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.

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!