000 worth of shoes to their 10-year-old cat?  They say the first step of grief is denial and I am there, scrubbing and washing and hoping that I can once again wear any of these boots without attracting a small gaggle of female cats hoping to become impregnated.

Until then, my spraying fattie sleeps outside.




Confessions of a Shoe Rut

I have sinned.  It has been exactly 32 years since my last confession, but I will give it a try here and now and see if getting it off my chest helps. So, here it is:

I have abandoned my shoes.

Not only are my feet slightly bigger (gulp) thanks to a combination of marathon training (and marathon running) and back-to-back pregnancies, but I am also injured.  This has left me in a shoe rut so deep, I fear I will never see the sun.  I can’t wear full flats because I need arch support and I can’t wear heels because I need to heal my feet not make them worse.

What’s a shoe lover to do?

My doctor has recently suggested orthopedic shoes and sent a website for my perusal.  As I browsed, I cried.  Has it really come to this?  Has motherhood and running taken me from knee-high platform boots to this:

70927_BONE_LEATHERThere has got to be another way.  Why have orthopedic shoes not progressed past granny-chic?

I will not buy these shoes.  So maybe I will not be wearing spiky heels any time soon, but I am not ready to throw in the proverbial fashion towel just yet.  There is a pair of shoes out there for me somewhere.  They have a nice heel, plenty of arch support and look good with my skinny, ripped jeans.

And when I find you, I will buy you in 15 colors.


Rain, Rain Come More Often!

I have been sort of half-heartedly in the market for a pair of wellies ever since my daughter got her Hello Kitty rain jacket/boots/umbrella combo and started to actually be happy when we had a rain storm.

“Mommy!  Look!  I can wear my kitty boots!”

I figured she should not get ALL the fun splashing in puddles and keeping the mud off her socks.  But I have never owned a pair of rain boots that really worked for me.  Snow boots?  Yes.  Fashion boots?  Yes again.  But rainboots always struck me as a bit dowdy and silly, which is funny considering the spate of non-stop rain we have had here in Boston.

Besides, my lifestyle is such that I am in a shoe rut.  I hate flats because I am short and also because my jeans are always dragging when I wear them, but I spend most of my time at parks with my children, on long walks and scooping them up to carry them from place to place.  These are not good heel-wearing activities.

So, Wellies, with their marginal heel and ability withstand all kinds of weather and dirt consistencies, seem ideal.  And these Wellies, in particular, would allow me to remain both practical AND fashionable.  A rare playgroup combo, indeed.


Ok, so they Burberry and they are $300, which is a bit pricey given all my shoe money now goes to my children.  But I will buy either these or a good knock off of these.  And when I do I will be counting down the hours for the next rain storm.


New Shoe or No?

We Bostonians love our marathon more than just about any other sporting event next to baseball (go Sox).

So, invariably, living in Boston, you meet at least one person everday who is “training for a marathon.”  In fact, you are meeting one right now.  After seven years of regular, consistent running and sub-8-minute miles, I am finally at the tail end of the training program for my first real marathon.

For the past two months, I have embarked on the humbling, grueling task of training my mind, body and yes, feet, to travel 26.2 miles in enough time to qualify for the 2010 Boston Marathon.  In my age group, this means running it in 3 hours and 40 minutes.  Suffice it to say: not easy on the body.

So far, I have bought one new pair of Asics since I started, but my question: should I buy another?  For those of you who have run one: is it a bad idea to buy a new pair this far in?  I am on my last two long runs.  Next week is 19 and the one after is 20.  Should I be breaking in a new pair?

We runners tend to be loyal to our shoes and I have worn the same model of Asics for years now, but is it time for a new pair?

Veteran marathoners, I plead: hook a sister up with some advice.  I will keep you all posted.


Conservative Schmaservative

Boston is a pretty conservative kind of town.

We favor old school to new school thinking, tradition over modernity and pearls to funky links. We generally take that same approach to fashion–think Burberry, Brooks Brothers and JCrew.

My clothing choices tend to either be bohemian, athletic or sexy, so typically, I avoid Brooks Brothers, preferring to leave it to the many investment bankers who probably need more retail therapy right now than even I.

So when I found myself in Brooks Brothers helping my husband pick out clothes for his new job, I was slightly amused. Between the plaid, knee-length skirt and the argyle sweater sets, I was convinced I’d stumbled into the closet of someone’s ninety-year-old aunt Mildred. Or Barbara Bush’s.

As I stifled the yawns that come with man-shopping, I perused the shoe section. And what I found nothing short of stunned me:


How were these in Brooks Brothers? They are so sexy. So chic. So un-Babs I could scarcely believe it. And even better?

They were marked down 80 percent (!!)

I had to have them, but, of course, I also had to pretend like this shopping trip was about my husband (is any, really?)

I played it cool, gave him some tie advice, brought some pants to the fitting room. And then I sprung my find upon him.

“I happened to see these while you were trying on your fourteenth pair of blue wool pants,” I explained. “It was when I was looking for the next size up.”

He nodded suspicously, but my man knows a bargain when he sees one. And so these babies were to be mine.

Except for the size. Alas, my days of cramming my feet into shoes too small have passed.

But I know for some lucky blueblooded member of an American dynasty, these shoes will allow her to walk on the wild side–all for a fraction of doing something REALLY wild (like dating a Kennedy.)

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June 2019
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