Saturday, March 31, 2012

let the games begin

So I'm not sure how it's even possible, but my blog views reached 2,500 today!  Apparently there is a modest fistful of people who actually think my little rants are worth reading.  Whoever you sickos are, THANK YOU!  I love you guys and I appreciate all the encouraging feedback I've gotten during this first month of my post-a-day project.  It is truly my greatest honor to amuse you with my oversharing. 

To celebrate this silly little milestone, I am getting today's post done early so I can spend the whole day and night not worrying about it!  We're going to go find Annie a bathing suit (God help me, and any other mother of a fluffy adolescent girl during swimsuit-buying season), go for ice cream, buy Mama an iphone (see last night's post about my broken-down robot), and let Annie have a friend sleep over so the hubs and I can have a brewski and knock out about three hours of accumulated DVR awesomeness.  "It's gonna be a pretty nice little Saturday."  <--- $5.00 in hug coupons to anyone who can name the movie.  

I realize this is kind of a lame deal for you guys, so I'll tell you what:  when my views reach 5,000 I will churn out the most amazingepicawesome piece of blog pie ever written.  That's a promise!  I'll probably hate myself for it when the time comes, but there it is.  Oooh!  Idea!  YOU GUYS can even choose the topic!  How's THAT for reader appreciation!  So put on your thinkin' caps kiddos - I'll give ya two weeks to come up with something.  The most awesomely awful idea wins.  GO!


Friday, March 30, 2012

things I learned today

Sometimes there are so many things bouncing around in my head at the end of the day that it's hard to choose just one to blog about.  Today is one of those days.  And instead of choosing, I'm taking the easy way out.  I'm gonna make a list!  I shall call it Things I Learned Today

1.  My husband is amazing.  I knew this already, of course.  But I'm still always in awe when he does something super wonderful, which actually happens alot.  Today, he let me sleep in with the baby while he got Annie off to school - studied her spelling words with her and everything.  When I got up, he'd brought me my favorite, ultra-indulgent Starbucks drink that I never buy for myself because it's too expensive.  *He also just now stopped what he was doing to hop up and get a fussy Estie so that I can keep working on my blog.  He's really just way too sweet - I'm pretty sure I don't deserve him.

2.  Spring in Colorado is a beautiful thing.  Today was cloudless, 75 degrees with a refreshing breeze, and I got some much-needed color on my cheeks taking a long walk with Estie.  (My facial cheeks - I don't walk naked.)

3.  Spring in Colorado is hell on your allergies.  Cottonwoods.  Fuck them.  "What a pretty day!  Oh my God, is that fiberglass in my eyes?!"  Apparently the pollen counts are like a million times higher than normal right now, which I learned from my sister-in-law, AFTER my walk. 

4.  I need a new phone.  Badly.  I usually use cellular phones until they no longer function at all (I kept a flip phone once until the two pieces broke apart and I only had the keypad half to make calls on, and then only with speakerphone because I had no earpiece).  The Droid I have right now was a hand-me-down from the hubs after I ran my Blackberry into the ground.  Benny had stopped using the Droid because it was starting to malfunction, so naturally, I said I'd take it.  Anyway, it's been doing all sorts of weird things lately, but today was the last straw.  Annie missed the bus home from school and the dumb Droid didn't ring when she tried to call me.  Like, it just decided not to take the call.  Thanks alot, worst robot receptionist EVER.  Thankfully, my superhero mother-in-law saved the day and went to get Annie, saving me from the DEFACS agents for not the first or the last time.

5.  My sister-in-law is a boss on the grill.  The Baldwin women can cook - they just can - seemingly effortlessly.  I cannot.  I mean, I "cook," but really only to keep my family alive.  There's no love there.  My mom- and sis-in-law actually do it well, and seem to enjoy it.  As if this wasn't enough to remind me of what a poor excuse for a female I am (I don't do crafts or watch sappy movies either, remember?), tonight I found out Lindsay puts all the dudes I know to shame with her mad grilling skillz (sorry honey).  Our family feasted on some insanely tasty steak and chicken that I cannot wait to enjoy again tomorrow as leftovers.  It was that good.  Wait... I did marinate the chicken she grilled... nope, I still suck.

And the last lesson of the day:  Even an easy-way-out blog takes me an hour to write.  START BLOGGING EARLIER. 

