Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Bad Hair Day

Life is a little bit hectic for me. A few weeks ago, I moved to a different state (read total chaos), and bunked in with my parents for a week. Before that, I had started a weight loss program because my cute third child has made me officially heavier than I have ever been (each kid has given me a new record high, Thanks for that darling children).

What's my answer to all of this Chaos? Chop my hair off. Seriously. I now have a haircut that is a cross between Pat Benatar and Robert Smith of The Cure. I have been a long hair person ever since I was old enough to make my own hair decisions, and I have never ventured above chin length until now. Why? Because making a drastic change to your appearance when you already feel insecure is just plain good decision making. This of course leads me to believe a couple of things about myself because I am prone to introspectively dissecting each and every one of my decisions until my head explodes:

1. I am impulsive. I went in to the hairdresser wanting bangs because I wanted a change.

2. I deal with my weight issues by cutting my hair because I am so desperate for a change that anything will do (I have previous indictments).

3. There's a little bit of crazy in me (related to #1, but different)


And since the incident, I have been back and forth on the issue.


Forth:
*It's edgy to have short hair.
*It's so easy to do
*I can now go swimming whenever I want
*I donated the length to some poor deserving child that has a disease (at least this is who I like to think has my hair, although there has been question after Jon brought up the possibility that some girl has purchased my hair for extensions and I could run into her someday and recognize my hair on her... I prefer the poor child scenario)



Back:
*Short hair is only edgy when you are skinny
*99% of the Victoria's Secret models have long luxurious hair, and the one that does have short hair looks weird.
*I now have to deal with a wicked case of bedhead when I wake up
*I also now have to deal with bad hair days. Bad hair days don't happen with long hair, because you can always pull it into a ponytail. Very rarely do you have to start all over with long hair.

The good news is that whether I feel like the singing "pictures of you" or "hit me with your best shot," there's always an 80's new wave vibe around my house, and heck, you just can't go wrong with that (plus, I'm also hoping to lose that weight and bring on the edgy).

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Dear Mr. Peterson

Good day,

Thanks for your mail.

For how long have you been waiting to received your money?, with my position in the society whatever I ask you to do, do it and wait for the outcome.

Meanwhile, your money was approved by the senate committee on foreign payment few months ago and up till date the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, did not do anything concerning the money that is the reason why I wrote a petition against him to the federal house of senate which I am copping you the copy of the petition leveled against him for his negligence in office that made him to sign this letter of guarantee stating that as soon as your money is been revalidated nothing on earth will make you not to receive your money. This is how far I have gone on your behalf.

I will be going to the bank by tomorrow to know what is required for the revalidation of your fund. Please remember that with this petition leveled against the governor he might lose his job if care is not taking. And should incase you receive any thing such as mails or calls from the governor do ask him to contact Mr. Michael Peterson for further corresponding.

PLEASE RESPOND ONLY TO THIS EMAILS ADDRESS: michaelpeterson20072008@live.com

Get back to me as soon as you receive this message.

Mr. Michael Peterson


Dear Mr. Peterson,

Please I wish to asks question about emailing sent directly to malebox belongs to mine. Why send this you to me?, A worse candidate for a fradyulent emails you could not have find. I like consider mysef a smart person. Message like this made me mad like crazy and I want fly over to Nigeria to learn person such like you a lesson to show that it anger me that you imagine me dumbs enough to fall for scam from emales like these from you to me speaking of money that do not really exits in world that is real and then you'll threatened me with run-ons sentanses that made no sens about a people that I don't know that likely do not really exits in world that is real also. I have insulted. As for your question, I have waiting long time to always received money, but not from you and me resented the demands tone that you'll taken with me ask me to do whatever you also have asked just because you happens to will be in favored position in society. Me don't know how thing worked in
YOUR country but in me's countrys we don't to responded to Males demands us to do thing. You're to do you'reself a favored thing by reminding this.

As for the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, I don't give flying monkeys what happen to him or his jobs neither am I happy to had fool like you to done anythings on my behalf. It sound to mine that you will be to overstepped your boundary in first place sinse you ask me not to mentioned you if I get asked question.

And to summary, should incase
YOU ever get urges to think send my an email like resemble this agian, please to suppressed. Don't be think for one tenth of a short like minutes that I am not aware that what you doing illegal and dishonesty. Shame should to be on you Mr. Peterson oh and while you are bothered please also to bothered learn proper english because it cause me extremely pain to read emale from you.

Please do not to respond for further corresponding to this emails for as long as you naturally life to last.

Sincered,

Ali

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Follow up

I have to say that I am so touched by all of your comments on my previous post. I was reminded of all of the people in my life that I love, and of the fun things that we share. I was also reminded that there are quite a few "only's" in the world, so I feel less like an anomaly which is always nice.

I think that writing about it has been cathartic for me because I feel much better now. I know that I will always be a teensy bit sad about not having a sister, but I have been enlightened to what I do have and how much I love it. Families are all different and you can't customize them, and truthfully I adore my brothers and their wonderful families and my husband's siblings and their families.

So thanks for letting me get that off my chest and for making me feel so good.

***Newly posted***

Halloween Pictures of the kids
My latest project

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't read this post Mom*


Ok, I realize that's only going to make her want to read it more, but it's worth a shot.

And for the rest of you, a warning:

--you are about to join a HUGE pity party, enter at your own risk--




Alrighty, now I can start without any guilt. I am an only girl, I have three wonderful brothers that I always wished I could trade for sisters when I was a kid. Although I think what I really wanted was to add a sister without sacrificing any of my brothers even though there were times...

Anyway, I distinctly remember the day my little brother was born and how TOTALLY disappointed I was that he wasn't a girl (give me a break, I was only 4). I thought it was a given that he would be a girl, we had already had two boys--it was the girls' turn now. It just didn't compute. So I spent my childhood playing catch-up and trying to fit in, for example I was irritated that I was the only one that had to wear a shirt (still 4, relax). Now, I'll spare you the nitty gritty details of all the days I had to put up with watching sports, reading about sports, playing sports, talking about sports; not being able to share clothes, bedrooms, friends; not being able to talk about bras, periods, or breasts; being made fun of constantly, being labeled as the "sensitive one" because I was the only one in the house that cried (unless a beloved sports team lost), and being extremely naive because I didn't have an older sis to tell me all about boys.

Now don't get me wrong, my Mom was able to fill in for most of that and because of it we are really close--which is great--but there was always an overtone of "momness" that just comes with the territory.

When I became an adult, I started to get over it. I loved my brothers so much more and appreciated them so much more than I did as a kid, and I was finally ok with not having sisters. Until recently. All I can see these days are sisters. I go to a family reunion to see my cousins, and they are laughing with their sisters and talking about girl stuff and (possibly) how crazy their family is and more than likely they are reminiscing about some wacky childhood adventure that revolved around them (again, possibly) fighting over a boy or stealing each other's clothes, and sure, they say hi to me and we talk, but then they go right back to their sisters. I listen as my friends tell me all about trips to go visit their sisters and I mentally note that I could never visit a brother on my own, that would be weird. Also, it's not like we could sleep in the same room and eat popcorn and giggle while watching "Oklahoma" even if it wouldn't be weird visiting all by myself. My Mom is actually about to go on a trip with her sisters to a quilt show. I could never do that with my brothers.

I don't want to take anything away from my Sisters-in-law, because I love them dearly, and they are the closest things to sisters that I have besides my Mom, but I will always take a backseat to their sisters and there isn't that we-share-DNA-and-have-known-each-other-since-birth-and-have- shared-deodorant type of bond that real sisters have, and I miss that. The thing about it too, is that no amount of proactivity is going to change my status. I can't hard-work myself a sister that I've had for life.

