Friday, April 27, 2012

Pay Backs

This week has been the week for me to get paid back for all the horrible things I did to my mother.  Because apparently buying my mom nice presents from L.L. Bean every so often is not good enough and now karma is trying to exact its own special little gift.  FUCK YOU KARMA.  See if I ever buy you anything nice.

Anyway, earlier this week we are all sitting around the dinner table, eating some pasta that I lovingly made for my loving family.  It is all very picturesque and then, out of nowhere, my darling son, who has the softest cheeks ever created and still looks alarmingly like he did when he was but a wee one year old, looks up and says, "What's an H-O-R-E?"

And I'm sitting there thinking, "Does he mean 'hoary'? Like gray?  Like "fell off in hoary flakes?  Reading Coleridge again, old chap?"  Because obviously.

But Matt, well Matt is a guy and he knows we're not going to get into a discussion about the Romantics.  He's like, "Sam, come in the bedroom with me."  And Sam does.  And I get Alice settled long enough for her not to destroy anything and go into the bedroom myself.  And there sits Sam, still angelic, and Matt's lips are parted in the craziest grin and he's like, "Sam, tell your mom what a whore is."

And Sam looks at me, cheeks aflame and goes, "You know, it's a woman who shows her ta-ta's too much.  Like boobs.  Like those things."  And he points at my breasts.

First off, yeah, that's fucking hilarious.  You try standing in front of your child  when he is saying something like that and not at least cracking a smile.  For real, folks.  At least 30% of parenting is trying not to guffaw inappropriately when you are trying to be OMG PARENTAL SERIOUS.  But also, guys?  AWKWARD.  Here I am, this totally female-body-positive mother in the whole, "OH LOOK AT ME!! I GIVE AND NOURISH LIFE" kind of vein.  And now...reduced.  In the pointing of an 8 year old, I am now dirty, like a spring breaker with an empty bottle of Cuervo and a bunch of beads.

So I'm speechless, and thankfully, Matt takes the wheel, and he's explaining that a whore is someone who has lots of boyfriends for money and not for love.  Which is a pretty good way of explaining things if you think about it.  It's pretty obvious which parent has the advanced degrees, is it not?  Anyway, I chime in there to talk about how names like that are very hurtful and must never be said, hoping Sam wasn't awake all those times that I told Dustin Pedroia that his mother was Satan's whore in Hell.  (Note:  He definitely wasn't, which really doesn't excuse me saying that, but Red Sox?  Yeah.  You see how it happens.  Another 20% of parenting is waiting until your kids are asleep before turning into the worst kind of degenerate.)

I call my mom the next morning to tell her about the whole thing because I knew she'd get a kick out of it.  And she does.  She cackles like a fiend.  Because here's the thing:  when I was in 4th grade, I didn't know what a whore was either.  I heard it at school, and figured it was kind of like being stupid, only for girls.  So I told this kid, Max, who made the grave mistake of not being an Atlanta Braves fan and saying something to me about it, that his sister, who I only remember as wearing really high waisted denim shorts, was a total whore.  Mostly because I didn't like her shorts.  Anyway, Max did know what a whore was, so he told his mother, who called my mother and raked her over the coals about me having a filthy mouth.  So yeah.  I guess I deserve everything I get, huh?

Anyway, fast forward to this morning.  Alice kept me up all night because a storm kept her up, or at least forced her to have a lot of dreams about spiders.  I get up and take my shower, and I'm laying on the couch, trying to muster the strength to get through the day when I remember that I had not dried the jeans that I washed the night before and boom--Sam has no clean pants to wear to school today.  So I run out to the laundry room and throw the jeans in the dryer.  As I'm doing so, I notice all this paper all over the bottom of the washer and spread throughout the laundry.  Turns out Sam left a huge stack of early 90's baseball cards that he found in our garage in his pants pocket.  I don't even know how he fit them in his pocket, much less how he didn't remember to take them out.  And now--here they are.  And I'm getting ready to go wake him up and chastise him ferociously, but I remember suddenly that I once left a tube of Hard Candy Vamp lipstick in my pocket, and my mom dried it, thus staining an entire load of clothes with the color of Gothic sadness.  Remembering this, I just sigh dejectedly and throw the jeans in the dryer.  Turns out Sam wanted to wear shorts today anyway.

We get ready to go to school/work.  And I should mention that throughout this, Gabby is not speaking to me at all.  Why?  Because last night, I told her not to eat her ice cream with a fork.

