Friday, December 04, 2009

In Which I Argue the Kitchen is My Office

Dh wants a calendar for the kitchen. He says it would be helpful to schedule Family Night and aid in correlating our activities. This is true. My automatic response was to argue against due to no room in the kitchen. Our kitchen has literally no wall space. Dh quickly and easily cleared the top half of our fridge off, leaving a nice, big, empty spot for a calendar. My next argument (it's automatic, I told you) was calendars are always ugly or tacky. He assured me I would find one I liked if I looked around.

Today I stopped in a calendar shop and found an incredibly girly calendar - a John William Waterhouse calendar, all romantic figures from mythology.

Dh said, "NO WAY."

I stifled my laughter and responded, "This kitchen is my office! I'm the one who will look at it all day!"

"What am I, chopped liver?" he asked.

"You're at work all day, so you don't have to look at it," I shot back.

He made a disgusted noise.

Then I held the calendar up to the fridge. It is much too large.

"Only a cheap, tacky calendar will fit there," Dh said, not without malice.

Meh. Can someone point me to a NON-UGLY calendar that will fit in a 19x19 space??

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In Which I Realize I Am Old

I waltzed into the bathroom where Dh was supervising Miss E using the toilet. I showed him my new running-around jacket. It is navy blue with small white stripes, a short collar and a zip front, by Nike. (And it was on clearance, naturally.)

"Don't you already have a navy jacket?" Dh inquired.

"That jacket is Roxy and I have been informed that I am too old to wear Roxy." I responded primly.

"Who informed you of that?"


Dh was silent for a long moment. I assumed he was about to tell me EdgyK is a dreadful liar and I can wear Roxy for years yet. I know Dh really liked the surfer/skater girl look I affected during my early twenties.

Finally, he spoke. "She may be right."

My jaw dropped. "I'm OLD!" I wailed.

But at least I have a cute new age-appropriate jacket to wear.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Typical Day

6:30 - My alarm goes off. I hit snooze.

6:35 - I wake up (sorta) and read scriptures for as long as I can keep my eyes open.*

6:50 - I try to get a few more minutes of sleep in.

7:00 - Ace wakes up, here follows a flurry of diaper changing, panty put on-ing, and usually at least one bed that needs to be changed. My kids sleep for 13 hours, I'd like to see you go that long without leaking through your diaper/Pull-Up!

7:05 - Miss E asks to watch Sleeping Beauty, if she can have milk, if she can eat Cheerios dry in a bowl while watching Sleeping Beauty, where we are going today, if she can wear all ten of her Halloween rings to the store, and can she have her milk in a princess sippy cup. This intense level of communication continues unabated all day.

7:15 - Ace attacks my back in his signature "Hug Mama From Behind While She's Crouching." The first few back hugs really caught me off guard!

8:30 - Kids have eaten and are settled down with Dinosaur Train or Super Why or Insert Your Favorite PBS Show Here. (Recently though it's been All Sleeping Beauty, All the Time.) I hate soggy cereal, so I just don't even try to eat until the kids are done.

9:00 - I think about getting dressed. Decide to do the crossword instead.

9:30 - If it's sunny, I go on a long walk. I have a route, 2.75 miles. It takes me right past the movie store and bank, so it's multitasking.

If it's not sunny, I make up an errand or go to the library. I say make up an errand because the kids get rawther bored if we stay home all day. And yes, Miss E wears all ten of her Halloween rings (skulls & bats, thanks dollar store!) to the grocery store. Ace brings a small jar of PowerBait. I cannot explain his attachment to small jars of PowerBait, but he really truly loves them.

11:00 - Wish I had gotten dressed earlier, and therefore out of the house earlier, and therefore wasn't still out when Ace is STARVING for lunch because oh my gosh the boy cannot handle discomfort. Even if he is watching you make food, he will fuss for it.

11:15 - Arrive home and start lunch.

11:17 - Realize Ace left his PowerBait in the special car-shaped shopping cart. Realize that Dh is not going to be thrilled that I left his $5 jar of stinky fish bait at the store.