And then I think about my daughter. Oh that I could give her a sister like I never had, but we've all but decided that we are finished having kids. I tell ya though, if I had a window into the future and could guarantee having a girl theverynextpregnancy I would sacrifice all of that for a sister for my daughter tomorrow (well, maybe not tomorrow, but you get the idea).

So next time you talk to or see your sister, think of me and smile because you are so lucky to have her.

And for heaven's sake, if you see me at a family reunion, please take pity on me and let me sit by you and your sisters because I am so tired of talking about sports and politics (I can say this because I know none of my brothers read my blog--except for you Adam), and I would just love for a moment to pretend that I am your sister too.

*I'd rather my Mom didn't read this because she always felt bad for me not having a sister, and I don't want to make her sad-- plus I always reassured her that I was fine and didn't miss having sisters *sigh* sorry Mom.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Take me back Baby!

Dear Hawaii,

I've been thinking a lot about you and me lately. I know I haven't always been there for you when you needed me most, and to be honest, although I fell in love with you at first sight, there was a bit of a rocky point in the middle where I had my doubts. I think that we have both said and done things that we didn't mean, for example, that swarm of mosquitoes that you sent to devour me wasn't exactly mature (and for the sake of your dignity, I won't even mention the scorpion and the sugar cane spiders and the centipedes. Shame on you for those!). And remember when I said I couldn't wait to get out of your humidity because it was making my skin break out? Well, I've realized now that I'm willing to put up with a little bit of acne to be with you.

The thing is, I just didn't know what I had, you know? I became complacent. A few days in your beautiful scenery and I began to take you for granted. Remember those days when I said I didn't want to got to the beach because it was too much of a hassle to go everyday? I was so wrong. I began to treat you like you were just an average place, but you aren't--you are special. Not everyone has a place like you. You are kind and giving and beautiful and even though you aren't perfect (who is?), you deserve someone who can love and appreciate you for who you really are and I think after all this time that I can finally be that person for you.

What I'm getting at, basically, is that I want to take our relationship to the next level. I'm in a place where I can offer you serious commitment. I truly believe that because the "honeymoon" portion of our relationship is over and we have both seen the ugly side of each other and we still want to be together, that we could be really happy. You and I have both made some changes over the years--I am far less cynical about your diversity, you have acquired a Nordstrom (finally--what took you so long??), and I hear that you are even going to get a Target soon, I'm so proud of you for making those changes. Not to mention the fact that you have some of the best hamburgers that I have ever tasted. See? We are becoming more and more perfect for each other as time passes.

Now I know that you have had multiple offers from others as well, and frankly, I'm ok with sharing you. Quite honestly, if I had you all to myself--you wouldn't be able to be the place that I love so much--I mean, I couldn't run the Nordstrom all by myself could I? We are going to have to do something about those Tourists on the North Shore though. Hale'iwa is one of my favorite places, and this last time it was totally overrun with fanny-pack wearing Midwesterners and snapshot happy Japanese. I don't mind a few, but the charm of the North Shore is that it's a SMALL beach town, and it just doesn't have the same quaint charm with the hoards of people. Quite frankly, I blame your hotel industry, I mean what's with busing them all up there?!? The North Shore is supposed to be a little present for those who are willing to rent a car and drive up there themselves.

So ok, you work on that and I'll work on my insect tolerance level. I think you'll find that few will love you like I do. Sure plenty of people love you for your scenery, but I love you for who you are: big city and small-town country.

Please, Hawaii, take me back! Take me back to your white powder shores and your Japanese supermarkets and your new Waikiki shops and your island breeze.

I love you dearly.

Love,

Ali

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Picture Tour of Hawaii

Hawaii is so picturesque that it's hard to come home without a billion beautiful pictures of scenery. Here is a collection of some of the wonderful things that you will find on the great Island of Oahu:

I woke up to this little fella one morning. That happens to be the foot of my son's bed--um--eeek!! For those of you that don't know, this is a centipede and it packs a deadly sting, one that would make a grown man cry. Look to the switch plate in the background for scale.




This is a picture of "A well-functioned sophisticated and best in quality created exclusively for you" found at a local Japanese market. for me? Aww, you shouldn't have!


and from another Japanese store:
contents: 1 spoon, 1 fark




And some signs around Honolulu that I found amusing:


just one


aahh, home sweet home!


really?!?


Easy Street--Dead end.
isn't it?

And last but not least, the funniest sign in my collection:

More accurately: Abercrombie & Fitch
Pre-Pubescent Girls

Monday, October 06, 2008

vacation

bad news: I'm on Vacation. (Ok, that's good news for me, but bad news for you as I will likely not be posting for a while)

good news: I've posted new pictures on my picture pages blog check them out!! (if you want an invite, comment or email me)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Blog and User Guide

Hello intelligent readers of mine!

For a while I have been speculating that perhaps you all have not utilized my blog to it's full potential (this is just a guess as I have not heard one way or another), so I thought I'd give you a little user guide to my humbly wonderful blog.

First of all, like the background picture? This is some graffiti that I found while on a trip to NYC. I liked the use of color.

Next, if you mosey on over to the right, you will see a few things that I have changed over the last couple of months. First is an email address that is here for you (yes, YOU!) to contact me whenever you want for whatever you want as long as that privilege isn't abused. Second is a list of my other blogs that I also have for you to enjoy. Picture Pages is a private blog showcasing pictures of my family for those of you who want to know what we look like (incidentally, if you want an invitation to that blog, email me or leave a comment and I can grant that wish if you meet my criteria...), and Made By Ali is a new blog that I just created last night! It's going to show all of the fun little projects that I do in my life--check it out! It is a public blog, and I hope that you will all love it.

Below my blog link list is a bookshelf from shelfari, a fun new website that a friend of mine showed me where you get to review books you have read and recommend books to others and see what your friends are reading. Click on that and you can see some of the books that I intend to read and some that I have read. (As you can see it is currently empty which means that I am not reading anything as of yet, and you can visit my other blog to find out why.)

Below that is my twitter updates. What is twitter you ask? Micro-blogging. Essentially, I log on when I get the chance and answer the question "What are you doing?" and it instantaneously posts on my blog for all to see. Check it out, it's kinda fun.

Under that is a list of my Laws of Nature. These laws have been proven by scientific experiments to be true. The rest I'm sure you know, is standard.

I know what you are asking yourselves, "Ali is a mother of three, how on Earth does she have the time to do all of those things, have an opinion, and then blog about all of it?" Simple--I neglect my kids.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Bread and Butter

I have the best idea for a product, I'm going to make millions!

It's a time machine with an eraser connected to it, and you can use it to erase all of the stupid things you have said or written in the past.

I'm expecting to sell out faster than I can produce, and our forecast projection is pretty darn high.

I can't wait for the prototype because there are a few things I'd like to erase boy howdy!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

We've Had Enough!



Last night on the television, I saw an ad with celebrities who belong to an organization called Stand Up to Cancer . I don't know if any of you have seen this, but you have to hand it to Celebrities and their collective egos to think that just by banding together and getting fed up with cancer, they can cure it. Almost as though a celebrity woke up one day and looked in the mirror, and said:

"Dangit--I've had it with Cancer! I'm sick and tired of it! For a while I was okay with it, but this whole 'incurable' business has GOT TO STOP! I bet if we start a petition and get enough signatures, we could force Cancer to leave us alone. Better yet--maybe Cancer will just get that it's unwelcome and leave on it's own.... maybe we can get Cancer to take Carbon Monoxide with it, and finish all of this in one sh-bang!"

Although, we know that Celebrities aren't that articulate. More than likely it went something like this:

"Cancer---BAD."

But I thought I'd translate for the common educated individual that I know is reading my blog.

