Sunday, September 30, 2012

In Which I Have An Awesome Dream

So last night I dreamt that our mortgage company decided that not only could they lower our payments (we've been trying to set this up in real life, I guess that's what brought on the dream) but that also, we didn't have to pay our mortgage at all.  And furthermore, that our house was too small to meet our needs, and they were gonna give us a bigger one.  (I know, this happens all the time and I should hold my breath!  Lol!) 
Anyway...back to the dream....  So, the mortgage company gives us a new house.  New to US, that is, it was actually an older house that some people had moved out of and left almost everything in it.  We pulled up to it in the van, and it didn't look like much of anything, just a run-down little ranch in the woods.  But I was thrilled about the woods part, and there was a huge yard, and I was thinking "Well, even though the house looks tiny and old, the outside will be really great for the kids." 
Then we went inside.  Nothing about it was brand new and shiny, all the stuff was older and a little worn.  But there was EVERYTHING THERE WE COULD POSSIBLY NEED.  We started looking around, opening doors and looking in cabinets, and there was EVERYTHING.  The kitchen had a big island in the middle, with giant old pots to cook in.  In one corner of the huge kitchen, there was a pool table, with all the stuff for playing.  I started walking down hallways and opening doors, and there were bedrooms for every one of my children, extras that I was thinking "these can be for our future grandchildren when they come to visit!"  Every bedroom had it's own bathroom.  Then there were 2 HUGE living-room type spaces.  I went in the closet to the first one, and it was filled with baby/toddler play houses and slides and big plastic toys.  I was mentally designing the babies' new playroom!  Then I found the second living space, and the closet off of it had video games and Star Wars toys.  And I was thinking "Dalton gets his own playroom!  And video games, which he's never had before!  He's gonna LOOOOVVVE this!" 
I kept walking through and found a laundry room with huge tables for folding and drawers to put things away.  The master bedroom with bathroom attached.  Then I saw the giant garage and the big wraparound front porch.  I wandered outside and found rocking chairs on the porch, an old garden that had been cultivated but left behind, that I knew I could easily keep up.  There was a fenced in area for the babies to play with a swing set inside.  Then I saw a barn in the distance. 
I walked over to the barn and went in, and there were animals, all the cutest kinds, and they ALL had just had babies.  There were baby goats and baby piglets and little chicks and ducklings and kittens.  I was feeding everything and petting them all and thinking how much fun this was all gonna be. 
Then I woke up.  Dadgummit, I didn't wanna wake up!  If only it could all be real.  Nothing fancy, nothing shiny and new or showy.  Just plenty of room, things for my kids to play with, a garden and animals and a beautiful yard.  Maybe one day, Shelly.  And until then, I always have my dreams!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

In Which I Cry While Watching Television

Settled in to watch tv tonight, excited cuz the fall season has started and I was finally gonna get to find out who lived through that horrible plane crash on Grey's Anatomy.  Start watching the show, and it ends up, Mark Sloan (one of the characters) had "survived" the plane crash, but had been on life support, and his wishes were that if something happened where he was on life support and didn't improve within 30 days, he wanted to be taken off and allowed to die, and this was supposed to be day 30. 
So at this point, all my family and close friends are gonna know exactly what I'm thinking here, and why I suddenly found myself sobbing at the tv. Two years ago,  my mom was on life support, kept alive with a ton of  meds and a ventilator, for several days until we finally realized there was no possible hope, and we had to make the decision to take her off.  Watching it happen on tv made it all flash back in my mind, clear as anything.
My dad didn't want to make the decision.  He asked each individual member of the family what they thought he should do.  If any one of us had said to wait, I'm sure he would have.  But it was torture watching her lay there, with 13 different meds being pumped into her as hard as they could, knowing that she'd never wake up, and she'd never be herself again if somehow she could.  And if she COULD wake up, she would sit up and scream at all of us for keeping her on that horrible vent and having her poked and prodded and essentially tortured in a selfish attempt to keep her alive a little longer.  The doctor had laid it on the line for us, and let us know that she was already "only 10% alive, the rest is machines."  We were just prolonging the inevitable.  So when Dad asked each one of us what we thought he should do, her four children, and her sisters, we all had the same answer.  "Turn it off.  She would HATE this.  There's no hope.  Turn it off." 
They led us all into a little room to wait while they took out the ventilator, turned off the meds, and put the sides down on the bed so that we could all crowd around and be close to her.  They carefully explained what they would be doing and what we should expect.  They told us she would continue breathing for some time after the machine was turned off, and there was no way to know how long.  Could be minutes, could be hours.  They turned off the monitors so we wouldn't have to hear the slowing "beeps" as her heart stopped.  And then they led us all back in.
All the tubes and wires were cleared away, so we could actually SEE her.  She was still breathing in exactly the same pattern as the ventilator had done, they never show that on tv or in movies when they take someone off life support.  The tube was not there, the machine was not there, but she breathed in the same pattern with the same sound that she had on the vent.  The thought went through my mind that maybe she'd just keep right on breathing, and wouldn't die after all.  But as we talked to her, held her hands, told her we loved her, and said our goodbyes, the breaths got further and further apart, and more and more shallow.  And then they stopped. 
It is a day I try not to think about.  It is a day I had to replay in my mind a million times after it happened to work through and to process, and now I try to forget.  I feel guilty writing about it because I know my family will read this and it will make them all remember too, and none of us want to think about it. 
If I can ever stop crying and get to sleep tonight, I'm gonna wake up tomorrow and try to forget it again.  And the next time I'm trying to chill out and watch tv, if the scene calls for someone to be taken off life support, I'm gonna change the channel.  It's no longer "entertainment" to watch a scene like that when you've been through it for real.  It was gut-wrenching, mind boggling, horrific, and it changed every one of us who were there.   If I can help it, I don't ever want to remember it again.
Those of you reading this who still have your parents, call them today and tell them you love them, because I said so.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In Which My Babies Fight