12:00 - Ace goes down for his nap.

12:15 - Miss E dawdles her way through naptime routine.

Blissful, blissful coinciding naptimes.

2:00 - Ace wakes up. Discover that Miss E pooped in her Pull-Up and therefore did not nap at all, but rather played so quietly I just thought she was asleep. (I've told her many times to just let me know when she poops, but I guess I shall tell her many times more.)

2:30 - Watch beaming as children play nicely together.

2:33 - Tell Miss E to stop choking Ace with the tape measure.

2:37 - Tell Miss E to stop stealing Ace's toys.

2:39 - Put Ace in time-out for hitting.

2:45 - Put Miss E in time-out for hitting.

2:50 - Take advantage of kids temporarily playing nicely again by reading novel.

3:00 - Watch kid videos on laptop with kids draped on me.

3:20 - Try to fix keyboard settings which Ace managed to change when I wasn't looking. How does he always randomly hit the shortcut keys??????????????????

4:00 - Start dinner prep.

5:00 - Eat dinner. Remain calm as Miss E tells me she doesn't like soup (it's chicken pot pie). Watch in wonder as Miss E actually eats dinner. Pretend I don't notice that Ace is carefully scooping his dinner into the cup holder on his tray and not eating a bit.

5:10 - Daddy gets home. Greet him at door with kiss. (That happens on the good days.)

5:20 - Get Ace ready for bed. Have I told you how much I love that my son goes to bed at 5:30?

5:31 - Inform Dh that overpriced PowerBait was sacrificed to the grocery store gods. Inexplicably, Dh does not find this amusing.

6:10 - Miss E has meltdown and I remember she missed her nap. Dh and I put her to bed twenty minutes early.

It was a good day.

*God had to pretty much hit me over the head with the whole "scripture reading" thing. I really need it to make it through the day successfully. I have to wake up and read before my kids wake up, otherwise it just doesn't happen. I have been such a happier, calmer person since I started doing this. It's amazing (and also a bit pathetic that it took me so long to start).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why I Like Being a Grown-Up

  • I can throw away the end pieces of bread loaves. My mom made us eat those, and I always seemed to get the end piece. ALWAYS.
  • I can pick out the gross rye pieces from Chex Mix and throw them away. (Obviously as a child I didn't get to WASTE enough.)
  • Driving a car.
  • Knowing I can do whatever the freak I want. Even if I don't. Just knowing, that if I want to, I can sell my house, withdraw all my money and go live in Baja Mexico.
Okay that's really I can think of right now. I can't really explain why throwing away end pieces of bread gives me such pleasure.

My husband feels right now, for several good reasons (graduate school, job he doesn't loooove, little free time) that being a grown-up is kind of lousy. But I am really digging it. Plus, I don't live at home. You've never lived in my parents' home, so you'll just have to believe me when I say that being independent of that place gives me another happy feeling.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

On Being an Oldest Child

I crave solitude. I need it to stay centered and sane. I like entertaining, but I can't do it constantly, or even that often, really. It hurts my head to always be surrounded by people. I have to just be. by. myself. for a while. And then I'm okay again. I think this comes from being the oldest of six children. There was always someone around. Growing up, my friend NY Jill*, who had just one brother, thought being in my house was zany. I thought it was tiring. Even now, with two little ones in a kinda small house, I can suddenly feel so closed in, so claustrophobic. I turn to my husband and say with urgency, "I need a break." Honestly, my break often consists of going to the library, finding a deserted corner and curling up with my current novel. I just need to be alone.

I am a perfectionist. I only pursue perfection in areas I think I can actually achieve perfection in, such as:
  • go kart racing
  • word usage
  • baking
  • fashionable ensembles
I do not pursue perfection in all areas of my life. When I decide to, I can be shockingly good at accepting disarray and imperfections. Such as:
  • untidy surface of my dresser (okay, disastrous would probably be a better adjective here)
  • unfinished craft projects
  • pie crust (I just buy it. Boo-yah.)
I am not a Type A person, unlike most eldest children. Controlling everything has never really been in my personality, though I had to be in charge a lot during my late childhood and teen years. When I went away to college, I just let go of trying to control everything. It was wonderfully liberating. When I returned home for the summer, I found that the next oldest child had stepped right up to that Type A plate and was busily bossing around children 3-6.

