Month: July 2012

It’s been said that if you want something new in your life, you need to make room for it.

Dave started doing his own laundry after Phoebe was born, partly because he had nothing to wear, but mostly because he’d ask, “Can you wash this? I need it for work,” and I’d say yes and immediately forget. Then he’d asked me about it later and I’d cry because in addition to being the worst mother in the world, I was also the worst wife.

(I would also imagine the affair he might have and how it would start with a woman commenting on his clothing. “So, breastfeeding is your superpower, eh?” She’d tease him.

“Oh, actually this is my wife’s shirt.” He’d reveal that I hadn’t been keeping up with my clothes-washing duties or packing his lunch and she’d tell him he needed a woman that will take care of him and offer him a sandwich and…well, you know how that stuff goes. You’ve watched television.

That never happened, of course. I don’t even own that breastfeeding superpower t-shirt. But it didn’t stop me from worrying and querying about the laundry habits of every woman he knows.)

I’ve since regained dominion over the laundry. Well, most of the laundry. Okay, Dave is still doing his own laundry, which might sound like a good thing, until you consider his method. I’ll tell you right out, I don’t exactly get his method, but it involves many, many baskets, including, but not limited to: a folded clean clothes basket, a needs-to-be-folded clean clothes basket, a dirty white clothes basket, a dirty dark clothes basket, a dirty colored clothes basket, a dirty pants basket, and a wore-it-for-an-hour-so-technically-I-could-wear-it-again basket. And because he refuses to use the laundry chute, they are all in our bedroom.

Now, I have some beliefs about the bedroom. I believe the bedroom is where clean clothing should be stored, however, I also believe that when you walk in the bedroom, you should not be able to see that clothing as it should be put away neatly in a closet or a drawer. But Dave’s crazy laundry-doing has been forcing me to live in a way that conflicted with my real values about the bedroom. (And also my role as doer of laundry.) So, over the weekend, I decided to shut Laundrytown down and reclaim the bedroom. (And the laundry.) Dave was agreeable (he reminds me of the guy from Casual Sex? (at 1:08)) and we worked together to get the clothes back in the dresser and closet, which happened to be full, in spite of the basket situation.

Dave had approximately 10,226 shirts with collars and horizontal stripes in varying colors (though some of them were older than our marriage and he’d been wearing the same six for almost two years now). We narrowed his shirts down to twenty, because that seemed reasonable and because that’s how many were free of rips, stains and bad taste. We did the same with mine, except I had less shirts to start with and we could only narrow it down to those that were the least stained, because the pathway from my plate to my mouth is heavily traveled. Still, I was happy to let go of the shirt I was wearing when I had that uncomfortable confrontation at the softball field, and also the one I wore when I overheard a co-worker make fun of me.

Now, I’ve got a load of Dave’s socks and underwear in the washer and we have room in our closet. Maybe for money?

Damn kids and their music.

I know I’m supposed to be sick of these songs or something, but it’s hard to act eye-roll-y about them when my girls love them so much.

P.S. The costume Bee is wearing used to be Julia’s costume. (It’s possible that’s only mind-blowing to me, but if you click the link after you click that link, you’ll see Julia as a Bee. Craziness!)

Last night, at bedtime

I sit by her bed
“There’s summer in your hair, Mom,”
she says, touching it

Jesus Jones, there is no other place I wanna be.

I’ve become quite a worrier, which means my mind is rarely in the here and now. Sure, I may be physically present, doing something – cooking dinner, folding laundry, driving to the park – but in my head I’m thinking about how I’m going to afford this or how I wish I hadn’t said that. It’s a stressful existence. I’m not sure, maybe I’ve always been this way. Probably I have. (Yes, I have.) But it has definitely gotten much worse in recent years. I’m always barreling through something.

“If I can just get through this, then I can do that.”

“When the school year is done, I can relax. When the house is clean, I can enjoy myself.”

But I’m never there. There’s always something else to complete, another task to check off the list. So, I’m trying to focus a little more on the present – to try and live in the now and really BE HERE for the people I love.

It isn’t easy. And I need help doing it. So, I was thankful for Dave, who – after asking and asking – came and took my hand out of the dishwasher and led me outside to see Bee’s first ride on the tire swing all by herself.

Bee swings

“Look at that big girl.”

Big Girl Bee on the Tire Swing

“Let Lucy have a turn.”

Lucy swings!

“Can we do it together? Come on, Bee!”

Bee and Lucy swing

“Are you having fun?”

"Are you having fun, Bee?"

“Don’t forget Julia!”

All three girls on the tire swing

How much have I been missing?

The question is will it ever be a crib again?

All three of the girls have used* the same crib that is also the same toddler bed.