Read that again, ya'll.  "Because last night, I told her not to eat her ice cream with a fork."

Turns out there is this little shit in One Direction who is afraid of spoons.  He has spoonphobia.  Now, I understand lots of wacky mental conditions, because HELLO?!?  CRAZY, PARTY OF ONE!  But being afraid of spoons?  This defies all reasoning.  Gabby has been avoiding spoons for a little while now, but I have let it be because I hadn't the energy to say anything about it.  But have you ever seen someone try to eat a bowl of rapidly melting ice cream with a fork?  It is maddening.  It is, I'm sure, a proven torture device, especially when the person eating the ice cream is sitting on your couch in clothes that you paid for and really don't want to see stained/ruined.  Waterboard me or force me to watch you eat that ice cream--either/or, I WILL TALK.

So I kindly tell her to go get a spoon.  And she gives me this big long story about how when she was but a wee child, there was this weird commercial that had something in it that VAGUELY LOOKED LIKE A SPOON (important note:  it was not an actual spoon) and it scared her and since then she has been just a little bit scared of spoons and has only recently gathered up the courage to say FUCK ALL and totally stop eating with spoons.

This is when Sam wins the award for BEST LITTLE SIBLING EVAH and goes, "No, she didn't.  There's some guy in One Direction doesn't eat with spoons, so now she doesn't either."

So Matt googles this to confirm, and folks, THIS IS A THING.  LOCK UP YOUR DAUGHTERS AND YOUR SPOONS.  Teens everywhere are eschewing spoons because well, isn't it obvious.  FEAR.  LOATHING.  SCOOPING MOTION.  LACK OF TINES.  The internet tells me it is a show of solidarity because OMG SPOONS.

This is when Matt and I forget everything we are supposed to do as good parents and roll our eyes and say, "Gabby, this is over.  You are now eating with a spoon.  That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."

And Gabby, because she is 13, jumps up, tells us we don't understand her and hate everything she likes, takes her ice cream and FORK and stalks off.  And she's still not speaking to me, except for this one time when she came out of her room, confronted me in the laundry room and told me that it wasn't until she started listening to 1D that she got the strength to stop eating with spoons, SO GOD MOM THEY GIVE ME STRENGTH.  And well, I suck at life, so I retort without thinking, "You should be looking up to Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt--not a bunch of robots from England who can't take a crap without Simon Cowell telling them to!"  BOOM.  I'll accept my parent of the year trophy now, thanks.

She's still not talking to me.  OBVIOUSLY.  She communicated with me this morning through a vast network of eye-rolls, degrading looks, sighs, and dejected sniffs.

Anyway, I never got into boy bands.  But one time, I made my mom listen to a bootleg Hole cd that included, between tracks, a detailed description of how to give a blow job.  In the car.  I didn't hear it, because I was too busy sitting in the back of the car chewing Bubblicious Cotton Candy BubbleYum and talking to this weird guy friend of mine about OMG BANDS MUSIC GAH THE COLOR BLACK.  So it was probably that little incident, you know, that I'm getting paid back for.  I'm sure my mom wanted to tell me not to look up to Courtney Love, but she was smarter than me, so she didn't say it, and in time, I got over it.  She did mistakenly "lose that cd" when she cleaned out the car, and I only found out later that that cd contained all the blow job tips I desperately needed to hear as a 13 year old.  My mom told me about it when I graduated college and she drank some champagne and got started saying, "WELL, I NEVER THOUGHT WE'D SEE THIS DAY!  Let me tell you kind of shit you pulled!"

This is a very long way of saying that if you have kids, you are going to get paid back for all the crap you did as a kid.  You can't escape it.  It's like copy and paste Facebook status messages, the common cold and Jehovah's Witnesses.  It will find you.  Buy the booze now, friends.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Type

One Direction fever has hit our house. Quite unexpectedly, I might add. Just one month ago, Gabby and I were driving to Panera, and that song about being beautiful just the way you are or whatever the hell it is came on the radio and Gabby joked that it was by this band One Direction and they were from England. I kinda went, "Oh, ok." And then she chortles and says, "They're basically like the Beatles. Except without the talent." And we both laughed and she turned the radio down and told me some story about putting this creepy doll in unsuspecting people's lockers. Oh, kids these days!

