Wiggin’ Out

When Mom first heard she was going to have chemo, one of her first questions was how long will I have until my hair is gone.

12 days. Not 12-15.  Not each person reacts differently.  12 days from the first round. Firm.

Since she was in the hospital, and was resolving to the fact that she wasn’t going to get out until after her first chemo, she put me on a mission – find out where to go for a wig.

I called Hairafter Salon and Spa, where my mom has been having her hair done for 35 years. Neither of us thought they’d have them there but the idea was they would definitely point us in the right direction.

What followed was one of the sweetest conversations I’ve had since this whole thing started.

Me – Hi John (John Colombo is the owner, and has been personally responsible for my mom’s head for at least 35 years), My mom has cancer and she needs to know where to get a wig.

JC – Meaghan, I’m so sorry to hear that.  What do you mean where does she go?  She comes to me!

Me – Oh really? I didn’t think you had wigs there.

JC – We don’t.  I will find her one, I’ll cut it and dye it and it will look exactly like her – no one will ever know.

Me – Wow! Okay, she’s hoping not to have spend a million dollars – this is temporary.

JC – Meaghan.  Leave it to me, it’s done.  Send me a recent picture.  I’ll order a bunch, she’ll come in and we’ll pick one, then we’ll shape it, dye it and she’ll pick it up.

Me – Thank you

JC – This is the least we can do, do not worry about it – tell her it will be perfect.

To say Mom was touched is an understatement.

She had her first chemo, and 12 days later…. still a full head of hair.  Turns out they hadn’t given her both drugs the first round, and it was the second that would both knock her down for a few days, and make her lose her hair.  The delay gave her some time, she was able to go down look at a few options and pick one.  The entire staff at Hairafter had a hand in making sure it was perfectly dyed and coifed. She took it home, and John asked her to come in again when her hair started to fall.  Once again, he would take care of it.

Thursday she went to a “Look Good Feel Better” session at the hospital, and Friday morning her hair started getting messy – so back to Hairafter she went, and to no one’s surprise the staff were nothing but wonderful.  They took her to a room in the basement, where her head was shaved and her wig styled.

 35 Years is a long time

Needless to say, it was an emotional haircut.  But having it done by anyone else – inconceivable.  Having a team of staff that were so genuine and caring made it so much easier.

Fresh from her new ‘do, Mom and Sista went off to Changes in Newmarket for some accessories.  While Mom is happy with the look of her wig, it is hot and kind of like a tight ponytail – you can’t wear it all the time – your head kinda gets tired. Changes, sells all kinds of head scarves.  Scarves in every colour and weight. Scarves for sleeping, and scarves for fashion.

The Model

Mom has been known to collect an accessory or two, and what’s extra nice is they’re so reasonably priced, it’s easy to get one for every day of the week.

A girl needs accessories

Once again, the staff person at Changes was absolutely fabulous. She walked mom through how to wrap them, encouraged her to try different styles.  And even gave her one for free, simply because it was slightly smaller than it should have been.

All in all, losing her hair has not been pleasant – as anyone can imagine I’m sure.  But luckily there are people in our world who care so much for her happiness and those that have been called to a profession that makes this whole crappy part, a little bit easier.

From the bottom of our hearts… thank you.

Message from Mom: “I was sitting here looking at this picture from your wedding… they did it. I have the same haircut as I did that day!”

Help from Mom

Yes she does – and just as beautiful.

Four Girls, Four Shapes, One Dress, TwoBirds

Ladies and Gentlemen everyone that is in our wedding party has something to wear! This is a momentous occasion and another big check mark off the ol’ to do list.

Originally I had told the ladies to find a grey dress. Any grey dress would do. I didn’t care what the style was as long as it was grey – heck I didn’t even really care what shade of grey – if you like I’m sure I’ll like it was my philosophy. Well, sista went looking and she came back with the following report – “grey does not appear to be the colour this season.” Shoot.

The reason for my original instructions were two fold: first, when everyone can pick their dress they get to pick something that looks good on them, and that they’re comfortable with financially; second, each of my four lovely ladies are completely different shapes. We’ve got heights from 5’7 – 6′, and of course each girl has something about their body that they’d rather not draw attention to. Skip the headache I figured. Do it Yourself.