So naturally I married a Type A man. I calm him down. Or try. He spurs me to action, without which I might never leave the house on weekends.

I take parental attention for granted. Children 3 and 4 are constantly seeking that attention, or obsessively pretending like they don't need it anyway. Poor middle kids. I think they get the crappiest piece of the family pie.

My brother (#2) once fantasized that our parents had stopped at two kids. What a fabulous life we would have had, he mused. It's true we would have had nicer clothes. Much nicer clothes. But when my sister (#5) calls me to let me know that if I love her, I will buy a magazine for her high school fundraiser, or I leave completely random information on my brother's (#3) Facebo0k wall, knowing he will find it hilarious, I can't help but be glad for all those siblings.

But I could really use a break.

*NY Jill got married this summer! Shout out to the married lady!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Some Pics, Showcasing Miss E's Haircut

Here we have pretty much the only thing Miss E will wear: her Sleeping Beauty dress. Miss E and Ace are chowing down on blueberries. They'd each eat a pound of them a day if I let them.

Miss E loves her new fairy pajamas. (Thanks, local thrift shop!)

I kind of miss Miss E's long hair, but her new cut is really cute, and it's so much easier to convince her to let me brush it now.

Ace daily defies death by standing up in his high chair and cavorting around. And yes, he fell out once. And no, it did not deter him from continuing to cavort. And yes, I plan on rigging a strap to the chair. One of these days.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

In Which My Husband Proves His Awesomeness

Today I met up with Rainbow at the library. We talked politics while Ace constructed a giant tower of books. Which I left in situ. I figure I'll atone for that when I'm an ancient volunteer at the library, picking up children's books and thinking about my baby boy. I tried to take the kids to storytime, but when Miss E saw that room full of strangers, she emphatically refused to enter. She isn't too fond of being surrounded by strangers. She likes to them to come to her in ones and twos.

Dh plans to go fishing on Friday (nonrefundable charter boat on the ocean), and we agreed that Saturday could be my day. The whole day. What a blissful concept, after a full year of breastfeeding, to be able to leave for hours. Well, he called me up today and said his coworker who was supposed to work Saturday has a family emergency and has to leave, and could Dh work Saturday for him?

"But," I protested feebly (and guiltily). "That was supposed to be my day."

"I know," said Dh.

Long silence as the angel and devil on my shoulders duked it out.

"Fine. Do what you have to do," I said unwillingly.

Two minutes later Dh called me back. "I worked it out so I'm taking Thursday off, so you can have that day all to yourself, and then I'll work Saturday."

What a fabulous husband I have.

Two things: this is in no way an attempt to suck up to Dh for complaining about him earlier. I really am being a lot more careful what windows I leave open on the laptop when I'm done with it. Ha ha
And second, what am I doing tomorrow, on my day? Shopping, of course!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I took my car in for an oil change today. The mechanic at the dealership informed me my car would be ready in an hour. Um, I wasn't prepared for that. (I have a lifetime oil change thing, and it used to only take 25 minutes!) I had the single stroller, I was in flip-flops and Miss E was wearing her princess high heels. But off we went. I decided we would walk to the mall and get Miss E's hair cut there. It was only a few blocks. As we slowly walked (to accommodate the restrictions of princess high heels), I was struck by how much more I notice when I am walking as opposed to when I am driving. I saw:
  • a man looking chagrined as a cop wrote him a ticket
  • a limousine being towed
  • a church with a "Closed - Gone to Vegas" sign in the window
  • a apartment building with a charming mosaic tile entryway
The only thing I might have spotted while driving is the guy who was pulled over, but I would have merely thought, "Sucka!" as I cruised past him. Miss E chattered happily and told me about the leaves on the ground, the cars on the street, and her princess shoes. Ace was content to chill in the stroller.