G'night, kids.  Happy Friday! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

diapered diva

It's official: ginger baby is teething.  And she's being a real weiner about it, too.  I'm not going to say she's being a jerk because she's a ginger, and therefore prone to a fiery temper and you know, being soulless and whatnot (allegedly!).  But I will say that I do not remember my oldest daughter making this much of a fuss about cutting teeth - unless you count drooling buckets and chewing violently on anything that would hold still.  Granted that was eight years ago, but still - Annie was then and still is the resident diva in our house.  So the fact that baby sister Estie is outshining her in the drama department right now is really throwing our household out of balance.  The shift in family dynamics has actually created a pretty fascinating phenomenon: Annie has become my more even-tempered child!  (Anyone who knows Annie just gasped audibly.)  When Estie is shrieking her brains out, inconsolable with aching gums and the upset tummy they cause, Annie suddenly becomes this super sweet, patient child.  She is calm, collected, even helpful.  She doesn't roll her eyes (an adorable little quirk very popular with eight year-old girls) or shoot death stares at the loud, disruptive creature taking all her mom's attention and making dinner not be ready until 8 pm.  And the crazier Estie gets, the more composed Annie is.  It's like she goes into damage control mode.  Like she instinctively knows I'm pretty much maxed out with the screaming baby and I'm using all my energy to NOT to pull my hair out, so she should probably not rock the boat any further unless she wants a broken-down, bald mental patient for a mom.  We must just be born with women's intuition like that.  Screaming baby = do whatever needs to be done to diffuse the situation.  For Annie, that just means being less of a dickhead than her shrieking, teething sister.  It sounds easy... but trust me, it is a really huge accomplishment for my wonderful little first-born diva. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

hey girl, let's talk about our periods!

Pardon my candor, but I'm menstruating.  I know, I'm sorry, I hate that word too.  But it's not any worse than saying I'm on my period, on the rag (gross!), or bleeding vaginally for five to seven days while my reproductive organs reboot.  Or, as my eight year-old describes it, not having a baby this month.  To be honest, I find all of the traditional euphemisms for your stench trench to be rather tacky and distasteful.  I actually think the whole process is unmentionable, really, but there are some instances in a woman's life when she just has to bring it up - it's unavoidable.  Like when her husband catches her standing in front of the pantry making animal noises while eating nine month-old girl scout cookies and feverishly scanning the shelves for the next thing she can shove in her face once the box is empty.  (This has totally NEVER happened to me, by the way.)  At a time like that, a girl really needs to offer up some kind of explanation for her behavior, lest her partner become concerned for her health/waistline and attempt to approach her, or, God forbid, take her cookies away.  But no woman wants to talk to a man about her period - a subject that conjures up all sorts of unsavory images for dudes, like blood, maxi pads with wings, seventh grade sex ed class, and, you know, babies.  This is why, as modern women, we really need to find some new delicate, feminine ways to describe our monthly blood-letting without using the gross, outdated terminology of our adolescence.  We may have started our periods in middle school, but we're adults now.  We need a phrase that says, I'm okay, sweetheart, I'm just on my [delicate, feminine period euphemism], which is nature's way of keeping my body fresh and new for you.  And are you fucking SURE this is all the Thin Mints?

And so, because I pride myself on being a delicate, feminine, and most of all modest modern woman, I have compiled a list of polite, diverting ways to say, in a nutshell, that you are hungry, hormonal, and more bloated than a week-old corpse floating in a river.  The next time you find yourself bleeding from your front-butt, do not be indiscrete - try out one of these ladylike gems instead:

Saddling Old Rusty

Roping off the crime scene

Taking Carrie to the prom

There are Communists in the funhouse

The painters are in

There are strings attached

My Merlot is corked 

Riding the cotton pony

It's shark week

I'm not pregnant

Our rides are down for monthly maintenance

My vag votes Republican

The crimson cock blocker

It's blow job season

Ugly panties week

Skipping through a field of wildflowers in soft focus

Uterus puke

I'm untrustworthy right now

Manhole cover

Not wearing white pants

Up on blocks

And, for my husband, a repurposed line from Jerry Maguire: 

The fuckin' zoo's CLOSED!

Wow. I need a Midol.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

spiders and other pets

Weirdo neurotic human behavior #432:  When you see a spider in your house, just one spider, and your whole body starts itching like there are spiders all over you, like they're falling from the ceiling and landing down your shirt and in your hair, and for the next three days you refuse to sit on the couch where you saw the spider, because there are probably like a thousand of his friends under the cushions waiting to crawl out and eat your face off, and then implant nests of baby spiders under your skin while you lay there without a face. 