This is how my day has gone so far this morning:  I wake up to the sound of babies crying and know they need attention.  I go into their bedroom and they both smile, happy to see me, cuz they both wanna be changed and fed and play with their Mommy.  Aila was crying the hardest, so I get her up first and start changing her, and she's immediately happy, hugging me, babbling.... meanwhile, Weston sees that I've got his sister and not him, and he starts complaining to let me know he does not appreciate it.  I'm trying to change Aila's diaper, but looking over my shoulder to speak lovingly to Weston, so he doesn't feel left out.  As soon as I can get Aila changed, I put her in the living room over the gate where she's safe till I can get Weston changed.  When I put her down, she thinks I've abandoned her and screams and throws herself down in the floor.  I'm telling her "It's ok!  I'm coming right back!"  As I go get Weston to change his diaper.  He's thrilled to be picked up and is hugging my neck and babbling to me, all while Aila is now wailing in the living room, cuz she's abandoned.
When HIS diaper's done, I put him down in the living room also so I can start making the sippy cups of warm formula.  Weston goes straight away to play with his favorite toy, pushing the same button over and over and over and over and over....  but Aila stands at the gate nearest the kitchen and wails at me about how hungry she is.  So I heat the first batch of formula, pour it in a sippy cup, and hand it over the gate to Aila.  She is, after all, wailing and Weston is busy with his toy.  And it's gonna take me a grand total of about 30 seconds to make the other sippy cup.  Now she's happy and drinking away at her warm milk, while I run off to make Weston's.  I get about 3 steps towards the kitchen when I hear banshee style screaming....I turn around and Weston has already crawled over to where Aila stands, holding her sippy cup up in the air in a vain attempt to keep it away from her brother, who's got her by a good 5 pounds and at least 2 inches of height.  He's DETERMINED to get the milk, and he's shaking he wants it soooo badly.  He's crying too, and reaching and pulling on her to get it, and she's SCREAMING cuz he's bullying it away from her.  I tell him "no" and to wait, and make sure Aila has the cup, and then RACE to finish making his.  He's screaming the "it's not fair!!!" Scream.  At 11 months old, they don't really understand "wait a minute" or "I can't fix them both at once."  They just think "Mommy fed the other one while she's making me starve!"  No matter how fast I go or who I take care of first, I always, ALWAYS feel guilty. 
Finally I get Weston's cup of milk in his hands, and he chugs it, till it's gone in like, 2 seconds, and then he immediately begins pulling Aila's out of her hands again.  She looks at me like "Do you SEE what he's doing?!"  I fix him a second cup of milk and then make them little bowls of cheerios and graham crackers to munch on.  I put the bowls in front of each of them, and their milk in front of each of them, saying who's they are as I set them down.  "This is Weston's food, and Weston's milk.  THIS is Aila's food, and Aila's milk."  I breathe a sigh that finally the fighting will end because their needs have been met.  Weston takes his own bowl and turns it upside down, and then jerks Aila's bowl away from in front of her and begins eating.  ARRRRGH!!!!!
Right NOW at this very instant, they are happily playing together.  He's pushing THAT SAME BUTTON on the toy and she's dancing to the music of it, and they're grinning at each other.  But any second now, ANY SECOND...he'll touch something she wants or she'll touch something he wants or he'll pull her hair or she'll poke him in the eye or they'll both decide they want me to hold them and then not want to share my lap or SOMETHING, and they'll be mad at each other and fighting again. 
I LOVE having twins, I really do, and I am thankful every day that I had them and that they're healthy and beautiful.  But this is the worst part about having twins... the sibling rivalry, the fighting.  And I'm gonna be caught in the middle of a constant battle between these two for the next 20 or so years of my life.  It's gonna be grrreeeeaat.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

In Which I Say "Embrace Your Quirks!"

OK, I just saw online where Jewel (the singer) had her teeth "fixed."  This infuriates me, and I'll tell you why.  I LOVE QUIRKINESS.  I love uniqueness, variety, however you wanna say it.  I think sameness is boring and highly unoriginal. 
Now, if you've got, say, a serious jaw problem that makes it difficult to eat, or, for instance, teeth like my nieces cousin Masamichi, who had teeth the size of the state of Texas (I can say this because he lives in Japan and will never see this.) In cases like those, you should get your teeth fixed.  If there's something so wrong with your teeth or your nose or whatever that it makes it difficult for health reasons or because it's so hideous, you can't take the emotional scarring...then get it fixed.  But if you've got something cute and different and a little bit odd about you, it makes you YOU, so leave it alone!
My husband and my daughter Brenna both have the same crooked tooth in exactly the same spot.  I think it's adorable!  My mother and most of the members of my family on her side have slightly crisscrossed front teeth.  One of my cousins has them and I think it makes her even more beautiful than she already is!  I got braces when I was a teen, supposedly to keep my teeth perfectly straight.  It didn't work, they moved back to pretty much where they were.  My bottom middle two lean in towards each-other, my top middles have made an attempt at crossing like my mom's, but not quite made it.  And on one of my bottom middle teeth, there's a little yellow/orangey spot, something about a high fever when I was little or something.  For my entire life, people have thought it was a little piece of Dorito.  I used to freak out about it.  Now, I don't give a rat's hiney.  And I know if they ever found me dead, they wouldn't even need dental records.  Just open my mouth and look for the "Dorito."  It's MY tiny Dorito-looking thing on my tooth, and therefore, I love it.  SO THERE!
My first boyfriend ever had a big ol nose.  It wasn't so much that it was huge, exactly, but more that it had one of those hook-looking things at the bridge.  He HATED it.  I loved it.  A gazillion years later, I got to see his baby girl, and she has the same nose.  It's adorable even on a little girl!
My sister had a mole taken off her nose when she was a teen. To this day, I miss it!  It was just tiny, and it didn't take over her face or anything.  Just a tiny little place that made her HER.  It's supposed to be there, and it still mildly bothers me that it isn't.
I have a friend who's got a very small gap between his two front teeth.  It's cute, it makes his smile unique.  We argue over whether or not this is an "imperfection" (his words) or a special thing that makes him unique (my words.)  If anybody doubts that a gap in one's front teeth can be absolutely adorable, they need to see my cousin Claire.  She's 6, she has a gap, and she's perfect in every way. 
It just seems like these days, people get everything "fixed" till everyone looks the same.  If you read entertainment magazines (which we all know I do, see entry number 2!)  you will notice that almost all young starlets look alike.  It's very hard to tell who is who.  I hate the overprocessed, bleached hair, braces (or caps) tiny noses, perfect skin, boob-job, botoxed looking  pictures of all these people who look exactly the same. 
What I love are celebrities who have something a little weird and quirky about them that they keep.  I love Meghan Fox's weird fingers, Lilly Collin's huge eyebrows, Padma Lakshmi's arm scar, Anna Paquin's tooth gap, Owen Wilson's nose that's been broken a zillion times, and I USED to love Jewel Kilcher's crooked teeth.  Now, she looks like everybody else.  In MY mind, she just lost about 50 cool points.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In Which People Always Leave