Alas, it was not to be. But the wonderful world of blogs came to my rescue. I know there’s a few BTBs out there so to you I give you my list of wedding blogs I follow. Style Me Pretty (like 5 posts a day), Green Wedding Shoes, With This Ring, and Wedding Obsession – the last is even Canadian! Style me Pretty did a post on Twobirds Bridesmaids dresses I sent it to Sista and she quickly agreed these were worth a look. Better yet, they just opened a store in Toronto.

About a month ago Sista and I went down and she gave it a whirl. Ready to sign and seal it as soon as she put it on, we scheduled an appointment for this past Saturday when BFF Kate would be in town from the great West. The five of us went across Queen Street, after dropping the Boy at the 14 inning birthday Jays game.

The dress is honestly magical! I want one. Luckily there are only 2 sizes and Sista and I are the same size so I fully intend on stealing hers once I have an occasion that calls for it. (Shh don’t tell her). It’s one dress (a silk/jersey blend fabric – dressy and soft and according to the girls so comfy), 4 lengths, and can be wrapped a minimum of 15 different ways – put a little imagination and creativity in there and the options are basically endless. Plus, there’s an iPhone App complete with videos for your wrapping ease.

The greatest testament I think is how these four very different lovelies all wore the exact same dress one after another, and each of them looks unique and beautiful.

We’ve put the order in for 4 of them in slate grey (dress above is chocolate brown – there’s got to be some surprises right?). They should arrive in about 10 weeks (hopefully plenty of time to be unaffected by a pending postal strike). Love Love Love it and would HIGHLY recommend it. Endorsement from BFF Kristyn – “That was the easiest dress shopping experience I have ever done. EVER.”

Maids of Awesome Dresses – CHECK!  Actual styles they’ll wear – To Be Determined

Tuxedos or Suits? That is the Question

We have gone back and forth. Back and forth. Tuxedo or suit.  Tuxedo or suit.

In my original w-day vision, I saw all the boys in suits.  They didn’t match.  They were all grey.  I figured what better time for the Boy to get a suit that fit him well, than for his wedding.  I even considered made-to-measure.

My mom’s original vision was tuxedos.  “It’s a formal wedding and you’re in a traditional white dress – the guys should all be in tuxes,” she said. “Boys will not want to buy a grey suit, if they’re going to buy a suit they’ll want a black one,” she said.  I listened.

I considered the tux option.

Then w-day expenses started creeping up and a quick look into a made-to-measure option for the Boy quickly threw that idea out the window.  And I found a grey tux.  Hmm… decision made?

We decided we would do some investigating into the tux option.  We went to Moores – they did not have a grey tux option.  They had grey vests under black tuxes – would that work?  No.  We went to Tip Top Tailor who is partnered with Freeman’s Formalwear and had this picture in their brochure.  I asked if they had one that we could see – for colour and to get a better idea.  No.  We would have to order it from the picture. I asked if they had orange ties to go with it.  Yes!  Our sales person then proceeded to show me swatches of peach, pink and brown all the while trying to convince me that what I was looking at was orange.  As I continued to veto what he showed me he really won me over by asking, “Does she ever say yes?”

Not to you jerk.

We were on the fence given the cost of renting (for this particular tux we would be looking at about $250 by the time we added a vest and shoes) and that we weren’t really finding something we loved.  The Boy ended up vetoing the entire tux when I showed him pictures from a Style Me Pretty blog of a wedding party in this tux.  Too light he said.  I agreed.  While September 10 is still very much warm weather – this dove grey is a summer colour.  We’re getting married in the fall.  We wanted a darker grey.

Back to the drawing board.

This week I heard on the radio that Moores was having a sale.  So I checked out their site and not only was it a sale – it was BOGO – for suits! The Boy and I went in on Thursday night to see what we could find.  We found 3 different options for him and learned that EVERYTHING was BOGO in the store, so all of the groomsmen could get a suit for half price. Only hiccup – the sale ended on Sunday.

The Boy made several calls and sent many text messages but we were able to get all of the groomsmen measurements, 2 of them in person and another was able to meet us virtually at Moores in London BOGO shopping with the Boy’s dad. After much debate back and forth our wonderful sales person Liz (she was awesome if you’re in need of a suit in York Region – she’s worth the drive to Newmarket) was able to pull a suit for all of the groomsmen and a different one for the Boy.  She then pulled shirts and gave us a wonderful tip – since I’m not wearing true white the boys should not wear white shirts since my dress will look dirty when standing beside them.  Brilliant.  I never would have thought of that.