You know, it makes me laugh, because it is just like a celebrity to think that the answer to life's problems resides in his or her fame, and all we need to do is to gather a few more celebrities to up the fame quotient, hold some sort of event where the singing celebrities can sing one big song about love and togetherness-- and BAM! no more (fill in social crisis here). Whereas those of us who graduated from high school by actually attending classes, and have actually set foot on a college campus for reasons academic know full well that "Cancer," unfortunately, can't be cured by being indignant alone. We could gather all of the fame on the Earth and sing all of the cheesy feel good songs that we want and be as mad as hell at Cancer, and after all of that, it could very well continue to be incurable. Huh, go figure.

But hey, Jack Black and Miley Cirus, you guys go right on ahead "Standing Up," I'm sure that you're making a difference. Beware Cancer, this is the beginning of the end for you!

Now, don't get me wrong, I hate cancer just as much as the next ridiculous celebrity, and dangit, if there was a fight between all things good and cancer, I would certainly cheer for all things good. But let's not insult our intelligence here, shall we? What we really need is for all of the celebrities to give a touching thirty second clip of how cancer has affected his or her life and how it MUST BE STOPPED. All while playing that sappy heart-wrenching tune in the background. That just might do it.

Hm... Perhaps if we got that Rihanna... I hear she's a firecracker...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Controversy

My last couple of posts have been a bit frivolous, and that's ok, because there is a time to joke, and a time to be serious. I'd like to take a bit of a turn from my usual zaniness and write about something very serious and extremely important.

Many of you are no doubt enjoying the Olympics this summer, I know Jon and I are. It's difficult though, trying to enjoy the Olympics when there is the black cloud of controversy and oppression hanging above the games.

I'm talking about the controversy that surrounds Women's Gymnastics. All around the world, from decades past millions of girls are plucked from their homes at a tender age and forced by their parents and coaches to...



...wear scrunchies. That's right, these poor girls are forced to don these extremely outdated accessories while they train and compete. Everyone knows that no girl above the age of 9 and living outside of the 1980's has any business wearing a scrunchie (we'll be a little more lenient with the Chinese gymnasts because they are nine), and yet the oppression continues.

One wonders if this travesty has any affect on the performers themselves. Luckily enough, I have had the opportunity to get in touch, via email, with a USA gymnast who wishes to remain anonymous and this is what she had to say:

Does it affect my performance? Of course it does. I consider myself a fashionable person who otherwise wouldn't be caught dead in such a hideous hairpiece, but I am forced to wear one whenever I compete. As soon as I step out there, I see all eyes on my scrunchie and I start to lose my concentration. It gets in my head and once that happens, it's difficult to regain control of my focus. Not to mention the fact that my equilibrium is completely thrown off by the extra weight. It's getting to the point where I have to wear them all the time if I want to maintain my competitive edge. It's really been a struggle to overcome. Thankfully though, the world of gymnastics is making strides in the right direction, we are no longer forced to wear glitter or "mall bangs," and it's changes like these that make me hopeful for a scrunchie-free tomorrow.

And there you have it. It's nice to see that in the face of such opposition, this particular gymnast is so willing to hope for the future. I'm not sure that I share that same hope. As you can see from these pictures, scrunchies are an epidemic that has a very strong hold on the gymnasts of today.

Here, Nastia Liuken and Shawn Johnson grasp hands in empathy for the struggles they share as fellow athletes and friends


This picture shows that the US is not the only country where this oppression continues today


This is almost reminiscent of Hitler's reign


Here you can see the scrunchie having such a negative affect on this gymnast's balance that she actually has to hold her arm out in an attempt to regain her balance, almost causing her to fall and risk injury.


Here you can actually see the shame on one of the athlete's face
as the others look on in sympathy.




These women might be considered quite lovely without the ugly masses of fabric surrounding their ponytails, but the real tragedy is that some girls are actually mimicking their behavior because they don't know any better. I worry that we will see many more scrunchie laden years before the awful cycle is broken.

Please, I urge you to do all that you can to stop this virus from spreading. Contact your congressmen and alert them to this heinous crime forced on women, and maybe together we can make the future brighter and more fashionable for the daughters of the world.

Thank you so much for your support and for reading about this cause that is so close to my heart.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Words

Phrases I love:

Reckless Abandonment--it's just so much anarchy in one little phrase!

And some punctuation that I can't get enough of:

?!?! or the reverse !?!?! the first being used at the end of an overly emphatic question, and the latter at the end of an emphatic statement with a hint of question. Very useful, and I find that they allow me to express myself better.

Words that I love:

Nefarious-- I absolutely love this word, but I find it very hard to work into conversation.  I've tried, many times, unsuccessfully.  

Evidently-- I always think that something funny is going to follow this word.  Seriously--try tilting your head, raise your eyebrows and say it with a smirk--and then try not to laugh.  it's not possible.

Unhinged-- this word gives the best visuals.

Awkward--it really is.

Terms I invented and their definitions:

Kid Noise:  The noise that accumulates as a result of having kids around.  More specifically that which comes from the television, radio, or toys.

I've had too much kid noise today, I need a break.

Words that are completely overused:

Raw
Fierce

Words that are on the bullet train to overused town:

sick (as in super cool)

Words that are misused (and quite frequently) annoying me greatly:

Deconstructed  --Deconstructed does not mean unstructured (without formal organization or structure), and it has no place being used to describe haircuts or modeling poses.  Deconstructed is a literary term that describes a relatively vague concept that is used to analyze literature--not hair.  The official definition of Deconstructed is: "to take apart or examine in order to reveal the basis or composition of often with the intention of exposing biases, flaws, or inconsistencies"  or in other words, within the constructs of a particular literary work, lies the ability for it to be undermined  (see what I mean about vague?).  So please stop confusing the two (if you have never heard this done, you will start to notice it, I promise).  

Phrases that are Magical:

No Offense
Just Kidding


Just Kidding

Monday, August 04, 2008

Admissions

I am at a point in my life where I am secure enough with my identity to admit a few things, and here they are in no particular order:

Hiking:

I hate to hike.  I know that hiking is supposed to be something that everyone is supposed to enjoy, and when you tell them that you hate it, they act like it is a sin against nature.  Invariably they get this look on their face that says you hate to hike?  How can that be?  Are you saying that you hate outdoors?!?  I mean, if you want to get all hot and sweaty walking around through itchy plants and bugs with the sun beating down on you--be my guest, but it's not for me.  Ironically, when you use the term "hike" to describe a distance it is generally a negative connotation, as in I had to hike all the way up here from my house.  Or it's quite a hike from here...  And yet when it's used in reference to the canyon, suddenly it becomes a positive thing...

Dogs:

I'm so over the dog thing.  A couple of years ago, I really wanted a dog.  And then two things happened: I dog-sat for my Mom for the weekend, and then I got my own dog*.  All of the barking and hair and bad smells and poop in the house got really old really fast.  Now I'm to the point where I honestly can't understand people that like dogs.  I think that the "I love dogs" gene goes hand in hand with the "I don't mind messes and dirt and incessant barking" gene, and I was given neither of these genes.  I'm not sure I even like puppies anymore (Gasp!!).  I mean they are fine and cute as long as three inches of plexi-glass separate us, and I'll smile and wave, but really those are dogs in there.

U2 and Dave Matthews Band:

Here's where I betray my generation.  Lately I'm finding that I forward all of the U2 songs and Dave Matthews Band songs on my ipod, and when one comes up, a little groan enters my head partly because I feel guilty for forwarding them, and partly because I want to go on to more enjoyable songs.  This forces me to ask myself-- do I really like U2 and Dave Matthews Band?

iphone:  

I have not recieved the first official "I'm calling Ali on her cell because I can't reach her on her home phone" yet, and I haven't been able to hear my ultra cool custom ringtone as a result.  it's driving me nuts, and I have to keep calling my new number just to make sure it works...

My blog:

I stalk my own blog.  I read and reread and reread my posts.  And then I read the comments, but I always reread my post before I read the comments.  Jon caught me doing this once.  "What are you doing?" he asked.  "Reading my comments" I answered.  "but you are reading your post..."  "...yeah..."  "...but you wrote it..."