For anyone who thinks like this (because I certainly don't - not at all) I have one question:  When have you ever seen spiders travel in groups?  Yeah, they usually don't.  They're not social creatures.  They're too busy trapping and eating their own young to make friends, so they usually travel solo.  So relax.  The next time you see a big, hairy, evil spider in your home, think of him as a new little house pet.  One with twice as many legs as your other pets (cause that's not creepy at all) and lots of pretty eyes to stalk, I mean look at you with.  And they're supposed to eat other bugs, right?  That's pretty cool.  I mean nobody wants a house full of spiders and other bugs.  I'd rather just have the one kind of bug that is so creepy and sinister that it freaking eats all the other bugs.  I mean who doesn't like that?  

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go spray chemicals on my base boards.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

the big C

I know, I know.  I did it again.  And this time I went even longer without blogging.  But before you get all that is so not cool, you broke your promise, we hate you (because this is how you talk in my head, you jerks) allow me to explain. I actually have a really, really good excuse this time:  I am a chicken.  Yep.  See, for weeks now I've been dancing around explaining why I'm visiting my mom in Florida right now.  I've actually been avoiding even thinking about it, really, because I try to keep my distance from heavy, emotional stuff.  Stuff that's too deep.  Like, I don't watch sappy movies, I don't buy Halmark cards (unless they're the sassy, ironic ones that make fun of their recipient for getting old and having saggy boobs), and I don't like to be looked at or comforted on the rare occasion that I cry.  I've just always been like this.  So you can imagine how hard it is for a Shallow Hal like me to confront the fact that my Mama was diagnosed with breast cancer in January.  I mean, talk about throwing my ass into the deep end of the pool, right?!  And not wanting to think about it has made it extra hard to sit down and write about it, especially since my mom would probably discourage me from even sharing the news at all, because 'It's nothing and I'm fine!'  (She does not buy Halmark cards either; we're a lot alike.)  And she will be fine - they caught it early and it's a "very treatable" kind of breast cancer, whatever that means - but not before she goes through chemo, radiation, and all the other really fun stuff that comes along with it, like losing her hair (are you still technically a ginger if you're bald?).  It's cancer, and that shit's real.  Mom has a great attitude about it, though ("While you're here you can help me learn to tie scarves on my head!") and she's in great spirits.  But she's my mom, ya know?  Nobody wants to see their mom get sick, visibly sick, and know that she is in pain.  It's just not something anybody is ever really prepared for.  But then it happens, and you just deal with it.  What else can you do?

So anyway, my mom's boobs are the reason I'm in Florida, and essentially why I have been skipping days blogging.  I'm sorry I left you hanging, my doting, adoring, borderline obsessive fans, who number in the millions.  Now that I've finally spilled the beans about my little vacay, I can get back to my usual witty, surficial daily musings.  Your days will no longer be dark and empty, dear readers. 

Unless you'd rather watch a Lifetime movie, in which case your sappy ass is on your own.  I don't do deep.

Monday, March 19, 2012

hello again, and sorry

So... anyone who's paying attention has probably noticed I skipped two days of blogging.  I'm sorry :(  I feel pretty crappy about it considering I promised myself (and you!) that I'd write every day.  But I've decided not to beat myself up too much - I had company in town, was packing to travel with an infant, prepping my hubby and mostly my older daughter to make it a week without me (and not kill eachother), and almost starting to deal with the reason I was coming home for a week (deets tomorrow).  I did go into my blog today and publish the draft I'd started while Leah was visiting (our girls' night out was actually two days ago!), and then I figured maybe posting twice today would be penance for my sins.  If not, I will begin merciless flagellance.  (Not to be confused with merciless flatulence, which would really only punish my housemates.)  

too old for crazy

I am writing to you from the other side of old age.  I have crossed the line.  At least I am not alone, though... 

Leah and I had our big "girls' night out" last night.  We'd been looking forward to this for weeks - a much-needed evening away from our sometimes boring, always responsible, everyday grown-upness.  So we got all sexified, left the kiddos with the hubs for the evening and headed downtown to raise hell like the classy southern gals we are.  I even googled the number of a taxi company before we left the house, cause we were just gonna get THAT crazy.  I should have realized we were too old for crazy when our first stop was the grocery store, to pick up a five hour energy shot before dinner.  Whoo!  Long story short, we were tapas, one bar and two drinks deep when Leah said out loud what we were both thinking: "This is weird.  I feel like we're on the prowl."  It was true - being out on the town sans kids or husbands felt less like the exciting adventure we thought we so desperately needed, and more like a forced, unnatural field trip from reality.  We're just not crazy young girls anymore.  Nowadays the FMP's and cleavage bras are brought out for birthdays, bachelorette parties and [other people's] weddings, and that's about it. We're grownups, and I guess we're okay with that.  

