Tag Archives: teenagers

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em….

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more keeping up with my fitness focused teenagers! When I was little, girls were only involved with things like ballet, figure skating, gymnastics and tennis. I was clueless to the fact that there was a great big world of athletics just waiting to be experienced. My leanings have always tended towards shopping as a sport. I could have totally won gold at the mall.


My people happen to subscribe to the life philosophy; all sports all the time. Because more of everything is always better, each summer when Nick was little, I signed him up for eight weeks worth of swimming lessons. It never did quite register with me that all the other kids only participated in a single two week session, rather than the whole enchilada. By the time Nick was going into the 2nd grade, he had completed every single solitary swimming lesson our park district had to offer. The only thing left was life guarding. He was 7.


Sports conditioning has always been a way of life for my two. Hockey was the inspiration for Nick’s particular obsession with leg strength and cardio. Forever he could be found doing wall sits, squats and marking off 75 and 100 meter increments out in front of our house for me to time his sprinting drills with a stop watch. In fact, his favorite Christmas gift this year, other than his Sam Adams (Boston rapper) CD, was a mini parachute that gets strapped to your back to offer resistance while you run. Rarely has Wrigley found anything more exciting than chasing Nick down the street trying to wrestle and dominate the parachute.


Of course, Amanda has been a gym rat since she stared gymnastics when she was 4. Never one to be left out, she’s always been all too eager to join Nick, no matter what the challenge. In fact, once she retired from gymnastics this winter, she and her brother became constant workout companions.


With her school and AAU track seasons over and her work out partner off to college, Amanda was in need of a gym buddy. I was only too happy to volunteer for the job. Selfishly I figured, if I worked out with her, maybe some of her fitness would rub off on me. While I’ve been working out for the past 20 years (you know, the usual mom stuff; going to the health club, running, biking, weight training, chatting), I’m absolutely exhausted! Box jumps, plyometrics, circuit training, weight lifting and serious abdominals (none of this doing a couple of crunches malarkey).       

They say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. I say if you’re brave enough to join them, be sure to eat your Wheaties!


More exercising, more fitness, more mother/daughter bonding, more exhaustion……


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Why Did the Grinch Steal Christmas? Because of His Shopping Experience at Abercrombie…

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more Christmas shopping for the teens!


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas……. everywhere you go…..especially at the Abercrombie store. You know my mantra, more of everything is always better, so I totally get how it works; more crowds, more lines, more waiting, more noise, more merchandise……more fun! I was at my most favorite place in the entire world, The Mall, and I was happily making my list, and checking it twice as I approached, what is Mecca for the tweens and teens….the Abercrombie store (which is the same way I feel about a good Target or TJ Maxx and More!). I sensed that I was getting closer, even with my head down, furiously texting messages of the utmost importance as I made my way through the throngs of busy shoppers (you know, I am a very important person), when my animal instincts made me acutely aware that I had narrowed in on my prey. Well, really it wasn’t all that difficult, because the Abercrombie store is overwhelming with its powerful, hypnotic scent, even from outside the store, and down the promenade. I am drawn inside, like a moth to a flame (or me to a double discount sale or a bottle of Pino Grigio), with the promise of what they are selling; ridiculously over priced merchandise, which is so incredibly small in scale and as paper thin as a scalloped potato, that I am required to purchase three shirts to do the job, and provide the proper coverage, of one (the need for layering is absolutely genius marketing), just so my daughter sports an appropriate amount of clothing to cover up her body, as you see, I am not raising a hoochie mama!
I entered the store, already under the toxic influence of the cologne that they are very clearly pumping in through the air vents like they do oxygen in Vegas (baby). I was so taken by the over powering scent that I barely noticed that I had been lured in to another dimension, that is so dark that I could scarcely see my own hand in front of my face, much less the merchandise. I know that those brilliant Abercrombie people keep the lights so dimly lit with the intention that the customers (adults) can’t possibly see the price tags; otherwise you would find them as they ran screaming from the cave like a bat out of Hell (that’s Abercrombie Hell). I felt my way through the store, as my eyes adjusted to my new surroundings, and I unearthed some items that might have been of interest to “Santa.” When I couldn’t find the size I was searching for (small, a size I have never personally worn in my entire life. It is sooooo fun to make purchases for someone else!), I decided it was my mission to hunt down some assistance. Surely, they must have had one of these drawstring waisted, jacket style, dealy-wigs in a super small size. But, alas when I finally located help between the dark, the smell and the noise (which even I found to be at an irresponsible and offensive decibel level, and I adore irresponsible and offensive), I had to tap the young man on the shoulder as he could not detect my presence through his senses of sight, hearing or smell (as I smell of Givenchy, not Abercrombie) and he greeted me with a, “Hey. What’s up?” What’s up?!? What did you think was up you dope? I would have liked some customer service……
He nodded as if he understood what I was looking for, but I couldn’t be certain. I had a feeling he was accustomed to not understanding what was said to him, but agreeing to it anyway. Ah, to be so beautiful. It seemed that he was gone for about half a second when I asked him if he had located my items. He replied that “someone” was looking for them upstairs in the storage room. Yeah, right. I was sure the other Abercrombie beautiful people were doing exactly what my children do when asked to look for, or do something; pretend they did it. I skulked around the store until I found the magical “employees only” door, and simply discovered that there weren’t any more small sized, drawstring waisted, jacket style, dealy-wigs in any color. Humph. I supposed it was time to make do with what I had (not that my pals needed any more clothes, but Santa must bring something!).
I gathered up my purchases and headed for the only register open in the entire store that coincidentally was being manned by only one worker. Hello Mr. Abercrombie, it is Christmas. You know, the busiest season for shopping of the entire year. Well the little girl behind the counter was as cute as a button, but not too terribly efficient (I shop a lot and could certainly have taught her a thing or two that she apparently did not learn in her Abercrombie training sessions. I believe that there they learn to pout, pose and stare off in to the distance, therefore averting the gaze of customers in need of assistance). A line began to form as she picked up each item, one by one, scanned them and put them on the counter behind her. More efficiency…PLEASE. Why didn’t she scan, remove the sensor and fold each item as she had them in her hand? Seriously, I am a big believer in touching an item once, be it the groceries, the mail or the laundry. She could have sped up the process immeasurably had she been paying any attention at all, but I suppose she thought, “For minimum wage…why bother?” I’d tell you why to bother right here and now, but my opinions on a job well done will have to wait for another day.
While the little girl at the register was taking an absolute eternity to complete my transaction (15 minutes for 7 items seemed a tad excessive. We’re talking clothing here, not explosives), the line began to grow, and two more Abercrombie associates stepped behind the counter. The next woman in line behind me asked if someone could ring her up, and the new cute little girl behind that counter said that no, she couldn’t, that the first cute little girl would have to. So, efficiency expert, and irritated shopper that I was, I suggested that perhaps she could help the register girl fold, and box up my gifts. To which she replied, “No, that’s not my job.” Confused, I inquired, “Then, what is your job?” I kid you not, with a straight face, as if she actually believed the nonsense that was coming out of her mouth, she said, “I am in charge of walking around and making sure the customers are happy.” Dumbfounded, with my mouth wide open catching flies, I pointed out, “I am a customer, and I am not happy.” She looked at me as though I were speaking a foreign language and had three heads. I followed up with, “What is your name?” She answered me in such a perky manner, as if we were girlfriends talking about going to a concert, rather than a customer turning psychotic, “Keeley.” “Keeley”, I said, “may I please speak with your manager?” Without missing a beat she told me, “I am the manager.” Oh. My. God. She had to be kidding! Where were the grown ups? Seriously, what grown up in charge of anything is named Keeley? What are these Abercrombie people thinking permitting the inmates to run the asylum?
What recourse did I possibly have? I informed them, in a huff of irritation and self importance that I was going to name names and blog about them and their poor customer service on my blog page! Ha! The other grownups in line high-fived me as I stormed off with my purchases. I sure showed them. I bought $200.00 worth of merchandise. So who’s the winner now? Oh……. I guess that would be those smart marketing people at Abercrombie. Curses! Foiled again…….