The temperature:

I'm upset that it isn't hotter this summer in Arizona.  I want to be able to wow people with my tales of 115 degree or higher weather, but then I check the weather on my computer and it is only 105 and I get disappointed. (I mean while it's already too hot to enjoy being outside, it might as well be impressive, right?)

Books:

I do this odd thing when I am reading a book, I start to think in the same style that the author wrote the book in.  For instance, when I read Jane Austen I think the word "one" a lot, as in "one would think so," or "securing one's happiness."  When I read Uglies  and Pretties I began to use the author's slang: "littlies" for kids and "happy-making" for, well, things that make you happy.  And recently, as I am reading An Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal I find myself compartmentalizing my thoughts into short (hopefully amusing) anecdotes just like I read in her book (hence the style of this post).  Also, I have started writing more in italics because I like the way she does it.

Mirrors:

I still make faces at myself in the mirror.  And then, when I'm done, I look around a little embarrassed that I was just making faces at myself in the mirror.

Silly expectations:

I always expect things to be smarter than they are, like the fly in my car for whom I roll down the window to allow him to be set free, and when he refuses to fly out, I angrily wonder why he would rather stay in a car where he will most certainly die.  Another example is my cat who is not allowed to jump on the counter, and he gets squirted with water when he does, but even after all that, he still meows over and over as he stares at the counter right before he jumps so that I know exactly when to squirt him.  And then I am always disappointed that he wasn't smart enough to mask his intentions.

*this only lasted two very long days, and then she was safely returned to the breeder to be sold to a more tolerant-of-poop-in-the-house kind of person.  I'm sure that she has now found such a place to live.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

nobody else is doing it...

Remember when that slogan used to be "everyone else is doing it?" When I was a kid we were warned about a thing called "peer pressure."  Essentially this was the pressure we all felt to fall in line and be like everyone else and anyone who had less than honorable intentions could use this pressure to get us to do whatever they wanted (whether or not it really was true).  Well, all of those speeches against peer pressure given by D.A.R.E. officers all over the country has certainly hit their collective mark--or perhaps they have overshot because it seems these days that no one wants to do what "everyone else" is doing.

I began to notice this as I would recommend a particular book or show or (fill in popular thing here).  I would say something like try this, it's great! and then I would get a response like I don't know, everyone is already doing that...  as though there were only a finite amount of people that could enjoy a particular activity.  This phenomenon came to a head the other day when I was discussing this very thing with a friend of mine and she mentioned that she had a conversation with someone who had just moved from a place that was not highly populated by scrapbook enthusiasts to a place that was highly populated with scrapbook enthusiasts and was now less enthusiastic about scrapbooking because "everyone else was doing it."  How insecure is this person to suddenly abandon a beloved hobby just because other people also enjoy the same hobby?  And where is this all coming from?  Why is there this sudden need to be so individualistic?  I assume, anyway, that it is a new concept, I have a hard time imagining Austrians back in Mozart's time pooh-poohing a concert because so many people already love Mozart...  

Perhaps it is due to the onslaught of science fiction.  Maybe we have all become frighteningly aware of our similarities and we just can't handle the thought of becoming droids like those in sci-fi shows or novels.  At any rate, the attempt is completely futile.  If you thing about it, it's virtually impossible to be completely different from everyone else, and really, why would you want to?  Serial killers are among the minority--do you want to be like them?  In fact, it seems that the more you move toward being different, the weirder you become.  It's as though there were a point on a graph (oh that I could illustrate on my blog...) where your differences make you cool, and if they swing too far in abundance, you become weird, but if they swing too far in the lack of, you lose identity. Odd.  

I have always laughed at those kids in high school that dress in black clothes and dye their hair black and wear black lipstick just to be different.  Um--look around you!  You are surrounded by kids that are doing THAT EXACT SAME THING!  So it appears that the concept of being different is only in comparison to others.  For example, you cannot be different from everyone all of the time, you can only be different from some people some of the time.  And even when you are different from some people, you'll find that what makes you different from those people only makes you that much more similar to other people.  I'm going to be so bold as to say that everyone is already an individual, and that's what makes you unique and special so stop trying so hard to be "different." It's like when I am shopping for clothes, and I see something really cute and I say to myself I'm going to get this and look so cute because it's something no one else has.  And then I immediately laugh to myself because it's such a ridiculous thought!  I mean, there are twenty of them on that rack alone!  Not to mention the thousands or millions that have gone into production and are now being sold around the world!  In fact, we should all be more surprised that any of us look differently from each other.

Don't get me wrong, I can empathize with the desire to not be just another face in the crowd, and perhaps it is essential to our makeup to constantly desire to be "different" whatever that means, but what I want to do is to stop this widespread panic that people seem to have when they appear to enjoy something that a large number of other people also enjoy.  Calm down.  No one is going to suddenly mistake you for someone else Hey--you look familiar.....  are you Susan?  Or maybe you are Jane?  I can't tell, they both like to listen to U2 and watch Gilmore Girls....  If only there were a defining quality about either of you...  Stop stressing, that is never going to happen.  So go ahead and love U2 even though everyone else does too, and go ahead and laugh when you watch Gilmore Girls even though lots of other girls do too, and for heaven's sake don't miss out on a good book or give up a great hobby just because lots of other people with an eerily large amount of other similarities do too.

Did that last paragraph sound too preachy?

***want more proof that you are not as much of an individual as you hoped?  Read An Encyclopedia of and Ordinary Life By Amy Krouse Rosenthal--what makes it so funny is that we all have those thoughts too, and we thought we were the only ones....

Also, check out this blog: Seriously, so blessed! a painfully funny satire on Mormon Wife blogs (I just came up with that term...)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Gabeisms

Having kids means we get to laugh at the funny things they say, and as they get older they are less prone to say them and more prone to giving us attitude more befitting a teen. Because of this we have to treasure the funny times. Here are some of Gabe's latest:

This is how I know my son has been too involved with Star Wars: the other night in his prayer he said this "You're my only hope Heavenly Father." Nice, huh?

Last night he ended with this little Gem: "Bless us all that we'll have a good night's sleep..... even the Hawaiians..." Apparently my long harbored dislike for Hawaiians is starting to show in my children... (that was sarcasm, I don't dislike Hawaiians)

And some of my favorites happen when he is playing with his Star Wars action figures and he thinks no one is watching or listening. A couple of days ago, two of his action figures were in a serious conflict where one was about to throw the other off of a ledge and right before doing so, he said in a very serious and menacing voice "Bon Voyage" to the guy he pushed. But he didn't pronounce it the way it is supposed to be pronounced, he pronounced it "bon voyagee" with a hard "g" sound just like bugs bunny used to. It was all I could do not to rip into laughter. What a funny kid.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summertime





I've had a nagging feeling these last couple of weeks that I just haven't been able to quantify until today. You see, I have been looking at pictures of people enjoying their summers with their swimming pools and barbecue's and large lawns with kids rolling on the grass and playing lawn games for the last month or so from just about every magazine that comes our way and from every store that we shop in. All of these images have been bothering me greatly, and I just realized why.

Summertime--in Arizona.

Arizona summers don't bother me for the obvious reason, the heat, because I really actually don't mind the heat. I have grown accustomed to it, and now I have no problem with it in short stints, it's what the heat does to our social lives that I hate.

So, you see all of those pictures of people enjoying the heck out of their summers? We did that months ago, and now we are in hibernation. The best way I have found to describe this to outsiders is to compare it to winter. Extreme temperatures that prohibit you from being outside for long periods of time. And you know about wind chill factor, where it feels about 15-20 degrees colder because the wind is blowing? We have what I like to call Blow dryer effect, where it feels like you are standing in 115 degree weather with someone holding a hot air blow drier right in your face really making it feel like 130 degrees. Yep--hot wind. It's times like these that I feel like we are living on some experimental housing development on a surface of the sun. And quite frankly, who wants to stand over a hot barbecue grilling food on the surface of the sun? Not to mention the fact that all of my son's neighborhood friends have vacated the state for the summer leaving one majorly bored six year old boy behind.