We did make ourselves stay at the bar until at least 11 pm though, so as not to return home total failures.  But we camped out at a table on the periphery of the scene and spent the whole time deeply engrossed in womanly discussion (okay, shameless gossip) instead of at the bar looking cougarish and desperate.  In the end we went home sober, kissed our sleeping kiddos and spent the rest of our night-out time on the couch with my husband, who was sweet enough not to patronize our Girls Gone Tame experience.  I'm sure he was secretly relieved to have a wife who'd rather be home at night, instead of a wife who stumbled in drunk and disheveled, announcing that she needed to do that more often, and can he please make her a cheeseburger. 

I guess it's not so bad to be old and lame like we are.  It's definitely less destructive - no DUIs, no hangovers, no neglected children eating dry Fruity Pebbles while Mommy lays on the couch groaning til 3:00 in the afternoon - but also, isn't the whole point of the party scene ultimately to get laid at the end of the night?  Shoot, I'm married - why the hell would I waste eyeliner on a big night out (after which my feet ache and I'm too tired and boozy to even be horny) when I can have a glass of wine on my couch with my husband (in yoga pants!), sneak upstairs and bow-chicka-wow-wow, have a snack and still be in bed before 11 pm - for free?!  Sounds like a no-brainer to me.  But then again, I'm old.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012


"It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us family." 

--Whoever originally said that

It is so good to have my sisterfriend here.  We spent the morning in PJ's with the kids, bouncing around on the fold-out couch, watching cartoons, playing twister, making googly faces at the baby, etc.  We took a walk to the park and jumped off swings.  We came home and ate leftover pizza for lunch - hair of the dog for the pizza hangover I'm still nursing from last night.  Now we're camped on the couch feeding Estie a bottle and plotting the rest of our afternoon's activities.  A scenic drive?  Bike rides?  Staring at the baby while the kiddos watch a movie?  The world is our oyster.  I'm just so happy to have my favorite pearl with me.

OHHH!  Shellfish pun.  Sorry.  My judgement is clouded by happiness and pizza.   

PS - tonight is girls' night out!  Like, without kids!  It'll be my first one of those in like... (what's today's date?)... a year and a half.  We're gonna get all hookered up and stay out til, like, 10:30 pm probably!  Stay tuned for deets!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

score sexy bed head, says the amateur beauty blogger

Estie was clearly excited to meet her Aunt Leah today, because she woke me up at 5 am to share in her jubilance.  I mean, she didn't seem excited at the time, since she was writhing and whining and kicking and clawing at me, but once I got a breakfast bottle in her we had a nice chat about her eager anticipation.  And I am insanely excited myself.  I planned on knocking this post out in the morning so I wouldn't have to stress it later when Leah and Randy are here, but then I actually got some legitimate inspiration, which is always unexpected and fun.

Okay, so... I am no beauty blogger, and I don't claim to be.  But I tried something new with my hair last night and when I woke up this morning I realized it works really well, so I thought I'd share:  (Drum roll, please) I sprayed dry shampoo on my roots BEFORE I blow dried my hair.  What?!  Revolutionary, I know.  I figured it was worth a shot, since the weather here is so dry that my hair is almost always flat, and root lifting sprays don't seem to have any effect.  The dry shampoo made for kind of a strange texture while I was blow drying - sort of "matte" - but my hair did seem to have more oomph.  The real test, though, was sleeping on it.  Sure enough, when I woke up this morning my hair was bigger and bouncier than usual, and my bangs looked brand-new (anyone with bangs knows they can get weird and separate due to the natural oils on your face - even within hours of a blowout).  So I call this experiment a success and will definitely add "pre-blowout dry shampoo" it to my hair care repertoire.  Feel free to steal my moment of beauty brilliance and try it for yourself!  And by all means, let me know how it goes!