Then, the next thing I know, she's turning the song up when it comes on. And then she asks me to tivo SNL when One Direction is playing. "Why do you want to watch that?" I ask. "No reason." is the reply I get. And then this pops into my mind:

And I'm all like "YOU LIKE ONE DIRECTION, DON'T YOU?!?!"

Gabby admits that she does, and I'm just straight out guffawing that my daughter, who is so hung up on appearance and trying to cultivate an air of difference and wisdom (characterized, mostly, by taking the most twee, most instragrammy of instagrams). She then starts defending herself, coming at me with stuff about it being "catchy" and them being "talented." But we all know that it is something else. Because we both know she didn't give two shits about One Direction until she saw them and discovered that they are attractive young British people. And then, well, then they became "talented."

And, as with most things in life, I am conflicted on this. Or maybe conflicted is not the right word. I really could give two craps about who my 13 year old daughter finds attractive (unless it is, say, The Night Stalker or Rick Santorum or something). But I think back to that volatile time in my own life and consider who I found attractive. Billy Corgan. The specter of Kurt Cobain. Eddie Vedder. Basically any long haired boy in flannel. I remember being attracted to their looks FO SHO, but also to the perceived "depth" of these artists. The little bit of sadness, the little bit of instability. That's what I liked, that's what kept me in breathy anticipation of their next move.

I've mentioned it on here before, but I cultivated quite a fantasy life at that age, mostly about what my life would be like as I "grew up". I always saw myself as some kind of writer, living in a grungy New York City loft with a long haired artist type. Usually the artist type was more hair and sadness than anything else. He usually played guitar and his favorite writers were people like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. He was the kind of guy who nested in dirty clothes at night. That, my croquembouches, is what I aspired to.

And I won't totally say that I've gotten over it. Not totally. Matt jokes that if I say I am attracted to someone, you will soon find out that they have some sort of addiction issue and/or have recently been confined to an institution. Matt, himself, all these years past the gleaming 14 year old vision I once saw him as, was once described by a mutual friend as "edgy bright"- a guy who is not totally comfortable with himself, his intellect or his world. I was reading an article about David Foster Wallace earlier this week and I read a quote and thought to myself, "Holy crap! That sounds just like something Matt would say." And then I realized. My husband has a similar worldview as a dude who struggled with addiction his whole tortured life before finally succumbing to suicide. Fuck.

I think a lot of women in my generation have this issue. We were raised on MTV, images of grunge Gods in our hearts, and now we flock to the motivationless, bearded, flannel wearing gentlemen around us, attaching ourselves to them like so many bad tattoos of sea creatures. They speak of projects and no paychecks and they, by and large, are very, very depressed. And we lap it up, like milk out of a dish, because there is a dream in there. A dream of a 13 year old, staring solemnly at a guy with a guitar and seeing open roads. Somewhere.

So when Gabby tells me that she likes One Direction, sure, I find it repugnant. Have you heard that music? Shit! It's shit! But part of me hopes that she will keep this sunny, Simon Cowell approved vision of masculinity for a while. I could deal with having a son-in-law who, you know, sleeps in a bed. Like a normal person.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Kick

First off, YOU GUYS. That's all I have to say. (Ok, obviously not, since I wrote a whole paragraph here....) Your comments on my last post were amazing, the kind of furry, cuddly things that dreams are made of. I savored them all. I realized in the process that feeling the immense shame of opening that candy bar is part of the draw of it, strangely enough, the kind of "Look what a bad thing I am doing!" nonsense. And as I thought about all of your words, I wondered..."If we all do this, if we all feel this pain, this draw, this strangeness, is it really all that strange?" Yeah, it's probably not. And that's a helpful thing to remember the next time I'm at the convenience store, looking to be happy.

So yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And I'll just come out and say that I didn't eat much of anything really, except for a single Lindt truffle and half a chicken breast. (Also: vodka). I was too busy having panic attacks and dealing with explosive stomach maladies.


At any rate, I survived. I think it is important to say that. Because at times yesterday, I didn't think I would. And it wasn't in that hyperbolic way either, the way you said you wouldn't survive running the mile in 8th grade gym or ONEMORESECOND if Derek from first period didn't call. If you deal with anxiety, I'm sure you can commiserate. I found myself at points closing my eyes and trying to will myself into a coma. Anything felt preferable to the reality of life at that moment. Anything.