(When I get around to it, I will take some pictures of Miss E's new do. It's just a simple shoulder-length cut. The hair all the way down her back was just too much, since she cried like a banshee whenever I try to brush it.)

Tomorrow I am going to a show for the first time in forEVER and I am excited. Dh and I are going to see Blue October and Switchfoot. These are mainstream, right? EK and my brother had both never heard of them. I have decided they are the weird ones and I am the normal one. Ha ha

I am stuck in a terrible sleep cycle. I stay up too late, then sleep badly for four or five hours. Then when the kids go down for their naps, I crash for two hours. Then I'm not tired until late, and sleep badly for four or five hours. Repeat ad nauseum. I can't seem to break it. All I know is, these dark circles under my eyes are probably permanent.

Oh and somehow Dh already found the criticism of him contained in that last post! (...possibly because I left the laptop open to this blog...) Obviously I'm going to have to be a little more careful. Or less critical. Umm....yeah.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Day in the (Grouchy) Life

Miss E dumped Cocoa Krispies all over her brother's head and the carpet this morning while I used the bathroom. Have you ever cleaned wet Cocoa Krispies off a carpet? It's a freaking joke. I had to pick them all up by hand. I swore in my wrath that tomorrow I am ordering a carpet cleaner. I tried to get Miss E to help me, but she kept accidentally stepping on them and grinding them into the carpet more. I had a minor meltdown.

I was a grouchy mess by the time Dh got home from his church meetings. Both kids were half-naked and I was still in my pajamas. And yet somehow we were ten minutes early for church. That's journal worthy. Ten minutes late is what we are 99% of the time, and I'm not exaggerating. At least I looked smokin', which did ease my angst temporarily.*

During the sacrament, Miss E said everything loudly. "That baby's cute! Can I take my shoes off? Is the sacrament over yet? Can I have some pretzels? Can I take my shoes off? Can I take my shoes off?" A red haze passed before my eyes as I whispered "Shhh!" ineffectually.

My husband made dinner and then expected accolades for it. Is the kitchen messy? Yes! How did you know? I know you're supposed to reward desired behavior with positive reinforcement, but I just didn't have it in me. I was too busy being grouchy, if you must know.

I oversaw the children playing in the pool. After Miss E threw water in Ace's face for the 9,000th time and threw all of his toys out for the 135th time, I picked her up and carried her naked soaking body into the house to spend some enforced quality time with her father. I could hear her screaming bloody murder even with the door closed. On the plus side, once she was gone, Ace played quite contentedly in the pool for ages.

I was not a nice mom or wife today. The good thing is I get to try again tomorrow.

*Apparently exercise really does make one look better. Who knew?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

All Parents Believe Their Children Rock

Ace emerges from the water fountains at the park with a cool look of triumph.

Miss E helps Ace get some breakfast.

Miss E helps Grandpa build a crib for her baby doll while looking effortlessly stylish.

Miss E shows off the cool loot she got at her 3rd birthday party.

Ace really enjoyed celebrating Miss E's birthday.

Miss E riding a train at a local theme park. By herself. *sniff* My baby is growing up.

My Newest Love

So, hi. I just haven't felt like blogging. I've been reading oodles, which has been lovely. My kids are bigger. My husband is still in grad school. But I tried a new product recently and am so in love with it that I thought I would send out the news to the ether, in case someone else is also searching for something better in the makeup department. The product:

I've been reading in fashion/beauty magazines for literally years that cheek stain is the way to go. But seriously, who named that? I don't like stains. They get on my kids' clothes and sometimes render said clothing unwearable (because yes, ugly = unwearable). I can hardly ever get those puppies out. So in my mind, cheek stain = scary red blotches on my face.

I was at Sephor@ the other day with my m-i-l (I know, kinda weird) and I saw the above cheek stain, and thought oh what the heck, I'll try it. I put it on and instantly fell in love with how I suddenly looked a bit like Snow White (in my own fanciful mind). Loved it. Bought it on impulse.