*I used a regular dry shampoo spray for this experiment, and not the red hair powder spray I mentioned in my previous hair-care post.  There are lots of great dry shampoos on the market, but I use the very reasonably priced  TRESemmé Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo. Works great!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

the next two weeks

Hello, dears.  Today is my last day of relative normalcy before a crazy two weeks coming up.  The insanity starts tomorrow with my bestest friend of, like, 25 years - my sister, really - Leah, coming to visit from Georgia.  She and her five year-old son, my love, Randy, will be staying with us for four days.  I am BEYOND excited.  With the exception of my wedding in 2010, I've never had any friends come out and visit us in Colorado. So yeah, I can't wait.  Ack!  I'm gonna eat her face.  Then on Sunday when they leave, Estie and I are flying back with them to visit my Mama in Florida for a week (more on this later).  My mom lives about half an hour from Leah and various other people I grew up with - they straddle the Georgia/Florida line on the east coast.  I'll get to see a bunch of very wonderful and important folks while I'm home, and introduce them to Estie, and show Estie the ocean, etc... but I am bummed not to have the hubs and Annie out there with me.  Again, I'll explain the weird travel plans later - it deserves its own post.  Basically, though, my point is: the next two weeks may provide both excellent material and also zero time for blogging - we'll just have to see!  Either way, you'll hear from me.  Every day - as promised.

Aaaaand fast forward like eight hours between these two paragraphs (because it has been), and Estie was a psychotic, colicky disaster all night and then the hubs brought an old friend home to visit (for an awesome, magically disappearing two hours)... and wow, it's 12:30 AM.  Also known as "time for effing bed."


Monday, March 12, 2012

spring - it ain't just easter eggs and jelly beans

Growing up in the southernmost east-coast chunk of Georgia (cue banjoes), I experienced only two seasons a year: mind-bendingly hot and humid with mosquitoes, and semi-cool and humid without mosquitoes.  That was about it.  No dramatic shifts in temperature, and definitely never any snow.  I always wondered why people made such a big deal over "springtime" every year.  Besides the whole Easter Bunny thing and a week off school, what was the big whoop?  But now that I’ve had the pleasure of living in a state with four distinct seasons, I totally get it.  I may have been late to the party, but I’m on board now!  And each year I am in awe all over again with the changing of the weather, the foliage, and the effect it has on people.  I am definitely not immune to it: after this last week of 60ish temps here in FoCo, I do believe I've caught spring fever.  My symptoms include:
1.  Cleaning my house from top to bottom (okay, we have company coming… but still)

2.  Seriously considering a visit to the nearest Mystic Tan (gross, right? Yeah well, my legs are see-through)

3.  Drooling over dreamy, sun-and-color-drenched fashion, when my real-life tastes usually veer more towards gloomy neutrals (my wardrobe steadily consists of gray, black, olive and more gray)

As far as fevers go, I guess it's not so bad.  But since there's a pretty slim chance of a spring shopping spree (the only antidote!) in my near future...

dream with me.

  A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here
--emily dickinson

Sunday, March 11, 2012

damn hipster babies

Thanks a lot, Jolie-Pitts.  It used to be that we mere mortals only had to feel lame for not being as fashionable as celebrities themselves.  But now, thanks to Brangelina and a slew of other reproducing glamorati (they’re like rabbits!), we also have to worry about our babies keeping up with the Joneses in the style department.  It seems like everywhere I turn I'm bombarded by images of dapper, well put-together little dudes and dudettes - mini fashion plates in Pampers.  They're at the playground in skinny jeans and suspenders, looking cool and aloof in the sandbox while the other kids wipe their noses on their Garanimals sleeves.  They're hipster babies, for Godssake, and they're setting impossible standards for other (okay, my) normal (okay, Pigpen from Peanuts) children.    They're so attractive, so impossibly stylish - like little micro reproductions of their über cool mommies and daddies.  And hey, don't misunderstand me - there is nothing wrong with rocking some parental style.  I like to think I'm a pretty stylish (if not über cool) mommy.  It’s just that I'm realistic about what my kids like to wear.  I know that my children are not mini-me's, and I don't pressure them to be.  This comes from experience: it took me a few years into Annie’s existence to realize she’s not actually my personal dress up doll, and that in fact she could not care less about her appearance (fashion-wise or otherwise) and I should just let her be herself.  It’s not worth the fight over her wearing ratty cutoff jean shorts and flip flops 24/7.  She has other priorities, and that's okay. 