And then there is the issue of sunscreen. I hate it. Ok, it protects us from dying from skin cancer, and that is noble enough, but other than that I hate it. I hate the sticky slimy gooey greasy stuff that sticks on our skin so well that I have to use a power sander to get the stuff off. I hate the fifteen minutes it takes to rub it in on myself and the additional fifteen minutes per little body. I have found sunscreens that I tolerate better than others, but there isn't an existing sunscreen that I know of that doesn't have to be sprayed squirted or rubbed on or that isn't sticky gooey or greasy. Because of my hatred, I have a hard time sending my kids out to play. I never worried this much about my kids playing outside without sunscreen before I lived in Arizona, but there's something about living on the surface of the sun that makes you feel like you are going to get burned more easily and with greater force.

Oh yeah, and the grass. We barely have any. Certainly not enough to play any sort of lawn game on even if we were interested in slathering greasy sunscreen on and braving the hot air being blown in our faces.

So you see, it's just like winter, occasionally you decide to put on a snowsuit to roll around in the snow, but for the most part you hang out inside waiting for the temperatures to rise.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Good, the Very Very Very Bad, and the Uglies


Uglies--give it a try, there's little to no "teen whiny" in it


There is a very interesting debate going on in the literary world as of late, and it centers on the subject of Adults reading Young Adult or Teen Fiction. Though it is probably obvious to all of you, the main point is whether or not Adults should be embarrassed for reading books written for teens, and my answer is, Yes... ...and No...

I've been a bit back and forth on this subject as you might have guessed. I think it all started with Harry Potter because before then nothing written for kids and teens had been remotely interesting for adults too--at least not that I can think of or remember. But at any case, Harry Potter ushered in the era of Adults sneaking with dark sunglasses in the bookstore to the teen section and shamefully buying the latest edition of whatever Harry Potter book they were on and then rushing home to enjoy it without embarrassment in the privacy of their own homes and then secretly admitting to close friends that they were enjoying it. I myself didn't join the throngs of Harry Potter fans until the fourth book came out, and it is a good thing because the first two bored the tears out of me. Actually, it was really only the second, the first was mildly entertaining because it was new.

As Harry Potter came to it's end, I began another series called twilight. I was also embarrassed to have to go to the YA section of my bookstore to fish these out. While I was there, I began to notice another series called Uglies. For a long time I looked at them unconvinced that I should read, but eventually I gave in and found that I really enjoyed them, just like I had enjoyed twilight and Harry Potter. It was then that I began to wonder a few things:

1--have I regressed educationally?
2--was it really that big of a deal to read YA books?

After I read the Uglies series, I decided to visit the author's blog and came across an entry where he attacks adults that are ashamed to read from the YA section. Check it out. If you don't have the time or patience, basically it says that he thinks Adults that are wary of this section are lame-o. The problem with this theory is that we aren't lame-o, we are older and more mature. While I fully admit that I have found plenty of books in this section that I love, I have also found that I get impatient with the teen angst, and the whiny teen behavior, and the sophomoric plot lines. Not that this has been enough to keep me away from a well written book, but I have to admit that there are places in Harry Potter and twilight and the Uglies that I had to put the book down to roll my eyes. What Scott Westerfeld (author of the Uglies) and other authors that share his opinion fail to remember is that what makes a good book is an interesting plot and characters that can be identified with, and quite frankly it is difficult sometimes to identify with ten year olds. I find myself constantly thinking "grow up!" when the characters are faced with "difficult decisions," and generally I am two to three steps ahead of them waiting for them to figure out what I figured out three chapters ago.

So you can see why many adults would shy away from the YA section and find something about people their own age. Unfortunately this is also not always fool proof. Apparently there is an equal amount of crappy writing in all genres, and I've noticed that in the Adult section, authors tend to overdo the sex in a cheap attempt to reel readers in without actually having to have good writing involved. This is where I lean toward YA, because they tend to leave the sex out because it is more controversial for that age group. What's a reader to do? Wait until everyone you know has read a particular book before you give it a go--that's what I do--because there is nothing worse than reading a bad book. And Lisa, don't let this deter you from reading twilight. Just be patient with the teens, it's a good ride.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Have you seen this?

In a moment of boredom last night (you all need to update your blogs more often, I'm running out of things to comment on, and I just can't keep commenting on top of comments!! ok, I have no life...) I decided to visit another of my favorite websites to see if there was any new news: Stephenie Meyer's official website. (She's the author of the twilight series). And as I was perusing her website reading everything I have already read before, I decided to read about this which lead me to reread this because I loved it so much the first time, and if you have read twilight but haven't read the first chapter of Midnight Sun, I command that you stop whatever you are doing and read it. NOW. It is so great, that because I reread it I've decided to reread this for fun:

*sigh* I love this book. I love losing myself in the misty green mossy world of Forks, Washington. I love star-crossed lovers and danger, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE vampires (don't judge, it's fun to get lost in the make believe once in a while. Not everything has to be truth). Perhaps I love it too much. What, exactly constitutes an obsession?

But I digress. My main point is to direct you all to Midnight Sun because it tells Edward's side of the story, and Stephenie's writing is very well done. Edward is older and more mature, and also given that he is a vampire, his thoughts are decidedly more dark and interesting. Read it and tell me what you think, or if you have already read it, tell me what you thought.

*** Look forward to a post in the making about more books and the debate about the worth of books in the Young Adult or Teen Fiction section.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The People Have Spoken!

...unfortunately, I'll only be listening to one of you.

I have decided to create a separate  private blog for pictures and keep this blog public.  Many of you have already recieved an invitation (check your emails), and anyone else that would like an invitation, please leave me your email in the comments section and as long as I know you and know you not to be a serial killer or creepy stalker, I will gladly oblige.

I know what you are all thinking: "oh man, not another blog that I have to keep track of!!" But I think you'll find that this will work smoothly--in fact, think of it as an extension of my blog, not as a separate blog that you have to bookmark and keep track of (unless of course you want to...).

Here's how it works:
on the right side of my blog under "links" is the phrase "picture pages" click on that and you can go straight there as though it were part of my blog, and when you are there you can click back.  See?  Wasn't that easy?

Also, once you are there, feel free to look at all of the posts, the first one is really cute.

Have fun!

**caveat: separate blog is subject to change and perhaps one day I will combine them into one super blog, but for now this is looking like it will work fine.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Storm Chasing




I can see now with perfect hindsight where I have gone wrong with this baby of mine (yes, I have already gone wrong with him after only 12 days): I was too confident in my abilities as a mother.

"I love newborns," I said to myself, "This is after all my third one--I've done all of this before!"

"I feel great, I am recovering nicely, I really don't mind nursing him even when he wants to eat all the time," I said knowingly, "and quite frankly he is a good sleeper and I don't mind waking up a couple of times a night to feed him."

These are all red flags that should have tipped me off to the fact that there was a storm brewing...


What used to be a quiet sleeper has now turned into a very NOISY GRUNTY sleeper (The baby, not Jon). So technically he is sleeping, but for all the sleep we are not getting he might as well be crying. He did this all last night and finally fell into a quiet and peaceful sleep just as my other two woke up. Storm.

Then, I decided to change his diaper. I think it must have been filled to past capacity because it fell apart and all the absorbent crystals flew everywhere (and there are millions when a diaper comes apart). And if anyone has ever had this happen they know that they are impossible to clean up with a wipe, you must pick each one up by hand and organize them into some sort of trash situation. So there I am trying to clean up this mess with a squirmy screaming newborn with absorbent crystals all over him. For every one I picked up, he kicked out about a million more and they started to stick to every surface... Storm.