"Umm... you two aren't standing right beside each other during the ceremony are you?" ~ our sales associate Liz

At the end of an hour all 5 boys plus the Boy’s dad had suits and shirts for w-day. For the groomsmen they ended up with a $525 suit and $80 shirt for $342.  SCORE!  $90 more and they get to keep it.

The best part?  The 8 different items I got to check off the website checklists.  Grooms and groomsmen attire – researched, decision, purchased and ordered.  Check Check Check and Check!

These boys are SUITING UP! I couldn’t be happier with the result.

The Registry

The Boy and I had already registered for formal and everyday dishes from William Ashley.  We chose our formal stuff together but the date to choose our everyday stuff the Boy couldn’t make, so I went with my mom.  The Boy participated by email and phone as I sent him pictures of my top picks. He thought that was a great way to register – he didn’t have to actually be there.  Friday we had an appointment to register at The Bay and I asked the Boy to come.

Mistake #1.

I’m hoping that I’ll learn this lesson early.  Maybe this will be the last time that we’ll have this argument.  Probably not.

I need to trust the Boy when he says “That’s not really something I want to do.”

I asked him to do the registry with me since we would be picking items that are for our future home.  He suggested I go with my Mom.  I declined reminding him that these were things for OUR wedding, and OUR future home.  So he should have an opinion.

Here’s the problem.  He honestly doesn’t have an opinion.  He does not care what KitchenAid stand mixer colour we pick. (I picked Pistachio by the way).  He wants towels – he doesn’t care what colour. He wants a toaster – for some reason he doesn’t like ours. And he wants matching hangers.

Simple requests.

So the lesson I’m trying to take from this?  Instead of getting mad about his lack of enthusiasm (he didn’t even want to use the scanning gun) maybe I need to take it as a compliment – his complete trust that he will like everything I pick, and that he trusts my ability to set up our future house.  Yes. That’s what I’m going with.

The other registry lesson we learned?  It’s really hard to register for a house you don’t own.  And when you to live in a tiny little apartment – it’s hard to think about what you might need someday or where you would put stuff in that tiny little apartment.

That said – I’ve always thought it was funny when I’ve gone to bridal showers to see the bride get super excited about a pot, or towels.  I can now honestly say I get it.  I LOVE everything we’ve chosen so far.  And while the Boy might be freakin’ out that we don’t have “a spot” for everything yet, and when you think about it – it really is a weird social custom… but it’s one more thing off our my To Do List – and that’s exciting!

image from here

You Tube Fridays

Shockingly enough, my Dad didn’t send me any videos this week.  I had to do some research on my own.  But you know, You Tube really does find you.  A video on a topic you’ve been thinking about will make its way into your life.  I wish I had the full skit here, I’ve looked on Global – curse American stations for not allowing international access!  But nada.

Alas, this week You Tube is providing me some insight into a topic I just spoke with a colleague about over lunch.  Money.  Savings. Debt. Stuff. 

The Boy and I have been co-bank accounting for a couple of months now and it’s going pretty well.  We’ve been able to put money away every month, and the number in our savings account is actually growing.  Awesome.  There’s just one problem.  The Boy and I have different ideas about what to do with that money.  Both of us like to watch the numbers grow, so we debate between not touching it and you know… needing stuff.  Example: the Boy does not have any winter clothes.  No, he has not just moved here from some sort of tropical climate.  He has been in school the last 5 years and has only bought clothes as necessary, and more often hasn’t bought them at all and only acquires new clothes when I buy them for him, or friends forget their shirts at his house – (Boy – you know the shirt I’m talking about, don’t deny it!).  So fall is here (ain’t it pretty!)  and the Boy’s wardrobe is in dire straights. 

Don’t worry, we have a plan.  It involves our trip to Florida and a combination of in-store and online shopping (it’s a lot of work to clothe a 6’8″ frame).  Where is that money going to come from? Savings is my thought – seems rational.  The Boy, he’d like to spend some savings money on a new TV.  We don’t need a new TV.  We have a TV.  Boy’s clothes have very real holes in them.  We need clothes for the Boy.  It seems we’re at odds.

Luckily YouTube is here to help.

But YouTube can’t do all of the work.  I’d like to know – how do you allocate your savings?