So I'm 41, as has already been mentioned, and it seems like by now I'd have had enough life experience with love and loss to not be as affected/effected (can someone please for once and for all teach me how to do that properly!) by it.  Unfortunately it seems to be one of those things that doesn't go away with age and experience.  In fact, I'm fairly certain that it gets worse. 
When you're a kid, you are born with a family and you soon start making friends, and you just kind of assume that things will stay just as they are forever.  That your mom and dad will always be there, that your next door neighbor will be your best friend for life, that your grandparents will always be around, etc...  Then you get a little older, and your grandparents start dying of horrible illnesses, or you move across town and you lose touch with your best friend, or your mom dies suddenly and there's nothing you can do to stop it.  Or, as in my case, all of the above.  (On a happy side note, SOMETIMES, 25 years later you find your old bff on facebook and get reaquainted, and that's nice!)  But it's a sad, sad fact of life that you don't get to "keep" people, no matter how much you love them, for various and assorted reasons, and you must always be prepared for the fact that someone you care about and is central to your universe today might disappear completely from your life tomorrow, leaving a big, gaping hole in your world. 
There's all different kinds of leaving, and they all suck.  There's the death one, which of course is indescribably horrible,  and I used to think it was the worst way to lose a person from your life, but I've discovered that is wrong.
The WORST way, from my own experience, anyhow, is when you lose someone because they turn their back on our beliefs.  When someone you love is out there, living and breathing, but they can't be a part of your life anymore, THAT is the worst.  I have googled my own relatives to find out what they're up to.  I've made packets of pictures that I want to send, and then not sent them.  I've written letters I never mailed.  I've sat with my mouse hovering over the "buy now" button on websites where a loved one's art was on sale, but didn't push it.  Just the unbearable longing to have a connection with someone who has broken that connection through their own choices.  Man, that's miserable. 
Even when you lose someone for a GOOD reason, it still hurts.  If, say, your  brother or a very good friend of yours goes to serve at Bethel.  You know, on one hand, that it's a good thing, even maybe a great thing.  But selfishly, it's still a loss.  When a Simon & Garfunkel song comes on the radio and you're being Garfunkel but you have no one to be Simon, it still stinks, no matter WHY they're not there.  And when something is funny at the meeting and you instinctively look around to make a face at the person you always used to make faces with, but they aren't there, it's a bad feeling, no matter the reason.  You're SUPPOSED to be all encouraging and supportive and say "What you're doing is great!"  and "Keep it up!" When what you really want to say is "I WANT MY PERSON BACK, DADGUMMIT!" 
And so, although some of the people I'm thinking of will never read this at all, I just want to say a little something to each of the people I'm thinking of that I miss and have a hole in my life about right now, and if they happen to read it, they will know exactly who they are. 
I miss braiding your insanely beautiful hair in teensy little braids to make yiggy-yoggies.
I miss calling you Tiny Squatchie and hearing your squeaky little voice.
I miss you mooning me and watching you eat a case of clementines all at once.
I miss watching your nostrils flare and you barely bump your teeth up and down on food you can't stand.
I miss being out in service with you and trying not to scream when the mouse was running around your bible study's living room.
They have that stupid phrase, I don't know who made it up, "It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all."  I think it's better to have loved and kept! Somebody ought to put that on a bumper sticker!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In Which I Have a Pet Peeve

Ok, I've got a pet peeve and I'm just gonna announce it here an now. 
You know how sometimes people will post status updates on Facebook and stuff and it'll just say something so vague and mysterious, and you have NO idea what they're talking about?  Something like "So miserable...."  And you're like "WHAT is so miserable?  Your life?  The weather?  WHAT?!"  You don't know if you should call the police cuz someone's suicidal, or just skip over it.  If you're supposed to ASK what they're talking about, or if you do if they'll be mad atcha for being nosy.  Or something like "I can't take it anymore."  What does that MEAN?  If I do nothing, are they gonna find you dead by suicide later and say "This person was clearly despondent and had posted that they couldn't take it on facebook minutes before she/he took her own life, but no one responded."  Or do you mean "I can't take IT anymore,"  "IT" being the amoxicillain the Dr. put you on but you realized you were allergic to it, so you can't take it anymore, and you're gonna switch to a z-pack? 
Or how about the ones that are saying something ugly and rude about someone, but you don't know who, (or whom, as the case may be) so you assume it's yourself.  Like "You are getting on my last nerve!"  And I'm reading thinking "Who?  ME?  I'm getting on your last nerve?  What'd I do?"  Like, who are you aiming this at and if you've really got a problem with them, why don't you just TELL THEM instead of posting mysterious, ominious-sounding status updates on social media??? 
Even ones that sound somewhat positive but are just vague get on my nerves.  Things like "I have almost achieved the most important thing in my life."  I'm like "oooookaaaay, so what the heck IS it?  And how did you accomplish it?  How am I supposed to say 'Yay you!' if I have not a clue to what you are referring?" 
So anyway, that's my pet peeve.  I think I'll go change my facebook status to "You are violating my number one pet peeve."  And just wait and see what kind of response I get!

Monday, September 17, 2012

In Which I Fall In Love With Trader Joe's

As you guys know, I've been on my trying-to-be-healthy, no-sugar-no-white-flour-no-red-meat diet for the past 10 days or so (7 lbs lost, it's slow going!)  I'm trying not to care about the losing weight, and care instead about the important things; feeling better, having more energy, having a more stable mood that isn't affected or effected (depending on how one spells it in this case, and I can never get it right!) by my sugar levels,  trying to make sure I don't get real diabetes since I had the gestational kind and it was miserable, etc... However, I'm not gonna lie to you guys, I CARE about the weight part!  Way more than I would like to admit.  But I DO feel way better and have more energy and all that other lah-di-dah stuff, so I'm trying to be happy about that for the time being.  ANYHOO...
While in Durham back in the summer I made a little trip to the Chapel Hill Trader Joe's, had heard about it from friends and family for years and really, really wanted to try it.  Found a lot of good stuff there and so when I got home, I searched and found out there's one in North Charlotte, so I've been going there ever since, and I luuuuvvvvv it! 
For one thing, it makes it so much easier on a person like me who's trying to eat healthy and gets bored eating the same things.  How many times can a person have brown rice as their side item in a week?  And if you look at Walmart or Food Lion or other stores like that, they HAVE the stranger, more organic type whole-grain stuff, but it's all ridiculously overpriced.  Also, I just love to use strange food ingredients, and it's the same thing with those type items.  At regular grocery stores, you pay through the nose for them.  So I just thought I would share some of my favorite purchases from Trader Joe's, in case anyone wants to hitch a ride with me next time I go. 
First of all, I was, as I said, so sick of brown rice.  Well, at Trader Joe's, they have quinoa that isn't priced ridiculously high.  (Quinoa is it's own protein source, so if you're trying not to eat as much meat, like me, it's perfect.  Just add veggies and you have a meal!)  They also have whole wheat cous-cous, and Israeli cous-cous, which is the puffy pearl-shaped kind, and it's yummy.  Aila likes to eat it one little pearl at a time!  This last trip, I found "Harvest Grains Blend," which has Israeli cous-cous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa.  It's so good!  It only takes 10-15 minutes to cook, and it has a neat kinda crunchy texture cuz it has all the different things in it.  I love it. 
I also found red split-lentils.  I know lentils are supposed to be really good for your digestive system, but I was never a fan of them when my mom made them when I was younger.  But these looked pretty, and I decided to try it.  There's a recipe on the back that you can make, using chicken broth and sherry, but I skipped the sherry.  I cooked them with chicken broth and leeks.  (I also found frozen leeks, quite cheap, in a bag in the frozen foods section!)  You thaw the leeks for a few minutes, add a little olive oil to your pan, add the leeks and sautee, add the lentils and sautee, then add chicken broth, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, and voila!  They're delicious!  The twins both loved them and so did I.  I served them with the harvest blend stuff and it was delicious together. 
Their frozen foods section is great.  You can get frozen leeks (as mentioned) for cheap.  Also, frozen whole green beans (they call them haricots vert cuz they're being all french and fancy and whatnot!) And something else I love, something they call "melange a trois" which is just a kinky way of saying it's green, orange, and red peppers cut up and frozen.  If you wanna give ANYTHING flavor, throw some melange a trois and some frozen leeks in with it.  It makes everything better and more flavorful. 
They have all the sauces I love really cheap.  Mango chutney I LOVE and it cost a small fortune in a regular store.  It's a couple of dollars at TJ's!  Throw that stuff on some chicken and bake it, and YUM!  Also, Thai sweet chili sauce, and Thai Lemon Curry sauce (the babies loved that on whole wheat pasta with some veggies mixed in.)  All kinds of interesting sauces to add kick to whatever you're making. 
Then there's the boxed stuff.  Their "Joe's O's" which are just Cheerios really, are 1.99 a box.  They have a selection of fruit/cereal bars called "A Blueberry Walked Into A Bar" or "A Strawberry Walked Into A Bar" or whatever fruit the bar is made of, they have about 5 flavors.  Dalton and the babies eat them every day.  They're low fat, made with organic grains, and they're only 2 bucks a box, cheaper than Nutri-grain bars at Walmart. 
Brenna's favorites are the spinach-artichoke dip, the mediterranean hummus, and the multi-grain crackers.  I particularly love the greek yogurt, the asparagus/mushroom stir fry, and the sesame sticks. And Dalton loves their crumpets, which he of course discovered and freaked out about cuz he's all into London and stuff, and he thinks eating crumpets make him British. 
The bananas are always 19 cents a pound, unless you get the organic ones, which are 29 cents a pound.  You can't beat that! 
So anyway, that's my little free advertisement for Trader Joe's.  I have kinda fallen in love with that place.  Also, the cashiers there are pretty funny.  One told me the other day that at night, when I crave chocolate, if I eat baby carrots, the sweetness will make me stop craving chocolate.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!  That was the best joke I've heard in weeks!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