I'll admit, it still frustrates me some days (“You look homeless!”) but I try to keep it in perspective.  She’s a kid.  I don't want to rob her of the carefree, ragamuffin days of her youth.  And when I see a mother out somewhere with a gaggle of well-dressed, put-together little kiddos tagging along behind her, I try to keep my envy in check.  I always wonder, Are those kids comfortable in gladiator sandals?  Did Mommy have to bribe/threaten them to get dressed? Were there tears? Spitting? Is there a shock collar under that gingham oxford? And who knows, maybe those kids are totally happy in their tight-fitting, fashionable little ensembles.  All I know is I have never met a child who enjoys dressing in layers (“These shirts are STICKING TOGETHER, AHHHHH!"), and I have never seen a toddler keep a hat on for more than five minutes, let alone a just-so-slouched knit beanie.  If given the choice, kids will pick comfort over fashion every time.  They need to move around, be mobile, get messy.  And that doesn't really work in a winter-white baby blazer. 

Another issue is that real kids have horrible taste. I see ads for entire lines of childrens' clothing (or just all of the Jolie-Pitt children) in chic, neutral tones, and I think, Yeah, right!  Kids like gaudy, glittery crap with decals and screen prints of famous people's faces on it. If you give Annie the choice, she'll pick a tacky pair of Disney Princess light-up shoes over a stylish suede sandal any day. It's just the way their brains work. They're like fish, attracted to shiny things.  Plus, look at the examples from tv that kids are emulating right now.  Have you seen Nickelodeon lately?  It's like their wardrobe stylist closes her eyes, throws darts at a style board and just goes with whatever she hits.  Sailor stripe turtle neck, acid wash denim vest, floral skirt and sparkle tights?  That'll do!  And Annie just eats it up, too - most days she leaves for school looking like a rodeo clown on acid.

In the end it’s the babies I feel bad for, because they can’t speak up for themselves.  Every time I see one of those poor baby girls with a HUGE headband flower thing on her head, I just wanna yank it off and rubber-band-shoot it at her mom and dad.  I mean, does that LOOK comfortable?  Do their moms even care, or do they just sit back bewildered, thinking, That’s strange, baby Vivienne doesn’t seem to like her cashmere snood today.  And little Henry just barfed on his J Crew bow tie!  Get real, parental units.  Your three month-old did not wake up this morning wondering which scarf to wear with his adorably ironic baby suspenders.  He just wants a bottle.  And if he's anything like my baby, he'll spit it up all over his clothes anyway.  Hey, maybe that scarf will come in handy after all!      

okay, now that i got all that off my chest...
how cute are these kids, seriously?!

damn hipster babies.
this is what fashion looks like at our house:

[mono] color blocking

print mixing... and mixing... and mixing...
(also known as rodeo clown chic)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

white flag

I'm throwing in the towel tonight, kids.  I've been writing off and on all day and I honestly can't even focus my eyes or comprehend what I'm reading at this point - I'm exhausted.  I won't break my post-a-day promise (hence this note), but I just can't publish something I don't feel finished with.  Soooo, I'm gonna get some sleep, re-read my work in the morning after a nice bloody mary cup of coffee, rearrange some commas and get back to you.  It won't disappoint, I promise.  Til then, dear friends, bonne nuit.

That's goodnight in French, you poor, uncultured savages. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

kiss me, i kind of look irish

I’m a little late with the announcement, but I have big news.  Estie is not the only soulless copperhead in our house anymore.  That's right - I have joined the ginger club.  On purpose!  Bold move, I know.  But I figured I should probably stand in solidarity with my freaky little baby since she’s too small to even know what’s coming, much less defend herself, when Kick a Ginger Day rolls around (it's real - Google it).  Besides, fake gingers have all the fun – I get the perks (brightens my skin, brings out my eyes, attracts Irish men) without the pitfalls (full-body freckles, sun-poisoning, orange pubes).  Plus I’m not a real ginger, so I still get to go to heaven.  The only downside is the maintenance – red hair fades really fast.  And once the oomph is gone it’s usually a pretty sad shade of blech.  That’s why I’m taking really good care of my new color with a few simple techniques, which I will share with you in case you ever decide to join the carrot crusade:
1.   I don’t wash my hair very often.  At all.  Like, twice a week - if that.  Before anybody gets all “ewww,” I will tell you, my hair is naturally very dry and doesn’t even begin to look dirty until like the fifth day.  (I’ll be honest with you though, I only washed my hair this often even before it was red.) 