And what is it about babies wanting to eat right when your food is ready for you to eat? Can I get a "holla" from everyone who's ever had to feed a baby?!?!

And I would be extremely remiss if I neglected to mention the fact that I have been abandoned by all of my care givers yesterday making this the first day I have had to care for my three kids all alone without my parents (who have earned their place in the highest glories of heaven for all of the service they have rendered to me this last week), and without my husband (Who has also earned his place along with my parents for putting up with me and for caring for me at the same time).

I even got a phone call from a friend who could tell from only my voice that I was stressed (really? I thought I was hiding it better...).

I should have known that I wouldn't pass through newbornhood without a few thorny bushes and potholes. I can be so naive.

Friday, May 30, 2008

My New Toy




So after hours of hard work (really really really hard work) on Saturday the 24th, I was given my brand new toy.

It is very small and cuter than a million puppies and kittens. It smells like heaven and baby powder. It makes me feel joy and peace and spirituality and very much an empowered woman. It squawks and gasps and cries out and I laugh with glee every time it does. It is the secret to happiness in this life and it's mine, all mine (and Jon's). I get to dress it up in cute tiny clothes, watch when it stretches and curls up and sleeps so peacefully. I get to kiss it's soft sweet skin and hold it any time I want.

I'm happy. I love my new toy.


*image stolen without the express written consent of wry baby. To purchase this and other super cute and funny baby products, visit wry baby

Friday, May 23, 2008

It Ain't Over Yet, Baby!

Please take a moment to listen to this song that I have dedicated to my pregnancy and the baby that hasn't had enough just yet.


**lyrics for those that can't hear the song:

Here we are still together
We are one
So much time wasted
Playing games with love

So many tears I've cried
So much pain inside
But baby it ain't over 'til its over
So many years we've tried
To keep our love alive
But baby it ain't over 'til its over

How many times
Did we give up
But we always worked things out
And all my doubts and fear
Kept me wondering
If I'd always be in love

So many tears I've cried
So much pain inside
But baby it ain't over 'til its over

So many years we've tried
And kept our love alive
But baby it ain't over 'til its over

So many tears I've cried
So much pain inside
But baby it ain't over 'til its over

So many years we've tried
And kept our love alive
But baby it ain't over 'til its over

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Overreacter



I've had a series of instances lately that I have been wanting to blog about as they have been very frustrating to me, when it hit me this afternoon (after another such instance): These instances all have one thing in common, they are not that big of a deal, really, and I'm just overreacting. This surprised me because while I'm okay with overreacting occasionally, this seemed excessive and I had never pinned myself as a person that frequently overreacts. Of course, I'd like to imagine myself as an easy going carefree sort of girl, but unfortunately I've had experience to the contrary that I'm afraid I just can't deny any longer. Here they are in no particular order:


Birds

--Of course anyone who owns a car will be able to sympathize at least a little with this one, you all know the disgusting revelation that some bird has defecated on your car. My frustration with birds seems to have taken on new heights though and this is mainly because of our pool. We built this lovely pool in our backyard and it has been our favorite house-feature so far. We decided when we were building this pool that we'd like to have a waterfall put in, and we love that too. Soon after however, we noticed that we weren't the only beings taking advantage of this little oasis--the birds were too. Drinking, standing, and cleaning themselves on OUR waterfall. Of course this was enough to send me through the roof until I noticed that they were also POOPING on the waterfall too!!!! Mind you, this is right where the water washes over and into our pool and mixes with the water that we put our bodies in. Are you disgusted yet? Because I'm getting all riled up again just typing it. I'm not sure where normal frustration ends and full on dementia begins, but I have a feeling I'm teetering toward the latter. I look at those birds (and by the way, most of them are pigeons or "flying rats") using my pool and I get so angry. Furious and livid! I can't believe that they have the audacity to use MY POOL! MY POOL! And I actually begin thinking about how unfair it is that they poop on it regardless of the fact that we own it and we paid for it. It's our property after all, what right do they have?!?

Fruit Flies

--I'm not even sure if they are all fruit flies, because after the initial infestation, the things in my house are not buzzing around the fruit any longer. No, they buzz around me. Everywhere I go, they are in my face. Literally. I don't know where they are coming from, and I don't know how to get rid of them. I have researched on the internet, and I am told to look for a colony in garbage cans or sinks or around anything that might have food in it or touched it. We have no colonies. I almost wish we did so that I knew how to properly eradicate them. No, it's just one lone fly after another and when one dies another is still there. This makes me angry to the point of insanity too, and I'm afraid my family is starting to see it because this morning I was lucky enough to have caught one crawling atop my place mat during breakfast, and the next thing my kids heard was: SLAM! "YES!!! IN YOUR FACE!!!" that's right, I was trash talking a fruit fly that I had killed in front of my kids. They of course thought this was hilarious, but my husband was looking at me as if I had forgotten to take my meds.

Dirt

--I'm sure you have noticed from previous posts that I'm not a huge fan. I have to think that this isn't a problem only for Arizonians, but let me tell you, it is really beginning to feel that I never had to deal with it on this level before. It all starts with my kids playing outside, which is ok. But then they lay on the driveway and roll around the garage and pick up rocks and touch myriad other surfaces that are dirty. Which is also ok. Then they proceed to touch their faces and smear it all over their clothes and hair. This is ok too, because when it's time to come in, we wash up and clean it all off. What's NOT ok is when it gets transferred to my walls and doors and door knobs and sinks. It sticks to my outdoor furniture, my outdoor freezer, the outside of my windows and last but certainly not least, it sticks to my car. The problem with that is when we get all dressed for church and go out to the car and my toddler runs ahead and rubs up against the side of the car and it is only when I buckle her in that I notice the HUGE black streak of dirt on her dress and on her hands. This is not a car that has been in a rainstorm or a mud puddle or anything like that, this is a car that was washed a few weeks ago and just collected a mostly invisible layer of dirt that you can only see on your clothes and hands. I wasn't even sure that's where it was coming from, I had to run a white cloth along the side and compare dirt colors to confirm that it was in fact the car. So great, now I have to keep my cars impeccably sparkly clean all of the time? Not just what would pass for normally as "clean?"

My Son's Teeth

--This is the one that really clued me in on my overreacting tendencies. My Son was wishing my Mom a "Happy Mother's Day" tonight when I happened to glance into his mouth and see that he had two adult teeth coming in right behind his two lower baby teeth. No big deal right? Well, when I saw it I almost had a heart attack. First of all, I had no idea they were there before, and second of all, I had no idea he even had loose teeth. And there they were, these gargantuan adult sized teeth hanging out behind the cute little baby teeth as though they were sharks teeth growing in rows waiting to replace the former row. I freaked out naturally, because adult teeth are supposed to grow in the same place as the baby teeth, not behind them, and there is clearly no room in my son's jaw for these teeth to fit in the same spot. So amid heart palpitations, I decide in a moment of panic to call my Bishop who happens to be a dentist because it is not a regular business day so I can't call my regular dentist. After about three rings, a voice of reason suddenly emerges and says: "what are you doing? Hang up and call your dentist tomorrow, this isn't ideal, but it's hardly an emergency." And then it took me about an hour to get my heart rate back down.