In Which I Have A Good Day (So far)

Woke up this morning early, since I finally went to bed on time last night.  The windows were open, the house was cool and filled with fresh air, and outside it was still mostly dark, both because it was early and because it was raining.  I cuddled up for warmth to my hubby's furry chest, and we snuggled and talked.  Soon we heard the babies in their room, talking to each-other in their cribs, and Weston shaking his crib like he always does to make it squeak.  We went in and were greeted by two huge smiles and baby hugs. 
All four of us cuddled up on the couch for bottle time, and soon we were joined by our 8 yr old, and also the cat.  Everyone wanted to get in on the cuddle time, except for the teenager, who's still asleep now at 11:15! 
When the babies finished their bottles, they wanted to do their favorite activites.  For Aila, this means practicing walking.  For Weston, it means harrassing the cat.  Dalton, the 8 yr old, went over to the computer to play a game, and the twins had to follow him and dance for awhile to the music of the game. 
Everyone was starting to get hungry, so I made blueberry pancakes with big fat juicy fresh blueberries.  Everyone (except me, cuz I'm sticking like glue to my no-sugar no white flour diet) ate their fill of pancakes, the babies exclaiming "MMMmmm!" With every bite. 
Hubby put the babies to bed for naptime while I cleaned up from breakfast and started making dinner for later, and my special health-food stuff.  Lemon chicken, quinoa and pearl couscous salad, red lentils with leeks.  The whole house smells like yummy food.  The cool, rainy air is still blowing in through the open windows, the babies are napping peacefully. 
Some days are just miserable and hard from start to finish.  And some days, some days are just like this.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In Which My Baby Girl Becomes A Woman Overnight

Tomorrow, my 16 year old daughter has her first ever job interview.  As her mother, when she got the call for the interview, my reaction was twofold.  First, "Yaaay!"  and then "Waaaah!"  It is the same reaction I had when she turned 16, when she started driving, when she got her first period, when she started walking, when she gave up her sippy cup....  Oh my goodness, people told me it went by fast, but I had no idea till it happened to me!
I was 25 when I had her, and I had wanted a baby for SO long, which seems funny, looking back, because now 25 seems kinda young to me to be having children.  Brenna herself says "25 is gonna be my baby-making age."  She's got so much of her life planned out in her optimistic little head, and I hope it turns out the way she wants it to. 
She came out of me with sass and spunk, and did everything too early.  She smiled before the books and Dr. said she should be able to smile, and she talked (oh man, did she talk!) in complex sentences way, waaaay early.  When she was about Aila and Weston's age (close to a year) she knew the names of all our friends and acquaintances.  When she was about one and a half, she informed our neighbor over the backyard fence that she had had a great day with Mommy, because "We found shoes on clearance, half off, and Mommy loves half off!" 
Her grin always included her crinkling up her nose in a very mischievous looking sort-of way.  No one could ever be sweeter than her when she was sweet, and no one could ever be as rotten when she was rotten, which was often.  She exhausted me and amused me.  She was a pain in my butt, and my best friend. 
I blinked and she was starting school, and cracking up her teachers, and making new friends.  Her  kindergarden teacher told me she intentionally sat her next to an extremely shy, repressed little boy, who was mute because of severe neglect he had suffered at home.  Brenna taught him to talk. 
When the kids won awards each month for displaying certain qualities, Brenna won for "uniqueness."  I laughed my butt off about it, and called her "freak of the month!" 
Next thing I know, she's in middle school, then high school.... and she went from being the one I needed help with to the one helping me with her little brothers and sister.  She's a junior in high school now, about to be inducted in the National Honor Society.  And she's gonna interview for a job tomorrow.  And if she gets that job, she'll just be one step closer to leaving me one day.  It has gone by WAY too fast.  I'm so glad I have Dalton and the twins to keep me busy with kids, cuz otherwise the thought of the empty-nest thing coming up in a few years would just suffocate me. 
My parents laughed when her personality began to show and she was so much like I had been, because they had put that curse on me that most parents do, "I hope one day you have a daughter and she's JUST LIKE YOU, and then you'll know how we feel!"  Well, their curse came true, and it's been hard, and it's been wonderful, and I DO have a better idea of how my parents felt, raising me. 
So now, I curse my daughter, "I hope one day you have a daughter and she's JUST LIKE YOU!"  Only, I don't mean it as a curse to Brenna, I mean it as a blessing to me!  Because when she's old enough to have children, I will miss my firstborn baby girl so much, and the best thing I could hope for is that she has me a grandchild one day, who is just like her.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In Which the Disney Channel Makes Me Want to Hang Myself