(*The definition of the term varies for each child.

use (yooz)
v. used, us·ing, us·es

  1. To store in one’s room while sleeping with parents; To jump on once converted to toddler bed
  2. To nap in, occasionally; To store in one’s room while sleeping with parents; To sleep in once converted to toddler bed
  3. To sleep in)

Since Phoebe is the only child that actually used her crib, it was pretty easy to know she was ready for the toddler bed when she started face planting out of it.

A quick picture before the crib goes away

And so…

Toddler bed!

Lucy is so proud of her.

Zzzz....

Toddler Bed. Not to be confused with a Big Kid Bed. Because that’s what Lucy has. But definitely not a baby bed anymore.

The Day I Heard “Wild Ones” by Flo Rida for the first time and one hundred more times. Ooooh.

Last weekend, my mom took us all to Kennywood for her company picnic and Julia rode her first roller coaster.

Julia's First Roller Coaster Ride

(Julia’s photo commentary: “Wow, I have a lot of hair.”)

I wasn’t jealous that Dave took her on her inaugural ride, even though I love roller coasters and he’s sort of scared of them. I was busy over in Kiddieland anyway watching Lucy be The Big Sister. She held Phoebe’s hand and helped her get on each ride. And when the ride was done, she waited patiently to take her hand and walk back to me. It was sweet.

Here they are on The Whippersnapper.

Lucy and Phoebe ride The Whippersnapper

One

Two

Three

And eight hours later.

The end of the day

We shut the park down. Because we’re wild ones. Ooooh.

The “I should be cleaning, but I’m lazy and don’t feel like it” Haiku

what a waste of time
pushing dirt around the world
it’s here, now it’s there

an endless cycle
sweep it up and throw it out
tomorrow, it’s back

“Girls, stay out of there! I just mopped that floor. It needs to dry!”

dirt, dirt and more dirt
where does it come from and why,
oh, why won’t it leave?

(let’s assume that “dirt”
includes stickiness and goo,
grease and other stuff)

(and by other stuff
I mean that stuff I found, but
can’t identify)

I just wish my will
to clean up the dirt surpassed
my hatred of it

“Two words: House Keeper.”
“I couldn’t do that,” I said.
“I’ve got too much pride.”

“Mooooom! Phoebe spilled jelly! And now she’s rubbing it all over the floor!”

And not enough cash
to afford a housekeeper
24/7

Dove VisibleCare Review and a Chance to Win a $500 Spafinder Gift Certificate

I wish I could tell you that I enjoy some “me-time” each day when I step into the shower, but the truth is, I’m rarely alone in there. My girls can hear the call of the running water through closed doors and deep sleep and immediately understand that is where they should be. Though they may balk at their own bath time, my bath time is different. It’s encrypted in their DNA to encroach upon it. And I abide. I know I won’t be sharing the shower with rubber ducks and mermaid dolls forever, and one day, I’ll miss it. But even now, while I’m fighting for tub territory, I can take pleasure in my products – the ones without a cartoon character or the word “wacky” written somewhere on the packaging, the ones that are just for me. The ones that make my sudsy squatters say, “That smells like mommy.”

I love Dove products. So, I jumped at the chance to try VisibleCare Creme Body Wash, a revolutionary premium line of body wash from Dove that’s available in three variants: Toning (to promote skin’s elasticity and strength), Renewing (to nourish and replenish skin) and Softening (to soften skin and dry spots).

Dove VisibleCare Softening Creme Body Wash
I used the Softening variant and was immediately impressed with the thick, rich lather. But I was anxious to see if it would indeed give me “visibly more beautiful skin in just a week” courtesy of NutriumMoisture technology. (VisibleCare Creme Body Wash has the highest concentration of it across the Dove portfolio.)

I won’t keep you in suspense. It did. Absolutely, it did give me softer and more beautiful skin. I actually noticed a difference in less than a week. Dave did, too. He doesn’t notice when I get my hair cut or wear make-up, but he noticed the softness of my skin and commented on it.

That’s some soft skin, people.

And he loved the fragrance. It’s a white floral gourmand fragrance that includes an elegant combination of magnolia and pink jasmine. I don’t mind that that’s the scent that Dave and my girls identify with me. And I don’t mind giving up my “me-time” in the shower when my body wash makes me feel so good in my skin the rest of the day.

I hope you’ll visit Dove’s site to learn more about feeling good in your skin with their products and also their inspiring Campaign for Real Beauty and Movement for Self-Esteem.

Visit Dove VisibleCare to get a coupon for $1 off!

What do you do to feel good in your skin? Tell me for a chance to win!

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It’s as ridiculous as it sounds.

I hurt my knee this week. I’d love to tell you I did it preparing for the zombie race that’s less than two months away, but I’m still in my big panties and just finished off the cake in the refrigerator. I’m fooling no one.

I actually injured myself sitting on the couch.