So you see, I'm definitely on the road to ulcerville. Or OCD town, I'm not really sure, but something is definitely wrong with me. But they say that the first step is recognizing that you have a problem, right?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Doing the Math




Jon and I have been married for 7 years 6 months. After the first 6 months of marriage, I became pregnant with our first kid who was full term or 10 months, and It took me at least 1 month (I'm being veeerrrrry conservative here) to recover from the birth. Add to that 3 additional months of nursing, and 7 months to loose the weight that I gained due to nursing. Then 7 months later, we started trying for our second. After 4 months, I became pregnant again, and that pregnancy lasted 5 months after which we lost our baby. Because we desperately wanted another kid, we immediately started trying again, and 9 months later, I became pregnant again. That pregnancy lasted 3 months after which we lost that baby and immediately began trying yet again. 9 months later (I know, weird, huh?) I became pregnant with our second kid and carried her to term--10 months. 1 month of recovery plus an additional 10 months of nursing--11 months (don't worry, I'm keeping track of all of this so you don't have to). 6 months to loose the weight that I gained from nursing, and 3 months after that I became pregnant again. I am now in the 9th month of my pregnancy with our third Earth-bound kid, which I anticipate I will carry to term (10 months), recover from (1 month), and nurse for at least 6 months or more. Which brings me right to our eight year anniversary.

So, for the eight years Jon and I have been married, I will have had a total of 16 normal months that were in no way influenced by pregnancy, childbirth, or nursing. Not even a year and a half. On the other hand, 80 months of our marriage (6 years 8 months) my body has been adversely affected by pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing.

We have had two miscarriages back to back that wreaked havoc on my body emotionally, physically, and hormonally. My weight has been up and down in drastic amounts since we started this whole thing with less than 6 consecutive months of my normal weight since the birth of my first. We have dealt with mild infertility due to low progesterone levels which caused my body to not ovulate, we went through the hell of trying to conceive which basically meant I lived my life in two week increments for 18 months total (the first two weeks of my cycle, ovulation, the next two weeks, pregnancy test, disappointment, repeat). I've had severe morning sickness with all 5 of my pregnancies. I lost my milk unexpectedly with our first and dealt with low milk supply with our second, and to top it all off, I have a whole mess of stretch marks.

So I can say with peace of mind that I AM DONE. I feel peace in that decision finally, and no longer feel any guilt. I'm so very tired of it all, and I'm ready to begin adding to those scant 16 months of normalcy again. I feel as though a giant weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.

****Caveat:
In no way do I intend to imply that I have had it worse than any other woman, nor do I feel the need to justify what is a very personal decision between my husband and I. I just thought it was interesting and quite a bit sobering, and I thought you all would be interested too.

Monday, April 21, 2008

All Grown Up




I have found a new love!

On Saturday I had the desire to clean up the front porch so I could lay down my new doormat and give it a fresh new start--and while I was doing so, I noticed that the front door was absolutely filthy. So I remembered something I read in my Martha Stewart Housekeeping Handbook about cleaning doors and walls and I went to check if we had any "all-purpose cleaner." Thankfully we did still have the Costco sized bottle of Pine-Sol (I'm not sure we'll ever run out) so I mixed myself up a little wash and began washing my front door.

Let me tell you, it was very therapeutic! Something about washing away dust and dirt, sort of like a metaphor for life I think. It just felt so good to get rid of the dirt on my house (one thing I have noticed about Arizona is that the dust is frequently airborne and attaches itself to any surface). Unfortunately, there are a few side effects:

1--it's addictive. What started out as the front door quickly evolved down to the front doorstep and into the garage on the walls and the door and then into the house. I cleaned the hallway from the garage door and the bathroom in that hallway and then moved to the hallway on the other side of the stairs and when I finished that I started up the stairs before I realized that I'd have to make a decision: go on washing and commit suicide via loss of energy because I am 9 months pregnant, or stop. So I stopped despite my intense desire to continue (you see, I have been staring at all the dirty fingerprints and shoe marks on my walls for about a year and a half now--it never really occurred to me to clean them off...), but a second session is already in the works

2--what is clean is bound to get dirty again, and with kids this will happen much sooner than you are ready for. Within a day after I had washed all of that I had new finger and hand prints on just about every surface I had just cleaned.

Maybe I should clarify something so that you all don't think I'm a total slob-- our house has nothing but white walls and white trim, and the walls are some sort of matte finish which attracts dirt like a magnet and like I said before, Arizona dust (read dirt) is everywhere and my kids get dirty just asking to play outside.

So dirt on my walls is inevitable. But now I have something to do about it and every time I see a cleaner wall or baseboard or door, I get all happy inside.

And then it dawned on me Sunday night: I get more pleasure out of cleaning and working around the house than I do sitting around doing nothing. Which of course never used to be the case, and that's how I know I'm growing up. In fact, I think that should be the distinction between childhood and adulthood-- forget 18, you should be legally considered to be an adult when you can recognize that you are happier working than slacking. Of course, that would leave quite a few adults back in childhood, which, quite frankly is fine with me!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Makeup part 2 AKA "The Big Compromise"

First of all, you are all waaaaay too kind, I put the "embodiment of youthful beauty" option on the poll as a joke. I really hope you all know that I'm joking about all that and I'm not that egotistical...

I think I may have found a solution to this problem: I have been trying to make the switch cold turkey as that is my method for solving all of my problems and it just isn't working. But how can I expect it to? There's no way I'm going to be motivated to put on makeup just to watch my two year old put her dolls to bed and twirl around while she listens to music. That would be like the majority of other women putting on stiletto's and dresses just to play with a toddler all day long. So I decided the best way to do this was to ease into it by picking the most public days of my week and wear makeup all those days. These turned out to be Sunday (church), Wednesday (young women), and Friday (date night with the husband).

So far, I have done a Friday and a Sunday and it has worked out quite well! My favorite thing to laugh at though when I do wear makeup is everybody's reactions. My husband said he couldn't stop looking at me (awww), and a couple of my friends on Sunday noticed the improvement as well. I have to admit though that not wearing makeup for so long and then suddenly putting on a whole "face" makes me a little paranoid about putting on way too much. But I just tell myself that I'm just not used to seeing that much on my face, and I'm not wearing any more than the 13 yr old girls in my Young Women class do...

Isn't it funny that as a girl you can't wait until your parents let you shave and wear makeup and pierce your ears and then when you get older, all of those things become a burden? If only I could channel that youthful exuberance!

Monday, April 07, 2008

kidding myself




Well, now that I have successfully alienated the majority of my readers by not writing in a couple of months, I thought I'd pick it up again. But I think I have picked up a few more readers in the interim and so I suppose it all evens out...

It is time for me to once again revisit my eternal problem--makeup. First of all, am I the last female on Earth my age that doesn't wear makeup? Ok, I know I'm not because I have seen my hideous fellow non-makeup sisters in makeover show after makeover show which forces me to make one of two conclusions: either I am just as hideous as these women and in a serious state of denial, or I really am the embodiment of youthful beauty that has no need for makeup "just yet" and is the exception to the "rule." For some time I have operated under the latter presumption (egotistical you say? most likely). On occasion, however, I feel the need to reevaluate my situation.

Before we delve into the solution, let's examine the background a little first. I do not now nor have I ever considered myself a "tomboy" (you all should know that by now) so that does not propagate my penchant for bare faces, and neither does a dislike or lack of taste in the fashion department (if I may be so bold to assert). I think it must stem from laziness. I was in a lovely little habit of using makeup when I was in college and when I got married and even when I was pregnant with kid #1, but as soon as he was born, it all went out the window and I have tried unsuccessfully since then to bring it back. Here's why-- I have realized that there are three main problems that I have with wearing makeup:

#1--putting it on. By the time I shower and get dressed and moisturize, I just can't bear the thought of spending another 15-20 mins putting on makeup (it takes me that long because I haven't done it on a consistent basis so I have to re-learn every time) and making my kid or kids wait for me. I just want to get going with my day.

#2--wearing it. Makeup is messy. Let's face it (haha let's face it! I didn't even plan that). It gets on everything from my clothes to my furniture to my kids and their clothes and I can never remember that I'm wearing it in the first place so I am constantly rubbing my eyes and wiping off my mascara. I can't bear the thought of keeping my kids at arms length because I don't want to get lipstick on them. I want to be able to kiss who I want when I want!