Then lo and behold, this stuff stayed on my face all day. No reapplication required whatsoever. I'd been using Neutrogena blush, but had to reapply about every three hours to avoid reverting to my natural deathly-pale shade.

This stuff is so easy to apply. No scary red splotches! It's easy to layer to build up the color, and just a little bit of rubbing and then you're completely done for the day. My pallor is gone.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


So I was reading the February Redbook* horoscope this evening and it talked about how one of my dreams was going to start coming true on the 9th. Since the 9th has obviously already passed, I tried to think back a whole eight days to see if I could pinpoint the magical dream unfolding in my life. First of all, I was unsuccessful in remembering the 9th. And second, I couldn't really think of any dreams that could come true at this point in my life. Let's see if I can articulate this. I have a great man and two beautiful kids. My husband has a solid job and we have a nice house and nice cars (with no car payments). I'm satisfied with my life right now. Whatever goals I have right now are small:
  • Don't yell at Miss E when she shoves her little brother over on purpose.
  • Calmly maintain control of self when Ace rolls over on the changing table whilst covered in poop.
  • Be nice to my husband.
  • Improve cooking skills.
  • Read the scriptures more often.
See? Little things. Little things that will take me my entire frickin life to master, but nothing huge. Later, when my kids are older, my goals are going to change. Then there will be "dreams that will start to come true in my life on the 9th." But for now, being a good mother and wife are my major aspirations.

*I think I might be out of the Redbook demographic, i.e., too young, but unlike magazines geared for my age bracket, Redbook often has articles with actual substance. Aaaaand there's where I sound like the middle-aged woman I apparently am underneath.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Light of the Moon

Light of the Moon Light of the Moon by Luanne Rice

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
How did I get tricked into reading a romance novel? I'll tell you - the author lured me in with a main character who is (supposedly) an anthropologist. Unfortunately the best word to describe this book is "hokey."

First of all, no anthropologist worth her salt would use the word "exotic" as much as the main character Susannah does. I didn't believe for a second that she was actually a cultural anthropologist. The post-modern world of anthropological academia has no time for self-absorbed mysticism. Susannah had no sense of current anthropological theories. It was like Rice read a few journal articles, browsed a few university websites, and felt like she knew quite enough to make it convincing. Only she didn't.

The relationship that developed between Susannah and her love interest was melodramatic and unmoving. I laughed many times during what I'm sure were supposed to be romantic, thrilling scenes. I finished the book to see if it ended as ridiculously as I thought it would (it did). Also to write a scathing review here. Ha ha

The book's one saving grace was some sincerely moving passages about the love between mothers and daughters.

View all my reviews.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winter Weight Loss

It is raining here. I don't like to be wet or cold. My outdoor excursions during the winter are currently limited to: walking to the post office or movie store (2 miles round trip) on the rare occasion that it's not pouring down rain. That is about once every two weeks.

But my scale shows the lowest number since October. My secret? Stop eating so freaking much. I ate whatever during the holidays. The holidays only come once a year, right? But now Dh and I are being more strict on our budget. That means no more ice cream, root beer, etc. And I'm trying to incorporate more vegetables into our diet. And voila! I lost a few pounds.

Now if I actually started moving my butt, I would fit into my prepregnancy pants!

Some Recent Pics

Ace sleeping unswaddled. This is a very recent accomplishment.

On our Sunday walk, it was unaccountably cold. Like, I thought I lived in a temperate zone. But apparently I live in the arctic. Miss E rocks the princess sunglasses and strange medieval-style cap, while Ace is dapper in his Winnie the Pooh hat.

The laundry basket as bathtub, an age-old imagining. The empty baby food jar as medicine, Miss E's innovation.

This picture is not that great, out of focus, but I like it because it captures my kids pretty well. Miss E runs around with messy hair, and Ace sucks on his binky and watches Miss E's shenanigans.