With an 8 yr old in the house, I guess I ought to expect this, but the Disney Channel is becoming the bane of my existence. 
I don't know if other people get stuck watching this crap, as I do, but it drives me INSANE! 
All the kids are smart-alecks, have many, many layers of trendy clothing, and seemingly unlimited funds.  The adults, when there ARE some, are idiots.  The young girls all have on a thick, goopy layer of lip gloss.  The premises of these shows are made up to appeal to every pre-teen's fantasys.  Take for example, "I Carly."  A teenage girl lives in a huge, cool apartment with her big brother, as her parents are overseas.  Her brother is a sculptor, the teen girl runs a web show, they have money to do whatever they want, whenever they want to do it.  Then there's "Zoey 101."  The teenagers are at a co-ed, live-on-campus school by the ocean.  Everyone looks like little tiny soap opera stars and have the freedom to have boys in their dorm room, visit the local Japanese food place with no supervision, etc...
Besides all of the above, I also hate it because the acting and writing on these shows is HORRIBLE!  And so many of them involve music or dancing.  Dalton goes around trying to do the dance moves he sees on "Shake it Up" and singing the songs from "Ant Farm."  It's baaaad, not so much in a moral sense, but just in a he-looks-like-an-idiot sense.  
Hard to know what to do, because I don't let the kid watch regular adult tv, and then the stinking channels for kids are excruciatingly bad.  I guess I don't want my 8 year old watching tv shows where the kids have free reign and money coming out the wahzoo for the same reason I don't wanna read fairy-tales to my little girl, namely: Life is not really like that.  You are not any more likely to get to live away from your parents, wear cool clothes, and talk like a smart-aleck to everyone you come in contact with than your baby sister is to meet prince charming and live happily ever after.  It's all a bunch of garbage, and I don't like it being fed to my kid. 
I think it's time I put some major limits on TV watching time.  When I lay down the law, my son will probably say something smart-alecky and then bust out some jacked-up dance move.  I hope, for his sake, no one's watching.

Monday, September 10, 2012

In Which Grandparents Are Grand

Dalton, my eight-year old, is allll excited about tomorrow because my Dad's coming from Durham to go have lunch with him at school for "Bring your grandparents to lunch week"  Dalton came home Friday telling me, "I need to call Papa.  Next week is 'Bring your grandparents to lunch week' and I thought of him."  (It would've been kinda weird if he hadn't thought of his Papa, seeing as how he's the last living grandparent the boy has left!)  So I let him call and I can hear my dad on the other line, immediately making plans to drive an hour and 40 minutes to sit with his grandson for 30 minutes in a school cafeteria, just because it's important to the kid.  This is the same man who, when I was a child, didn't even let my siblings or me get our questions out before barking "NO!" as we were mid-sentence.  It was like this "Dad, can I spend the night with"  "NO!"  There was no pause, no thought, just no.  (Being a mother myself now, I find myself doing this more often than I would like to admit!)  However, as a grandfather, this same man is alllll about "yes."  It's "yes" when Dalton wants to eat nothing but fritos and ice cream while he's at his house.  It's "yes" when Dalton wants to go to a local amusement park and ride rides.  (My dad HATES those kinds of things!)  And the other day, when I was joking around about how my dad has never once in my lifetime said "I love you"  (out loud and in words, mind you, he says it in other ways) to me or my siblings, Dalton piped up with, "He says it to me all the time!  When I'm at his house and he tucks me in, he says 'Good night Buddy, love you!"  It's like going from "Dad" to "Papa" made him an entirely different person!  I remember the Bill Cosby routine about grandparents from "Bill Cosby As Himself," and it's so true.  The strictest, most no-nonsense parent suddenly turns into mushy goo when their grandchildren come along. 
As a small child, I had 3 living grandparents.  This is the kind of thing you don't realize makes you very fortunate until you grow up and understand just what you got from having those relationships.  They were all flawed people, as everyone is, but I knew they all loved me.  That is priceless to a child, to KNOW in their tiny little core that they have, not just parents and siblings, but a whole back-up system of adults who think everything they do is wonderful and love them unconditionally.  My MawMaw, my Dad's mother, died when I was ten, and losing her was one of the worst things that happened to me as a kid.  I've written before about her and how much I miss her.  But now I want to tell you about my other Grandma, the only living grandparent I have left. 
My Grandpa had died long before I was ever born, so I never got to meet him.  But my Grandma was always a huge part of my life.  Going to spend the night at her house as a kid was one of the greatest things EV-ER!  (I'm sure all my cousins will agree, and have some of the same memories I have of what we would do there.)  Grandma had a milkshake making machine, like one of the old-timey ones they used to have in drugstores.  And if you went to spend the night at Grandma's, she was always willing to make you a milkshake.  She also had these metal straws with a spoon on the end so that you could both scoop up the ice cream with the spoon, and later on when the milkshake had melted a little and needed to be slurped, you could slurp it through the straw.  In retrospect, everything tasted like the metal of the straw, but at the time, it was awesome.  After milkshakes, it was time for fingernail painting.  Grandma was a firm believer in fingernail painting, and always had a variety of pinks and purples. (She is 88 years old now, and her fingernails are still ALWAYS painted.) Her girl grandchildren, like me, got both hands painted.  The boys got one finger, just so they could see what it felt like.  (They all loved it, don't let them lie to you!) 
When the paint was dry, there was usually a scrabble or card game with either one of my aunts, or one of Grandma's friends.  While they were playing their game, I would entertain myself with a game I made up that was similar to twister.  The carpet in her kitchen had food words all over it, and the pattern repeated.  So I would find, say, "eggs" and then look for another "eggs" and put first my hands, then my feet, all on my word of choice and see if I could hold my balance. 
Grandma had (and still has) a large bowl in her bedroom full of bracelets, mostly plastic bangles.  Another ritual at her house was to get out this bowl, and put on as many bracelets at one time as was physcially possible. 
In the evening, Grandma would lie on the couch and watch tv, and she would inevitably fall asleep.  The tv would be on, and she'd fall asleep watching, say, "PM Magazine,"  and by the time she'd wake back up, I would've seen "Dallas" and all kinds of other stuff that no one would ever let me watch when they were awake!   I can remember looking over my shoulder to make sure she was really asleep as I watched stuff I knew she would never allow me to see!  Lol! 
I was a nervous kid, and was always terrified of the dark.  At home, my parents left the light on in the hallway for me and left my bedroom door wide open.  Grandma wasn't having any of that, but she'd lie down with me and try to keep me from being scared when I was going to sleep.  "When the lights first go out, you can't see,"  she'd tell me, "But if you keep your eyes open for long enough, your eyes begin to get accustomed to the dark, and then you'll be able to see, and you won't be scared."  This is one of the things I LOVE about Grandma, she didn't use sissy words with me, she would whip out "accustomed" and make me learn what it was and how to use it in a sentence!  I would lay there, trying to be still (I'm SO not good at that!) and stare into the darkness, and sure enough, after awhile, I could sorta see! "Hey, Grandma!  Guess what?!" "*zzzzzz*---What?"  "I think my eyes have become accustomed to the dark!"  "Ok, good, now go to sleep." And she'd go back to snoring. 
In the morning, I would wake up to the sound of Grandma's spoon stirring her coffee, and her clearing her throat, which she always did 5 times right in a row.  I'd go in the kitchen and she'd make me toast the way only she could, with about 2 tablespoons of butter and 4 tablespoons of orange maramalade on it.  She would drink her coffee and do the crossword in the paper, and listen to me prattle on about whatever. 
Later on, if I asked her to, she'd set my hair on hot rollers at the little vanity in her bedroom.  With my curled hair and my painted fingernails, I was pretty sure I was gorgeous. 
And that's just how kids should feel when they're with their grandparents.  Like they are beautiful, like they are loved, like their incessant talking is interesting, like they are the most important little people in the whole wide world.  They should hear lots of "I love you" and lots of "yes."  I really believe, now as an adult and having seen what grandparents did for me and what they've done for my children, that God made it this way knowing exactly what he was doing.  That parents need a break sometimes, and that there needs to be other loving adults to step in from time to time.  That kids need to be adored, to know they're adored, and to have a place to go where someone always listens to them and makes them feel important.  And furthermore, as a person gets older, they need the companionship of a small child who thinks they are the best thing ever, who looks up to them and admires them and enjoys their company.  And then, when the grandparent is tired, they can give the little person BACK and let the kid's parents do the hard stuff.  It's a win-win for everyone involved.  I think the relationship between children and their grandparents is sacred. 
So I'm excited about tomorrow for Dalton, I know he'll be so excited to introduce his Papa to all his friends and his teacher, and sit and talk to him at lunchtime.  And I know my dad will be thrilled to be there.  Those two are the best of friends, and I have to say, my dad is an awesome grandparent.
As for me, I'm  looking forward to the day when somebody tiny calls me "Grandma" and I get to spoil them rotten, and then give them back to my kids after I've sugared them all up and made them impossible to deal with.  I'm gonna be a wonderful grandparent someday, cuz I've learned from the best. 
And one day really soon, maybe even this week, I'm gonna have to visit my grandma.  Maybe now I could play her at scrabble, while the twins play in her bowl full of bracelets.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