#3--taking it off. Um, let's start with the fact that I never remember to do so until the next morning when my eyes are crusted together! So gross right? I know, I'm not really that disgusting of a person I promise. When I do remember, it's like 11:30 at night and the last thing I want to do is spend a half hour removing it and washing my face. Plus, the eyemakeup remover stings my eyes so much that I can't imagine wanting to go through the whole thing all over again the next day.

Perhaps a more poignant question is: Why are all of you wearing makeup?

Back in the day only prostitutes wore makeup (haven't you seen Gone With the Wind?). I'm not trying to insinuate anything, just making a point. So basically like most other grooming habits, we can trace the origins back to some really great marketing scheme put forth sometime in the late 19th century or early 20th century. Which really begs the question of why we deem makeup necessary. So if it isn't necessary, it's optional--right? This is where I start to rationalize my reasons for "opting out."

"I'm young," I tell myself, "I'm a mother of young kids, and so I've got this whole cute young and natural mother look going for me. I'm not one of those hideous women in desperate need of a makeover. Bare faces are edgy and fashion forward (not to mention extremely convenient)."

This is what I say to myself whether or not it is actually true. But unfortunately it does nothing to quell the nagging feeling inside my head that I really should be wearing makeup. I like the way others look when wearing it, and I like the way it makes me look more sophisticated and edgy and fashion forward. *sigh* What is a girl to do?

Humorously enough I just spent over 250$ revamping my whole makeup collection with some really great stuff. Now all I have to do is wear it....

Fat chance!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sick




Today is my second day of being sick (I know, poor me), and being sick has caused me to ponder at the differences between being sick as an adult and being sick as a child.

I remember when I was younger and even up until I had children that I didn't hate being sick, I only pretended to because it's expected. I think that even then I knew somehow that it would be drastically different later in life. I was thinking about this as I laid on the couch yesterday because I had suddenly remembered what it felt like to call in sick to my boss. I remember that I had to muster up all of the horrible feelings I felt and try my hardest to sound disappointed to be missing work that day when really I was elated (also truly sick, but elated none the less). Because for most people, being sick, as awful as it can be, really means you get a break. Especially when you are a kid.

For me however, now that I have kids of my own that I care for in my home full time--being sick is hell. I promise that no one gets the full meaning of the cliche "Mom's don't get sick days" until they have been a sick mom. I realize this excludes many of you who are reading this, but please keep reading.

Let me tell you, even busy working adults who don't like taking sick days still have the option of doing so and I believe they would if they were sick enough. But who is going to fill in for me when I get sick? No one. Period.

It's sort of like that scene from "The Devil Wears Prada" where Emily the assistant comes to work even though she is visibly ill, and we are all supposed to think thoughts similar to: "Wow, what a horrible boss to be so uncaring!" and "I can't believe she has such a demanding job that she can't even take ONE day!" That's me, I'm Emily the assistant and my kids and house collectively are Meryl Streep. The only difference being that neither of us get to wear such expensive clothes.


Being sick means that I have to do everything I normally do while feeling like crap. I must wake up when my kids wake up, I must feed them meals, I must entertain them and clothe them. I must change diapers and do dishes and laundry, and if I decide not to do them while I am sick, guess who still has to do them later? Me. The mom. Only by then, the piles of housework have become larger from not doing them earlier. And unless I want to have my kids forcibly removed from my house and placed in foster care, I cannot neglect that aspect of my job. ever.

Being sick no longer means that I get to take a break from the things I dread doing, but it does mean that I have to give up all of the things I love to do. I had to miss church, which I love because it is a wonderful opportunity to fill myself spiritually, and an opportunity to get out of the house and dress up (which I love to do), meet all of my friends and get a break from my kids.

If I had become sick one day earlier, I would have had to miss a party that my friend was throwing, and these types of parties are few and far between, and incidentally they only seem to happen when you already have eighteen obligations or are sick.

So I guess what I am getting at is the fact that mothers have the ultimate sick wild card to play that trumps anyone else's sick card. Particularly those mothers who have kids at home--and the younger they are, the worse off the mother is. Which basically boils down to the fact that I no longer pity anyone who gets sick unless they are a mother of young children. I really don't feel bad about that either. Some of you who are reading this might be a little put off by my admission, but I don't care, it's my only joy that I get out of being a sick Mom, and you know me--I love to look on the bright side.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Updates and Miscellany



For about the last week or so, I have been coming across a lot of things I could blog about, but I was too lazy to do so, so here are shortened versions of those blogs (because heaven knows I could write for paragraphs on just about any topic).

Updates:

*For those of you who are interested, Jr. the goldfish is still alive and kicking (or fining). I ended up buying a ten gallon tank with a filter and all the accessories (and I mean all the accessories) and I was dangerously close to becoming a goldfish aficionado (for those of you who know me well, I tend to do things either full scale top notch or not at all) and if I had had a spare thousand dollars (ha ha spare thousand dollars! I crack me up!), I seriously would have built myself a fish pond in the back yard. Really--I really wanted to. Sadly though, a ten gallon tank for a goldfish will only work for about three years and then I'll either have to build a fish pond or I will have to "set him free" in some sort of natural body of water, and I'm leaning toward the latter.

*As you remember reading about my distaste for lunch, I thought I'd let you know that I have abandoned the concept altogether and am now having breakfast for the first two meals each day (I just loooove breakfast lately).

*An update to my recent blog about organizing, I thought I'd all let you know that Home depot has an amazing selection of garage racks etc. that I spent a great deal of time drooling over this evening (yes, I really do get that excited about organization in all forms)

Miscellany:

*I was going to write a bitter blog about my dealings with poop as of late. My daughter has taken to pulling off her poop filled diapers and smearing them on all surfaces within toddler-arm's reach which is really only amusing the first couple of times (or at least I was able to laugh it off in an attempt to repress the tears that now flow freely at each poop "experience"). And on a particularly poopy day (literally in my case) I found numerous piles of animal feces on my property that made me so completely livid that I was honestly considering making a personal visit to all of my pet owning neighbors and giving them back their poop because I was just too darn tired to deal with any poop that was not my direct responsibility (I still fantasize about that bold move).

*I was also going to write a blog about my makeup woes (you beat me to that blog Nat). I had recently discovered that I have old looking lips, as in the color has faded and I can no longer rely on nature to be my only defense. Which sucks for me, because lipstick was always the makeup I could not bring myself to do for so many reasons mostly dealing with it coming off and getting on all other surfaces. And in my attempt to rectify both problems, I tried out several types of "long lasting" lipsticks that left me incensed and publicly humiliated as I scrubbed the stuff off my lips with makeup remover at a local Sephora because I was too embarrassed to be seen with it on any longer. And incidentally, I think I had to scrub off a layer of skin to get the stuff off...

*And lastly I was planning on writing a blog about my recent and noble attempt to take TV out of my life (for a day or two each week--I'm not totally crazy!). I have been so angry at TV for wasting so much of my time, I vowed to get revenge. So on Thursday, I decided to have my first "no TV day." It went pretty well, my kids had a quieter day, I was able to use my daughter's nap time to put snaps on my duvet cover opening (sorely needed) and I had a great time playing "roll the ball" with my son. then, at about 8 pm, I started to crack. My husband was supposed to be home at 7:30 to entertain me, and he had not shown. The house was empty, the kids were in bed, and the silence was beginning to eat away at me. I finally gave in and put on an episode of Gilmore girls and ever since I have been extremely disappointed that I failed to go just one day without TV.

Well, that's all (for those of you still reading...). Just little snippets of my mind to feast on. Sort of a dim sum of ideas if you will. I hope you enjoyed them--try them with a little sweet and sour sauce next time, I hear it's delicious.