2.   When I do wash my hair, I only use cold water, since heat causes color to fade faster.  You can do this by leaning over your kitchen sink or the side of your tub, but I prefer to be a weirdo and do it during my regular shower.  It’s not as uncomfortable as it sounds, though - I have one of those shower head extension hose thingies, and I lean forward with my head upside down so that the cold water doesn’t touch my naked nudity.  Then I pin my hair up to let the conditioner do its thing while I bathe/shave my legs (sometimes) under hot water before rinsing my hair again with cold.  It’s a little tedious, but it gets the job done.  *It’s also important to remember that hot tools also contribute to the breakdown of your color – but I usually ignore this and blow dry/curl/flat iron the shit out of mine anyway.

3.   I use the right products.  This is a no-brainer, I know, but I’ll just tell you which ones work for me:

·     Kerastase.  Kerastase, Kerastase, Kerastase.  It’s just the best hair care line out there in my opinion. It’s expensive - and I will tell you that we only have it in the house when we can afford it - but it’s so worth it, especially if you stretch it the way I do (I am still using freebies I got when I worked at a Kerastase salon two years ago).  Their products totally transformed my hair.  I use the  Bain Miroir shampoo and Chroma Reflect Milk conditioner, followed by their Chroma Thermique heat protectant leave-in treatment.  My hair is super soft and shiny, but not weighed-down.  Amahhzing.

·     To supplement my sporadic washings I use this awesome red Hair Powder (which is actually a spray) from Bumble and Bumble, which does several wonderful things at once: first, it’s like a dry shampoo, so it soaks up oil and keeps my hair from looking yucky or flat; second, it gives my hair grip, texture and volume, which helps me achieve the messy/piecey look I like; lastly, it’s red, so it masks any regrowth and buys me time between colorings.  It’s an all-around awesome buy and well worth the price.  It comes in all colors, too, so even regular-headed people can use it.  *A word of advice: it does tend to transfer if rubbed against fabric.  So watch your clothes, and use a dark pillow-case that you can wash if you need to.

4.   I protect my hair from the sun, since UV rays fade color.  The filters in color-safe products offer some protection, but you should still create a physical barrier between your hair and the sun if you plan to be outside for long periods of time. (Scarf, parasol, sombrero, etc.)  I make it really easy on myself by staying indoors at all times.  Hey, it’s winter. Plus, I have an actual real ginger baby - I'm pretty sure they combust in direct sunlight.  Or maybe their eyes just get really squinty, but still.  Why risk it?

c'mere, collin farrell!
fresh from the salon

i think it brings out my eyes, no?
(or maybe it's the scarf)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

the day before friday

Thanks for understanding about my date last night.  It went GREAT.  Today followed suit by being pretty awesome itself.  Here are five reasons why:
1.   Annie was already awake and watching Fresh Prince reruns when I shuffled into her room this morning, so I didn’t have to awkwardly hunch my upper body into the bottom bunk of her bed to wake her up for school.  This was especially nice because Estie, who was in my arms, was about as happy to be awake as I was (so not at all), and Annie is not terribly fond of being woken up by Zombie Mom and her sidekick, Screaming Sister.
2.   Today was Annie’s last day of school before her Spring break, and it’s during this break that my BFFAEAE (that’s Best Friend Forever And Ever And Ever, for those of you who don’t have an eight year old daughter, duh) comes to visit from Georgia. (More on Leah later.)  She doesn’t get here for five more days, but still.  The sequence has begun.
3.   Today was a Thursday, and Thursdays are my only overlapping day off with my Colorado BFF Lauren.  (This title merely refers to the state in which we met – not the only state in which we are friends.)  She brought lunch to my house and we had some much-needed girl time.  Lots of gossip and giggling and whatnot.  Good times.  It’s sort of a running joke that Estie always either cries or vomits when Lauren is holding her (this is always pure coincidence, but it was starting to hurt poor Lo's feelings I think!) but today Estie was a happy, giggling little ball of love and wonderment for hours on end.  And she rolled over three times, which was a new record for her, and Lauren got to see the whole thing.  Score! 
4.   Thursdays are also dance day.  My awesome sis-in-law Lindsay (I mention her by name because I’m realizing only know women with “L” names, and this is funny) teaches a dance class once a week, and I take Annie and her best friend Olivia.  We always stop for dinner en route, and the backseat is boisterous and loud and messy and generally full of girly nonsense and Justin Beiber references.  Our Thursday ritual is special because it’s the only time Annie and Olivia really get to see eachother (they used to be neighbors and schoolmates before we moved across town), and also because we have this great extended family of women at the dance studio who sit and cluck like hens and laugh and fawn over the baby.  More on these things later.  Thursday nights are just very girly and fun.   
5.   On the way home from dance, the hubs texts me to let me know his wonderful mama wants to take Annie with her in the morning when she goes to swim aerobics – a treat Annie gets to enjoy sometimes when she has days off school.  So, after taking Olivia home, I also got to drop off a very happy Annie at the in-laws', and now the hubs and I get to watch the grownup tv shows we’ve been stockpiling on the DVR all week.  Estie is sleepy and happy, the hubs is as fun as he is handsome, and life, today and every day, is so, so sweet. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

i got nothin'