In Which I Get Excited About Shaving the Skin Off My Feet

The other night I took one of those long hot bubble baths that most of us women love (my brother David, on the other hand, refers to it as "stewing in one's own filth.") Midway through the bath, my feet start itching and I know what this means.  It's time to shave the dead skin off my feet, using one of my favorite inventions!  It's a little thingy with a handle, and a razor stuck between some metal so that only the thinnest layer of skin can be shaved off.  While you're still damp from a bath and your dead foot skin is softened, you can use it to shave off the icky, itchy, disgusting, thick part on the bottom of your feet.  I loooooooove it.  But it's disgusting.  When you're done, your feet feel as soft as a baby's butt.  They don't itch anymore, and you look ever so much better in sandals.  But you're left with a pile of foot skin, and that's pretty darn gross.  I started thinking about some of my favorite gadgets and inventions which bring me so much pleasure, but at the same time are really disgusting if you think about it.  The foot shaver is right up there at number one!
Number 2 would probably have to be my Sephora zit popper.  It's a metal instrument with little metal circles at either end.  One is clearly more for your flatter, easy-to-reach zit.  The other end is made for your hard to reach, deeper in the tissue zit.  If sanitized properly, it won't cause infection like fingers could, and the little perfect metal circles ensure that the zit is evenly surrounded on all sides with pressure, so it doesn't leave a mark and it gets all the ick out.  You gotta love that!  Hehe!
There's also the thing I use on the babies that is properly called a "nasal aspirator."  I personally prefer the term "snot sucker" because that is what it is.  You squeeze in while away from the nostril, but the small part near the booger, and let go of the bulb.  Immediately the air sucks in, and the pesky booger is sucked right out of the nose of the baby, allowing them to breathe again.  It's really, really gross to clean out, mind you, but really, really, easy to use. 
Last but definetely not least is my husband's latest purchase: the electric flyswatter.  This intellectual marvel allows you to swat a fly in mid-air, and, if pressing down a button, electrocute the fly in the process.  My husband has an even grosser and crueler way of using it.  He goes in a room where the fly is, and he holds the flyswatter flat, and then stands there, perfectly still, for however long it takes for the idiot fly to land on the thing, and then he presses the button.  You hear "POP!"  and then a sizzle, and then smell smoke, and then hear the maniacal cackle of a man who has just taken all his frustrations out on an irritating little fly.  I was a little worried about him the first time I heard him do it, thought he was a sadist and might need some therapy.  He could not stop laughing for about 15 minutes after murdering the fly.  Then a few days later, a fly kept buzzing and buzzing and buzzing past my head, making that horrible little noise they make.  It flew up against the kitchen window and I went and got the electric flyswatter.  I held the thing against the window so that the fly was caught between the window and the flyswatter.  The fly did that little spaz-out things that flies do, and then it made the sound "POP!"  "Sizzzzle...." and there was smoke.  When I moved the swatter, the dead and crispy fly fell into the dishwater below.  Then there was the sound of manical laughter, mine.  It was so fulfilling!!!  Now when I'm trying to carry in groceries and the door is open and I see flies sneaking past me into the house, I actually get excited.  I get to go hunting! 
So for all the geniuses of the world who invented these fine devices and were willing to share them with the world, even though their purposes sound gross and disgusting:  Here's to you!  You've made my life a lot more fun!  (And a little more gross.)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

In Which I Realize I Am Old

A friend of my mother's posted a picture of her on facebook today.  My mom is in the center of the picture, with two of her friends on either side of her.  She is pretty, smiling, looking very happy.  When I saw it I thought "oh, she looks so pretty for her age!"  I saw the year the picture was dated from, I would've been 17 when it was taken.  I remember very clearly what Mom was like at that time.  She was, um,  how can I say this delicately?  She was...old. 
Then it occurred to me to do the math.  Granted, it took me quite awhile, and all my fingers and toes, but I finally got it figured up.  In that picture, my mom was....the age that I am now.
This just really freaks me out.  I mean, I still haven't decided what I wanna be when I grow up!  I'm not old!  Heck, I'm still immature!  How can this possibly have happened?
I've seen the changes coming.  Lately, I can't stand to listen to the radio.  The songs don't even sound like music, they sound like noise.  Who have you ever heard utter that phrase who wasn't old?! 
I forget things, usually mid-sentence.  The other day while cooking, I asked Brenna to get me the lid to a certain pot.  I said "It's the one with no...with"  Brenna said "Handle?" and looked at me with a mixture of pity and derision.
When I sit for a long time, and stand up suddenly to walk, my legs do not work.  When I wake up in the morning, I have bags under my eyes.  When I say bags, I do not mean like a handbag or a duffle or even carry-on.  I mean LUGGAGE.  
When I bend my knee just the right way, it cracks, loudly.   When I shift my weight on my hips, my right hip pops.  Loudly.  Both of these things have happened before when it was quiet and I'm SURE people around me think I farted. 
I can no longer answer the door, check the mail, etc... without wearing a bra.  Gravity has made it's mark.
I have trouble with my feet and now prefer to wear flats.  I have to get my kids to show me how to work any current technology, cuz I don't know how.  I have to buy the special dye for gray hair for it to really cover anymore, and I have to pencil in a portion of my eyebrows from years of over-tweezing.  I use phrases like "hurts like the dickens!"  Which makes my teenager laugh until she cries cuz it sounds so old fashioned.  And my husband has a pacemaker, for goodness sake! 
That's it, I may as well throw in the towel.  I'm admitting it here and now.  I am old.  Now I'm gonna go wash off my eyebrows and go cry myself to sleep in my... my.... um, that soft place.