But here I sit at work today, lip glossed and dressed. I didn't want to get up this morning, didn't want to have to slog through the day and deal with the uncomfortable realities of life (and let me just say here that no, I did not face any kind of crisis yesterday--there was a financial oversight and mistake--nothing that we all don't have to deal with once in a while). But I am here. The panic attack I had in my shower this morning told me I would not be. It snarled at me, and told me that I was on a hopeless road, full of drama and shame and more of the same. Basically, my panic attacks are all an embodiment of Nirvana songs.

And in that moment, with shampoo in my hair, I told it to fuck off. I didn't even wish it politely adieu, which was what a good Southern lady truly would have done. I was more like, "Hey you. Fat kid in the flannel. FUCK. OFF."

My life the past year or so has not been fun. I mean, I can't complain, not really. I have a place to sleep at night, beautiful children and food in my belly. I have a job and I get the joy of laughing a lot. But I am in a place that I do not want to be, both physically and mentally. And the thought of this being my future is enough to send me into full on shuddering. Panic attack inducing is the thought of this being the future for my kids. So I've made these half-hearted pronouncements of moving, but without any real plan or really anywhere to go, and real substantive change on the horizon. In fact, Matt and I just kind of shut down talking about it. We started thinking about just moving to a new town in our same general area.

But then yesterday happened. And in the middle of it, we're gnashing it out on the couch and I'm starting to think that absolutely nothing ever will ever just fucking work. And I'm mad, and he's mad, and no one is thinking rationally. And then we went to the grocery store. And I bought us some truffles and we came home and sat out on our porch and decided to move. And while Alice ran around like a crazy person and Sam tried his best to eavesdrop on our conversation, we started hatching out a plan that just might fucking work.

And that was the kick in that pants that I needed--that we needed. And after my momentary freak out in the shower this morning, I feel like I did when I was in college. All shiny and full of hope. I'm no longer deluded enough (as I was in college!) to think that everything will fall into place like magic (LET'S GET IN THE CAR AND DRIVE TO CA WITH NO JOBS AND JUST KIND OF FIND A HOUSE AND STUFF!). But I now have the years of hard work to tell me how to make it happen.

This morning I called my college's alumni association and set up a phone call tomorrow to get info on our alumni job connection services. Matt has already gotten a good lead on a job. I took a deep breath and made out a rudimentary budget for what we will need to do to get started (and this a huge step--budgets make me gag). Will it happen? FO SHO? I don't know. But I'd be willing to bet on myself. And before yesterday, betting on me would have been like betting on a really fat horse with diabeetus.

So what's my point? That I am awesome? No. It's just that hope is really all you need. You think it is love, especially when you are young, but love can die a horrible, nasty death when there is no hope. Hope is the fuel that keeps it all alive. And really, as long as you have that, you can do anything. Even if it is just make it through one truly shitty day.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

If I had to model the relationship that I have with my body on a celebrity relationship, we'd totes be Whitney and Bobby.

[Too soon?]

It has taken me a long time to write this post, although I've hinted at it a bit with the assorted Weight Watchers attempts, the "THIS WILL BE THE TIME!" screeds. I guess the thing is, I struggle with disordered eating habits. And I think a lot of us do. And it is starting to worry me, selfishly, because I have a 13 year old daughter. And hell if I want for this to be her life.

I feel like I have two me's. There's the Me Who Is Being Healthy (I won't use the word "diet" but that's understood). This me is thin. She has been a size 4, a 6. She has a bikini and she loves it. She packs her own lunch and she is meticulous about her Points and she downloads healthy recipes off the internet, and golly gosh, some of them are pretty damn good. She buys $6 peanut butter.

She is also the Me who OBSESSES over everything that goes in her mouth. She is the Me who feels enormous guilt over an extra nibble of cheese eaten quickly and furtively, praying that no one sees. She is the Me who feels ugly and wrong--her hair is not the right color, the skin on her feet is too rough, her eyebrows are never ok. She hates her clothes--she constantly needs more. She is bored, listless, unhappy.

Then There is the Me Who Eats Everything in Sight. She has been a size 14, a 16, a fat bride in a plus size wedding gown. She seems to hover, mostly, around a size 10 or so. She loves chocolate, eats it daily. And we're not talking the French Women Don't Get Fat approved bites of dark chocolate, slowly savored over the course of an hour, no teeth allowed. She likes Hershey's milk chocolate, eaten greedily in the car on the drive home with a Diet Coke to wash down all the crazy sweetness. She knows the people at Wendy's and makes small talk with them while they hand her her food. Her stomach jiggles when she runs (slowly) and her legs itch and she is miserable and promises to not do it again, but knows that tomorrow, her stomach will growl and it will be lunch time and she will need a french fry and it will taste so salty, salty good and she will be momentarily happy and at peace.