More hustle and bustle, more Christmas cheer, more spending all of your money at Abercrombie….


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(Appropriate) Teenage Romance….

As the More is More Mom®, I am all about…..more appropriate teenage romance. Friday morning, as my Nick was heading out the door for school, he reminded me that he and his girlfriend were celebrating their six month anniversary. Six months? Wow! That is like forever in teen-time. He asked, “Do you think you can do me a favor (why would this moment be any different than any other? Clearly, I am his personal assistant)? Can you please pick up a bouquet of flowers?” Flowers I can manage. I’m just glad he didn’t think that six months meant a trip to Tiffany’s.

Nick’s girlfriend is darling; beautiful, bright and an athlete. They have the perfect thing going. She’s busy with softball and her girlfriends. He’s busy with golf, hockey and the fellas. They both have such demanding and hectic schedules that when they do see each other, they are happy to hang out at home and watch funny or scary movies. The perfect situation!


I was happy to handle the floral bouquet for him. Truly, what does an 18 year old boy know about flowers (except that girls like them)? There’s this fabulous little shop downtown that creates stylish arrangements, so I gave them a call. Amanda, Rosebud, another gal pal and I stopped by to pick them up on our way home from school. The bouquet was smart; two red roses, yellow flowers, berries, greens and deep, purple flowers, all wrapped in leopard tissue with a great big red bow. While gorgeous, the arrangement was a little too sophisticated, not nearly youthful and festive enough. We girls decided we should take matters into our own hands….off to the market we sped.


More of everything is always better, especially gorgeous blooms. What could be more age appropriate than a super fun color combination of one dozen hot pink roses, bright green pom-pom flowers and lime green filler? I rolled up my sleeves, pulled out my sheers and got to work.

I think that a gift is only a gift when it doesn’t require any work to enjoy it. The best way to give flowers is with a vase, so I pulled out a pretty green glass vase with a wide mouth to accommodate a large bouquet.



After I unwrapped all of the bundles, I trimmed each stem so they would be about the same size. Here’s a little tip: remove any leaves or buds that will be underwater, particularly in a clear vase, so they don’t get soggy, slimy or stinky.


Once I was happy with the arrangement, I took a few sheets each of light pink and hot pink tissue paper and wrapped up the bouquet in a sweet little bundle, tying it together with zebra wire ribbon. So bold and sassy!

Nick is a good boy who was excited to present his girlfriend with his thoughtful gesture. She was touched and thrilled with her bouquet. How sweet!

More beautiful flowers, more tenderness, more appropriate gestures, more romance….

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