Friday, September 7, 2012

In Which I Muse on Music

This morning, I played some music (as always) for the babies while they were eating their breakfast.  I put in an old mix CD from years ago that I hadn't listened to in quite some time, and it was funny to watch which songs the babies responded to and which ones they didn't seem to care for one way or the other.  In the meantime, I was washing dishes, sweeping up the kitchen, playing with the babies, etc... while they were eating and the music was playing, and each song that came on, I would think "Awww, I love this song!"  (Duh, I picked em for my mix cd!) And then my mind would wander off to why I loved that particular song and the memories I had associated with it.  Aila particularly was groovin and dancing to "Let's Get it On" By Marvin Gaye, that song makes me think of her Daddy!  'Nuff said!
But seriously, every single song jostled some old memory for me, and sorta, I dunno, took me somewhere, you know what I'm trying to say?  I got thinking about it, and I think almost every song I really, really love has some associated memory, but for the sake of argument, I'll use this particular CD.  The first song is Charlie Rich, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World."  I am 2, maybe 3, and this song is always on the radio.  My Dad always looks right at me when he sings along, and I know that it means something.  I'm pretty sure that it's about me, and that I am, in fact, the most beautiful girl in the world.  But I don't understand the part about "who walked out on me,"  and I have this mental picture in my little juvenile head of a tiny girl physically walking on her father.  At one point I ask my parents "The most beautiful girl in the world walk on she's Daddy?" 
Also on the CD, "Please Come To Boston."  I don't know who sings it.  I am 19, living in Greensboro with my aunt, and the two of us are my car, driving down Summit Avenue after picking up food from Wendy's.  This song comes on, and my aunt says "Oh, I love this song!  I love the part where he says "Please come to Denver," cuz I used to live there."  We turn it up and sing it together. 
Then there's "Let's Get It On," as previously discussed. ;)
Then "When You Close Your Eyes (Do You Dream About Me?) By Night Ranger.  I am 19, madly in love with my boyfriend.  This song comes on and he says to me "If we ever broke up, I'd send you a tape (yes, TAPE! It was that long ago!) of this song like 6 months later."  I say "Why would you even think of that?!  We're never going to break up!  Are we?"  Well, he is also 19 and not anywhere NEAR ready for committment, and next thing I know, It's 6 months after our break-up, and I find a copy of this tape stuck between the screen and front door when I come home.  I sit and listen to it and cry my eyeballs out, but we do not get back together, we become friends.  Years later, he dies of brain cancer, and now the song is a happy reminder of our overly-dramatic teenage relationship.
There's also "Mockingbird" by James Taylor and Carly Simon.  I am, I dunno exactly, maybe 10? And my little brother and I both love music and are taking music lessons.  We bicker all the time like normal little kids do, but this is one thing that we have in common, and so when we're stuck together, it's what we do.  Mom and Dad have this tape and play it a lot, and we decide that he will be James Taylor, and I will be Carly Simon, and we will learn to sing it EXACTLY as they do.  Every little inflection, every "Whoa, Mama!"  Etc..  And we do.  We learn our parts and we learn our harmonies.  We spend the rest of our teenage years doing this for every song that is a duet or has harmony.   We're the Everly Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, and Simon and Garfunkel.  When we're bored, we sit in my brother's room on the floor, play Candyland, drink Mountain Dew until we're buzzing,  and sing our duets.
I could go on, but I'm sure you get the gist! And if you're not one of the aforementioned people, you are probably getting bored by now.  Every song has some person and memory linked to it, and it occurs to me that maybe it's not the songs in themselves that I love so much, maybe it's the people?  Maybe every song that I loooovvve, it's really because at one time or another, I had some special moment with some special person that that particular song reminds me of.  I'm not sure, just a hypothesis.  What do you guys think?  Am I the only one who does this?  Or do we all love songs because we associate them with memories and people?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 2, In Which I Obsess About Magazines

11:45 and the babies just went down for their first nap.  They finished their lunch, which was a hodge podge of things, as usual, trying to get them to try all kinds of food.  I give them a couple spoonfuls of everything and then see what they go back for more of.  Weston's still on a finicky kick that he's been on a couple of weeks now, where he really only seems to like bananas.  Aila eats some of EVERYTHING, which today included:  Quinoa salad, ham, cheddar cheese, sweet potatoes, lettuce, cucumber, banana, blueberries, and pickled beets.  Just discovered last night that she likes pickled beets, which cracked me up cuz my mom craved em when pregnant with me, and I have always loooovvvved them. 

Anyway, I'm excited because today is Thursday.  And I got to thinking about why I always get excited about Thursdays, and how jacked up it is, and I thought maybe I would share it.  Just to humiliate myself. 
Thursdays are the day that the new issues of People magazine and Us magazine come out.  If you go in the mid-to-late afternoon to Walmart, you will usually find the workers there, with giant blue bins, putting the old magazines in an empty shopping cart, and filling up the racks with the new ones.  Sometimes, they are late and don't come till Friday.  And you can't get them on Thursdays at all retail outlets, mind you.  Walmart's usually the first to get them, and Food Lion is usually a good bet.  WalGreens and Rite Aid and CVS don't usually have them till at least Friday.  All fashion magazines come on Fridays to most stores.  New ones come out towards the end of the month, except for Allure magazine, which comes out at the begining of the month.  I have more than once been known to go to Walmart on a Thursday afternoon and walk around in circles for awhile because I can see that the people with the blue magazine bins are there, but they're putting the old magazines away first and haven't yet started putting the new ones out. " This," you may say to yourself, "is pathetic!  This is lunacy! "  Yep, you are correct!  "And besides,"  you may also ask, "didn't you say in your last post that you are broke?  What kind of stupidity is it to spend what little money you have on such wasteful items?"  And you, my friend, are exactly right. 