She is also the girl who feels pretty, oddly enough. She likes her hair, her new shade of lip gloss, her clothes. She found a dress on the Target clearance rack, loved it, and was so happy that she didn't even think about clothes or other "goodies" the whole week and ended up with extra money in her wallet. She can put on a pencil skirt and heels and feel so nice. Sure, she feels shame at the muffin top, but there is Spanx for that, right? EASY PEASY. And when she feels horrible about the wrappers in the floor of the car, the discarded frappuccino cup in her waste paper bin, well, she can just eat something else, and it is ok again.

But the size 10 Me knows that it is fleeting. That it can't go on forever. She remembers her grandmother, lying sad and immobile in the expensive oversized hospital bed, no longer able to walk, being treated for bed sores and wounds that wept and did not heal. She remembers her father throwing up at Busch Gardens, months after gastric bypass surgery but still unable to live life with any sense of normalcy. And on the other hand, she thinks of her mother and her high cholesterol, training to compete in cancer runs and measuring her life out in Truvia. She must pick a future for herself, and she knows that must not include the wrappers or the oversized bed.

So she eats one more meal, and she promises that next week it will go back to counting, to plotting, to pure, unadulterated obsession. A banana is an ok breakfast, right? That fake cream cheese stuff tastes almost like the real thing! She can only have two tacos.

And we're back at the Healthy Me. Until, that is, life throws me a curveball and I find myself in that line, saying the words "Java Chip Frappuccino."

I went for a pap smear the other week, and I felt good about it. I'm not the best at keeping up with health stuff that well, and some people will look at this and say, "Oh, it's because you're a mom," and I counter with, "No, it's because I'm me." I'm horrible at life. I just can't really be bothered for most things of any consequence, but I can tell you a shit load about videos on North Korea that I like to watch in my spare time. Anyway, I'm there, and I'm talking to the gyno who is super nice and helpful and I mention that I'm on Weight Watchers. And she is immediately praising me about what a wonderful diet it is, and how it is oh so healthy and how I have about 25 pounds to lose and it is totally doable with WW. And I'm like yeah, I know, but part of me wants to say, "Nope. Not the way I do it." Because the way I do it is nothing like that. The way I do it is obsessive and weird. I shoot to end the day with 5-10 unused points. If I meet my points allowance for the day, I sulk. I make myself go to bed at 9:00 to avoid eating. If I can go my entire breakfast/lunch and not eat more than 5 points, I'm happy.

See, for me, there is a middle ground. But it is constantly shifting under my feet and I can't stay on it for very long. I'm either on a non-stop BINGE or I'm OBSESSED. PICK ONE. And I see these people on WW who aren't like that and are doing it the correct way, and I have to admit, I feel some sort of sick "I'm better than you" kind of thing. Like, "When I do Weight Watchers, I don't do it that way. I can LOSE HELLA WEIGHT. I just choose not to right now." So weird.

And to make myself feel even more superior, I investigate purchasing The Ritual Cleanse and have another fry, because that shit won't be here until next week even if I order today.

I have to admit that it is a little embarrassing to write all this down here. At the very least, I am outing myself as the kind of girl who sits in the corner and eats paste. The perpetual weird kid. At the worst, I am telling you about my myriad psychological issues which run on unchecked and unmedicated putting you all at some danger of having to deal with unhinged me and my gross love handles.

But there is a reason. I know there's like 3.67 people who read this, and perhaps no one does. And that's fine. I'm not Dooce--this isn't my livelihood, and I basically do it because it gives me something to do on days when my boss is sitting in his office watching YouTube videos and planning on chartering a yacht (true story). And hell, I'm on the internet anyway--it's not a secret that I love the fucking internet.

And that's the thing. I love the internet. I am looking at it constantly. And I've seen that not many people are out there, owning up to their eating weirdnesses. There are pro-ana blogs (ICK) and fat acceptance blogs. There are diet blogs and vehement anti-diet blogs. But there isn't much out there that says "Hey. I like to eat. And sometimes I fuck myself up with it. But other than that, I'm a normal feminist girl." And maybe there's a reason--maybe I'm the only adult human female who pulls this shit over and over again. But maybe I'm not. I'm betting I'm not. And maybe someone else reads this at some point and thinks, "Man, am I one screwed up pup. But here's someone else who is too, bless her heart."