Apparently, one can do that wrong. Or maybe I’m just a hardcore couch sitter. I think it was some leg tucking that went awry and the next thing I knew, it looked like someone shoved a baseball under my skin next to my knee cap and Dave was tying a bag of frozen peas to my leg with a sock.

A little less than a year ago, I injured my finger while I was sleeping. (I know. What is wrong with me?) It’s still an issue. It hurts and freezes up so I can’t bend it. Or I bend it and can’t unbend it. We call it my Lady Gaga Monster Claw. (At 0:19.) (Even though it was only my middle finger that was injured, I make the claw to avoid inadvertently flipping people off.)

I’m feeling better knee-wise, but given the claw situation, I’m cautious to feel optimistic about my recovery.

In the meantime, I’m reading a book about healing my soul by cleaning my house.

The Lost Week (or so)

This is my sorority sister BobbieJo and me.

BobbieJo and Me at the Monster Mash Party

(I’m the cow. She’s the vampire.)

BobbieJo and Me

She’s actually more than just my sorority sister, she’s my official “Big Sister.” (You get to pick just one.)(It’s a big deal.)

BobbieJo and Me at Pledge Formal

There was a time when I was closer to her than anyone. We were roommates! She knew everything there was to know about me. I loved her deeply. I still do. But recently, all I knew about what was going on with her was what was written in her Christmas card.

Then, on my birthday, I found her friend request on Facebook. It was my favorite gift that day.

We made plans to get together the following Friday and I simply could not wait to see her again and catch up. I was so excited! I even bought a new outfit to wear on our “girls night out.” But on the way to meet her, that dirty dereccho blew through and did this…

Punctured Tire

with a tree branch. (Can you imagine how hard the wind was blowing to launch that tree branch into my tire and puncture it? I’m thankful it didn’t come through the window instead!) I crept off the highway in my hobbled car and headed for the nearest restaurant when this…

Fallen Tree

…got in my way. So, I turned in to a hotel parking lot instead when a tornado warning alarm went off on my phone. It was the first time that ever happened, which was sort of shocking, but useful. I ran into the hotel lobby and waited the storm out with a tolerant group of people who listened to me explain what had happened over and again in a variety of styles and inflections.

“I mean, the tree branch justflewintomycar. It just f l e w intomycar. The BRANCH FLEW into MY CAR.”

They were kind enough to act appropriately horrified with each telling.

Once the storm had passed, Dave came to get me and fix the car, then we came home to a house with no electricity. Now, when we have no electricity, we also have no water. (We have an electric pump for our well.) We can’t even flush the toilet, which means everyone immediately has to poop and someone will probably get diarrhea at least as often as they’ll open the refrigerator door. “Shut the door! You’re letting the cold out! Don’t try to flush it!” That’s what our house sounds like during a power outage. (I won’t tell you what it smells like.)

The power, thankfully, was back after about 48 hours, but not before Dave and I had a tough decision to make about Neil Diamond. (Well, I had a tough decision. Dave had already made his decision months ago when he planned the whole thing.) We had tickets to his concert and reservations for a hotel room with a working shower in Cleveland Sunday night. Something about doing all that didn’t seem right knowing my mom and the kids would be home fumbling around in the dark and flushing in vain. So I hemmed and hawed and maybe-we-shouldn’t-go-ed until I made everyone angry with me. Then Dave said, “Honey, you can stay here or we can stay married,” or something like that and so we left. The electricity was restored 84 minutes later. 120 minutes after that:

Waiting for Neil Diamond in Cleveland

(Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) my phone died after that photo. If it hadn’t, I would have taken a photo of Neil Diamond amid the sea of smart phone screens – of 15,000 people posting on Facebook simultaneously – except that I probably would have been posting to Facebook, too.)

You guys, I cannot believe I even pretended I might not go and see Neil Diamond. He was amazing. His default hand gesture is the finger gun! The man is Smooth. (That’s right. Capital S.) He’s written some incredible music and he can perform the hell out of it. He can make Dave dance! (Yes!)

After a high like that, where do you go? Well, first there’s hotel sex. Then, you take your husband to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Dave at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Then you go home and get your period. You realize you’ve hit the if-I’m-not-pregnant-by deadline you set and you get angry because, well, just because. You write an indignant post about cashiers who comment on what you’re buying because who does that? (P.S. The answer is: Assholes. And I do not have to justify my cereal choices to them!) You do not publish the post. You decide you won’t publish or even say anything at all because you have nothing nice to say anyway, dammit, and everyone hates you, even God, which is probably why your air conditioner won’t work and the neighbor fertilized the field next to your house on the hottest day of the year. Days go by – enough days to make a week. And then a few more days. Suddenly, it’s not so hot out and you decide maybe someone out there doesn’t hate you and maybe they read your blog.

And here we are.

How have you been?

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