Here's the thing, I don't see movies, like, hardly ever.  Maybe once or twice a year I catch one at the 2$ theater.  If I'm gonna see a movie, it's usually on cable, long after it was originally released.  There are a few TV shows that I'm crazy about and watch regularly, but not tons.  And I love music, but as everyone knows, each year that passes, the new music that comes out seems to get filthier and more scary, so I mostly listen to CD's at this point.  (I know, CD's aren't cool.  I don't have an ipod, bite me.)  However, I know every little thing about even the most d-list celebrity!  I know who's dating who, who's married to who, who's not getting along, who can't work together, etc...  I know facts about people whom I've NEVER seen act or sing, or do anything.  I know stuff about people I've never seen in a single movie, or watched a tv show with them in it.  WHY?!  What could possibly be the purpose?  I have no idea.  All I know is, that on a good Thursday, when the mags come out early, or on a Friday when they're running late, there's nothing more fun to me than sitting down after all my kids go to sleep and the hubby's off in the bedroom watching a ballgame, and it's just me and the cat and total silence,  and I sit in the quiet and pour over the details of celebrity's lives.   I don't know why I care.  I don't know these people, I'm sure I probably wouldn't like most of them if I DID.  But I just find it so fascinating to read all their personal information! 

Then, there are the fashion magazines.  I am addicted to these as well.  I'm pretty sure I've read every issue of Glamour magazine since about 1984.  I can't remember if my mom got me a subscription or how exactly I started getting them, but as a teen, my room was always covered with magazines.  Kim Alexis, Carol Alt, or Beverly Johnson were usually on the cover.  Then by the time I was in high school, it was Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, and Linda Evangelista. (I first got my hair cut super-short at 14 because I wanted to look like an ad I'd seen with Isabella Rosselini in a pixie cut, for Lancome, still remember!)  When I absolutely could not afford to buy them, I would go to the public library and read them.  As a teen I loved Glamour, Vogue, and Elle.  Now I love Glamour, Redbook, and Allure.  But these magazines also serve no useful purpose!  They very, very rarely have anything in them about women my size, and if they do advertise some clothing in there for plus sizes, they're from places I can't afford.  (They need to have a plus-size magazine where everything's from Ross and Cato Plus! Lol!)  I DO enjoy the make-up tips, but they're often things like "Apply Creme de la Mer head to toe after your bath." or "Chanel's new Gossamer Lip Gloss is the best lip gloss ever!"  and we all know I'm not gonna purchase either of those things.  (Hmmm, a plus-sized fashion magazine where all the clothes are from Ross and Cato plus and the make-up's all by Loreal or Revlon!  There's a thought!)  I'm an overweight, 41 year old, mom of four who lives in a small southern town.  I do not need to know that eggplant is the new color for fall, or that there's a new "it" bag that has replaced the Birkin, or that Katy Perry and John Mayer claimed to have broken up but now appear to be back together.  None of this stuff makes the teeny-tiniest bit of difference in my life!  But when I see those fresh new magazine covers on the rack, I long for the mindless-garbage-goodness that is inside...the quiet hour or so that I can stare at the pictures of pretty clothes I'll never wear and lipstick that I'll think will change my life but won't...the useless factoids about clothes, cosmetics and celebrities that will fill my mind while I'm reading it... Maybe that's the draw of it after all?  That for an hour or so I'm thinking about shallow, useless, unimportant things, thus drowning out the worries, fears, and monotony of everyday life.  For that hour, I can stop worrying about how to pay the bills and how to raise my kids and the horrible uncontrollable mess that is my house.  I can think about fall colors and expensive bags and the perfect lip gloss.  Ah, an hour of mind-numbing bliss!  Hey, it's four bucks and it's not a drug, stop judging me! 

So later this afternoon, if you catch me in Walmart, milling around suspiciously while the blue bin workers are doing their thing, now you know what I'm doing.  Waiting for my fix.  I said stop judging! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Never had one of these before!

So I've never had a blog before, although I think I'm probably the last person on earth to have one.  And I'm not sure why I'm doing this or if it's even a good idea.  But I want to try it for a couple of reasons.  Number one being that I have baby twins, and a lot of friends and relatives want to know what's going on with said babies, but do not want to have facebook pages.  Therefore, if I have a blog, maybe they can just look at it and see what the babies are up to.  Here's a picture of them, their names are Weston and Aila and they're just adorable if you ask me!
So that's reason number one.  Reason number two is, I'm home with Weston and Aila ALL THE TIME, and also my two older kids, and I'm starting to feel like I pretty much never have a conversation with anyone I didn't give birth to or marry!  Sometimes I just crave conversation.  Maybe people will leave comments on here?  Maybe it'll feel like a conversation?  Or maybe it'll just be an outlet in which I can basically talk to myself. 
The third reason is, I have no job.  I want a job, I NEED a job, but I have no time for a job, and if I got one, all my earnings would go towards childcare, so that would be useless.  But I saw the movie "Julie and Julia" one of the 25,000 times it played on the E network this week, and in it, Julie starts a blog and everyone in the world reads it and she publishes a book and she no longer has to live over a pizzeria.  Now I am well aware that that kind of thing happens only in the movies, but at least I can fantasize about it.  I'm going to fantasize that I suddenly get thousands of fans who are fascinated by my little writings, and I will somehow come to the attention of my favorite freelance writers, Erin Zammet Ruddy.  And Erin will help me get a job freelance writing for Parent Magazine and/or Glamour magazine, which she also writes for.  And then I will be able to stay at home with my babies, and yet make a living wage, and like Julie no longer having to live above a pizzeria, I may one day be able to move my family out of this neighborhood where people get shot in the head, and where little children cuss out adults and throw glass in kiddie pools.  So THAT is my fantasy. 
I think, however, that to have the kind of blog that eventually gets one a book deal, it's supposed to have a theme.  I thought about making it all about the twins.  But frankly, I enjoy tangents and it seems like almost daily I have some kind of something that I can't get out of my head, and I don't want to be limited in what I can ruminate about on here.  Today, for instance, I am thinking about fatness.  Not just fatness in general, mind you, but my PERSONAL fatness. 
My husband is one of the few who doesn't care about my fatness, and never complains or seems to be bothered by it.  But I have personally come to the point where I no longer find MYSELF the least bit attractive, and it's starting to make me wonder what the heck is wrong with him that he DOES.  This is not good.  I have been, you know, large, for quite some time now.  I'm used to large, and I'm a firm believer that you can be big and beautiful and have curves and confidence.  But I have now passed that point, and have fallen into blob territory.  When one no longer feels like a big beautiful woman, but rather like a giant, unattractive blob, it's time to do something.  And so yesterday, I started eating healthy.  Yep, yesterday.  It's like an alcoholic saying they've been sober for a day!  But hey, you have to start somewhere.  So I've started, and am going to try really hard to continue.  Tomorrow, hopefully I will have something more interesting on my mind than my fatness, but for today, well, there you go!