So that's that. Tomorrow I promise to write something about a lip gloss and which baseball player I want to seduce with a mixture of homemade fried chicken and dirty talk involving the letters ERA.

And if you'll excuse me, I need to go to Wendy's and purchase one small chili and one half spicy chicken caesar salad. I hope my favorite drive through attendee is there so I can ask her about her kid. He was sick on Monday.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Having Sex with Joe Mauer for Dummies

There have been a myriad Opening Days in baseball this year, so it is hard to pick one to point to as THE DAY. My beloved A's played the Mariners in an opening series in Japan last week, and technically, that was Opening Day. But no one paid attention to that, and the games were at 6:00 a.m. here on the east coast, so it wasn't acceptable to drink a bunch of beer and feel totally and completely at peace with the fact that baseball was back at last. Then there was a game on Wednesday in the Marlins' new stadium, and then there was yesterday which I guess was technically Opening Day. And finally, the A's play again tonight, in a REAL Opening Day, the kind where you get drunk, talk smack and then don't have to go to work afterwards.

I say all this to show that baseball sometimes is confusing. Even technical stuff, like actual dates of games, can be rendered into complete craziness by the powers that be. Sometimes the pure beauty of the game can be lost in rules and controversy and shouting.

But the pure beauty of Joe Mauer is never lost. Even when he does a second rate blue steel for the camera and doesn't even have the gear on.

So, in honor of some kind of Opening Day somewhere, I give you the return of Products that Allow You to Have Sex with Joe Mauer.

For the sake of ease and because it is the Friday before Easter and hardly anyone here is actually in the office (except for me! because I am totally that girl!), we are going to focus on two areas of expertise in our quest to bed our favorite all-star catcher. Those areas are: tanning and big hair. How did I arrive at these two areas? Well, let's just be honest. Sun-kissed legs and humongo strands are what bring ALL the boys to the yard. Ever seen a limp haired, pasty stripper? I DIDN'T THINK SO (and if you have, you really need to stop going to the strip club at lunchtime).

Sonia Kashuk Illuminating Bronzer: This is a relatively new product on Target's shelves--I think it came out at the end of February. As a very pasty person, I have tried a lot of the bronzers out there--my favorites before arriving at this formula were Nars Laguna and these old school bronzer beads that Physician's Formula put out when I was in college. Bronzer is one of those things that is pretty hard to actually get right because it can go from 0 to Snooki in just a hot minute. Especially when you start out as pale as I am. And I have to say, this product gets it right in a whole bunch of different ways. First off, the packaging is pretty spot on. It is actually pretty, and looks a lot more expensive than $13. The clamshell is a good size to throw into a bag for when you need to head out to an airport DoubleTree in Detroit for a little hot catcher's mitt action. And it actually comes with its own little brush, not a cheapie applicator pad. I found that although the brush was small, the quality of it was pretty on par with the other Sonia Kashuk brushes I have (which is good), although not as good as my favorite Sephora brand ones. This is a great plus, again, for $13. Obviously you can use your own bronzer brush with it, but I really like the option of being able to just throw one self-contained product into my bag if I need to.

Now to the actual formula: the big difference between this and other bronzers is the illuminating factor. You can see right off the bat that this stuff is pretty shiny. I have no issue with that because I like a little sheen, especially in summer. This stuff would be killer on shoulders and cleavage, and, really, that is one of my primary uses for bronzer, even when I'm not trying to sneak a beej to a member of the Minnesota Twins. I KNOW. TOTAL SLUT. LET ME SHOW YOU HOW I SNORT MY BIRTH CONTROL PILLS OFF A LOUISVILLE SLUGGER. (And by Louisville Slugger, I mean "penis.") So, what I'm saying is, that's fine with me. If you don't like shine, I would not pass go and head directly to Nars Laguna camp. Aside from the shine, the other thing that sets this apart is that it is long-lasting. The internet tells me that it is engineered to go 12 hours, which Mauer loves because he wants the option to bone and then spend time snuggling while he watches old video of Josh Beckett getting LIT UP, which inevitably makes him ready to go again, and well, you don't want to be pasty when it is time for Mauer 2: Revenge of the Dong. In my experience, it definitely lasts the workday. It hasn't been hot enough yet for me to put it to the test by wearing it to the park or something like that, but I think it could hold up to some pretty strenuous activity. Sometimes at work, I get really mad at people for being stupid and I type out furious tweets that I never, ever submit. It has lasted through that.