Inspiration is a funny thing.  Sometimes it comes out of nowhere – but you can never force it.  I was reminded of that today.  I sort of stressed off and on all afternoon over what to write about this evening.  I have all these little seedlings of ideas that just need some love and attention to grow into big pretty blog flowers, but to be honest I just wasn’t feeling any of them today.  And the more I tried, the less it worked.  I realized I wasn't getting anywhere by stressing it, so I just let it go and figured inspiration would come at some point during the evening and then I could do my writing when the girls were in bed.  Fast forward through five hours of juggling two kids, one of whom is a real person - an almost nine year-old who needs intellectual interaction, parental instruction, and dinner - and another that is basically a drooling blob who needs everything and is prone to screaming jags during dinnertime.  It was a less-than-conducive environment creativity-wise, to say the least.  Then the hubs, who has been working til past eleven several nights a week lately, bless his heart, responds to my “I miss you” text by saying that we need some “us” time tonight when he gets home – as opposed to working on separate laptops until way past when we should go to bed, like we have been recently.  At first I think, OMG, that sounds so amazing! followed by, OMG, when am I going to work on my blog?  and finally, OMG, what am I thinking, quality time with my husband is like a million times more important. DUH!  And so, when I least expected it, there was the inspiration I'd been searching for: I was inspired to tell you guys that I’ve got nothin’ tonight, and that’s just gonna have to do.  There are other gardens that need tending to.  I know you understand.  Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to not be doing this anymore.  G'night!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

white girl problems

Let's talk about my skin for a minute, shall we?  I am what you might call white.  When I am having a "pretty" day (meaning my hair is in its ideal dirty-but-in-a-beachy-way phase, I've put on some concealer and maybe even shaved my legs) I like to think that my skin is a charmingly Irish, alabaster shade; a peaches-and-cream that compliments my sparkly green eyes. On any other day (meaning no makeup, no contacts, hair in a top knot and possibly haven't even shaved my armpits, let alone my legs - hey, I have a baby) I realize that my current complexion falls somewhere between Michael Jackson, and Robert Pattinson's character in Twilight (I don't know his name because I refuse to read those books or see the movies).  Since relocating to Colorado from the South three years ago, my ethnicity has really had a chance to flourish.  The period of time during the year when it's cold outside - and therefore I am pale - has lengthened from three-ish months to like nine and a half.  It snowed in May here last year, okay people?  May.  Which brings me to my current conundrum:  I am visiting home in two weeks. And while there is still snow on the ground here in Fort Collins, it's already shorts and flip flops weather in sunny Florida.  Now, I own shorts;  this is not the problem.  The problem is that there is no way in frozen-over freaking hell I am baring my day-glo legs in a public place, especially in a town where I grew up and am bound to run into a million people I know, who would no doubt walk away thinking Holy Tilda Swinton, she's really let her tan go, because this is how southerners think, in my imagination.  So no, I will not be wearing shorts during my visit.  No thank you.  I will be wearing black skinny jeans of some sort (to say that black skinnies are a staple in my wardrobe is like saying Snookie is kind of into bronzer - I wear them every day) and some variation of top/cardi/blazer, or maybe a t-shirt if I feel like throwing caution to the wind and baring my arms.  I will be hot (temperature-wise) and I'll just have to suffer through it.  At least you won't be able to actually see the sweat dripping down my butt crack (I believe it's called "swamp ass"), unlike the unholy frizz ball my hair morphs into as soon as I step off the plane at the Jacksonville airport, which I swear is humid on the inside.

In my perpetually tan, olive-skinned dreams, however, my trip home would be much cooler and show a lot more leg.  So I'm psyching myself up to be braver (or maybe just go get a spray tan) via some sassy, barenaked leg meat of the dark and light variety.  Hello, Spring!

Le sigh!

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...