The only thing to watch for with this stuff is that it can go from pasty to DIRRRRTY in one quick swipe. And not mid-aught's Christina DIRRRTY. Like, "Um, what do you have on your face?" dirty. For instance, the first time I put it on, I kept thinking I wasn't getting anything on the brush. I would swirl a bit and then apply, and I didn't see many little bronzer particles actually on the brush or on my face. So I applied a bit more pressure to the brush and then swiped on my forehead. And yeah. BIG DIRTY SPOT. Thankfully, I was able to spread it out and rub it in a bit and get it to the level I wanted. And really, that is another thing to note about this product: there is only one "shade," that being "Goddess." So it is definitely "buildable" color. If you are pale like me, you're going to have to be pretty careful about how much you put on. If you are darker, you could probably go hog wild. I don't know. You tan people confuse me. I think you must live such a rich and full life that I will never know, one that includes more sex with baseball players, more halter tops and a lot of glasses of white zinfandel.

So in the end, this is going to be my bronzer for the summer. I like it. And Joe Mauer approves. He's like, "Hey Girl. When you wear that bronzer, it makes me think of a perfectly seasoned mitt, all soft and supple and tan. And I'm like, you wanna be a part of this battery? And you're lookin' at me and kinda bitin' your lip which is really cute, and I just know that me and you are going to reinact that fight between Robin Ventura and Nolan Ryan, except without the punching and add a whole lot more genitalia."

got2b Powderfull I read about this product somewhere on the interwebz, and to be really honest, the place is escaping me now. But the review must have been good, because I looked at a bunch of places to find it. I finally found it in the Fourth Circle of Hell, aka, the Norton, VA Wal-Mart. I can't even remember why I was in that store to begin with. It's not like I needed to score some illegal Xanax or convince myself to never let solid food pass my lips again which would be the only reasons I can think of for going to that particular store. Hmmmm... Now I'm verklempt.

Anyway, this is not the type of prestige product you leave out on your bathroom counter so that visitors can marvel at your beauty acumen and deep pockets. I guess that using lowercase letters and interspersing numbers into words in a brand name is just not my game. This seems like something my daughter would be taken by and she's 13. But despite all that, I bought it, and I use it almost every day. And maybe I do that for the sheer novelty of it. I don't know. Because to be honest, this is a weird product. It is a little thing of powder, and you shake the powder out in your hand and then you rub your hands together and the stuff totally disappears. Like magic. It is kind of freaky the first time you do it, especially when you are left with a slight cool sensation on your hands. I'm just going to be honest: I've never been a drug user myself, but I watch a lot of Intervention. And this looks like something you'd sniff with a $20. ANYWAY, after it disappears, you rub your hands through your head and it gives your hair volume.

And yeah, it does. You can immediately see some lift to your hair, although one wonders if you wouldn't see the same thing from just fussing around with your hands, you know? It doesn't really last though. Let's just say that, sure, you could do a quick bathroom trip, fluff your hair and come out and be stripper ready for Mr. Mauer. But after you did a few things that are illegal in the state of VA, you're going to have to rely on the sheer magic of sexin' to give you your full-bodied look. This stuff will be long gone.

So why do I keep using it? Well, besides the fact that it is just weird enough to keep me interested, it is a pretty decent texturizer (the only thing I really like better for this purpose is Jonathan Silky Dirt, which, technically, I haven't used in years). I have been using it on the ends of my hair to create a kind of piecey look that I really like. And while it doesn't give me OUTRAGEOUS volume all day, I like the teensy bit that it does give better than I like the kind of stickier volume that can come from mousses or sprays. Maybe it is because I've been wearing my hair stick straight lately, and am not looking for anything super OMG big. In that case, it is a serviceable product. Worth risking life and personal hygiene by going to a Wal-Mart to get it?Maybe not. But if I think to order it on Amazon next time, I just might buy it again.

Just a note to the wise: it mentions on the package that you can shake it directly on your roots for even more crazy volume. DO NOT DO THIS. For one thing, it is really hard to get blended, and you'll look like you have THE DRUGZ in your hair. Second off, even when I got it blended in, it left my hair feeling sticky and my scalp feeling kind of gross. Avoid.

Mauer verdict? "Hey Girl. You know I like it when your hair is all big and you toss it around and do that awkward dance to Motley Crue's Girls Girls Girls. Now, let me get out of this uniform and we can read passages of The Dirt to each other and reenact the better ones while trying to not think about the idea of Vince Neil ever having had sex."

Monday, April 2, 2012

We are no longer a co-sleeping family.

Well, I just lost a little bit of my crunchy-mom cred. If you need me, I'll be putting a bird on something.

Alice is now sleeping full time in the crib/converted daybed. Now the bed has been used by all of my children AND my cousin's two kids. That kind of makes me feel good in a full-circle, family kind of way.


It is funny how the whole thing happened too. We have talked with Alice extensively about moving into her own digs, and while she seemed ok with it in theory lots of times, in practice it was a whole 'nother ballgame. We would talked to her and get her excited about making the space "hers"--adding special blankets and toys and what have you. Then she would revolt, and I would feel so horrible that I would welcome her squirmy little body back into my personal space. Then she weaned herself. Still, even though she wasn't using me for the occasional nighttime comfort nurse, she seemed to NEED my hair. I started thinking about cutting it off and gluing it on a Dora doll for her. I started sleeping more and more on the couch, but only if I could pry myself away from her incessant little grasp. I was (even more) tired all the time and starting to really resent the bed partner.

And then, magically, on Friday, she just up and said she wanted to sleep in "[her] bed." It had become a repository for stuffed animals, unused blankets and a few unmatched socks, so Matt joyfully cleaned it off for her and we made it up with the softest and prettiest blankets we could find. I still fully expected her to go back on it. But then Friday night, after several Olivia books and an interminable amount of time spent discussing the finer points of Sesame Street, she was asleep. She made it until about 4:30 and then rejoined us. On Saturday night, though, she slept undisturbed all night long, and then walked into the living room and peacefully played with a dollhouse until I woke up, heard someone in the living room, and went running in there like a mad woman. I'm just glad she wasn't wearing a hoodie at the time, because sometimes children look mega-scary, you know? And I can't guarantee that when I'm scared, I won't violently disembowel someone. AMIRITE?

I can't tell you just how amazing it is to be able to stick my ass out at night and know that Matt is on the other side of it. We had not really snuggled in 2.5 years, ya'll (except for the odd vacation/kid's night at my MIL's). I even didn't mind when he tried to wake me up to have sex/tell me something dumb about a book he's reading (I normally don't mind either of those things, except when I am sleeping the sleep of a thousand nights or when they are related in some weird way, which it seems they were the other night? Maybe?). I HAD MISSED THAT. I feel about sleeping now the way I felt after I ate really good tiramisu for the first time--I literally cannot wait to do it again.

All that said, I am not anti-co-sleeping at all. It worked for us for a good long while, and actually, I was able to get more sleep in the first year than I would have been able to any other way. Allie is a good kid, and a good sleeper (aside from talking in her sleep--more about that later). Did co-sleeping make her that way? Maybe. Maybe not. We never had to deal with a night of her crying it out (which I did with Gabby and it.was.horrible. Poor kid had sleep issues until she went to school because of it), nor did we have to deal with the kind of sleep issues Sam had, which mostly had to do with him getting up at odd hours in the middle of the night deadset on eating popcorn and watching Cars. I would advocate any kind of sleeping you can get your kid to do. If it is co-sleeping, AWESOME. If it is putting them in the back of a Peugeot and driving them around while singing James Taylor until they conk and then putting them in a crib, GREAT (note: that is the only way my mom could get me to sleep, apparently).

I think I've said it before, but my grand experience with more natural parenting has taught me that it is best to be super non-judgmental about any kind of parenting choice. You do what you do because you think it will work. And then you reevaluate. And you put up with some discomfort because you want your kid to be happy/healthy/better off. And then they change whatever it was that you wanted them to change and you realize that things do, indeed, work out. When they are good and ready to do so.

And now without further adieu, I present to you the wacky and bizarre things Alice has said in her sleep in her first nights out on her own. Apparently, if she doesn't have my hair to fondle/yank, she dreams about some weird crap and talks about it. And it is awesome:
  • Kiss me! I'm sleeping beauty!
  • I'm hungry, but no doughnuts!
  • Mommy here. She bite me.
  • garble, garble, garble BOOTS!
  • Rosita say Buenes NOCHES!