Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Worm

I would describe myself as a bit of a book worm.  This is a pretty common description for many  adult women, but it seemed so unlikely that I would become one.  I hated reading when I was young.  Aside from the New Kids on the Block biography (yes, I totally just confessed to reading that book), I wasn't very interested in books.  That was one of the first books that I read from start to finish without anyone forcing me to.  I considered it to be important research, since I was planning on becoming the future Mrs. Jordan Knight.  As it turns out, I was dead wrong about my future, but I did gain something else from it, I discovered that I like to read when it was on my own terms. 

I moved on to the typical pre-teen reading list: Sweet Valley High, The Babysitters Club, Super Fudge and anything by Judy Blume.  Just like my experience with the N.K.O.T.B. bio, I enjoyed reading the books of my own choosing.  Unfortunately though, my high school teachers had VERY different taste in literature than myself. 

I found a few of the assigned books enjoyable, but the rest were not interesting enough to hold my attention.  That is to say that my boy crazy mind would much rather memorize pager numbers than retain Frankenstein.  I liked the Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451,  and Animal Dreams, but I HATED almost all the other assigned books.  Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, made me contemplate cutting out my own eyeballs with a steak knife.  For this reason, many of my high school English tests were done with the help of Clif Notes, brief plot summaries from my bestie Marchele and crappy movie adaptations of the assigned reading.  Lucky for me, I mastered the art of "bull shitting" at a young age and I graduated with decent grades. 

Side note: Sorry Mr. Lovet, but I only read chapter one of almost every book you required me to read.  Your good looks were the only thing holding my attention in your class.

So how I went from a book shunning slacker to a late night chapter hound, I'll never know.  I'm thankful for the change though.  There is nothing better than getting absorbed into a well written novel.  I love ending each day with a trip into a totally different world.   Some of what I read is so acutely familiar, and other stories so far from anything I've every experienced, yet they seem to real in my mind.  I love falling in love with characters and I hate reading the last paragraph of the last page that ends my knowledge of them. 

I've been reading some great books lately and my local library has been kind enough to actually carry some of the books I've been dying to read.  So the last few weeks I've been staying up way to late to hurry through books that I never want to end.  I have lost so much sleep, but I enjoy it.  I love being able to say that I really, truly enjoy staying up late reading.  Here are a few reason why.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

True Stories About The People You Love To Hate On!

Gossip is fun, but true stories of crazy bitches are even better!  I think I love Facebook, and the Salon chair for this very reason.  I love hearing true tales of stupidity and shameless behavior.  This sort of stuff is the reason that reality T.V. is so successful, and I buy into it just as much as anyone, but honestly, the stories about characters from your own city are even better!   I love it and I also love to hate it.

If my phone rings and the person on the other end of the line starts a conversation with anything near, "Do you have a minute?  Cause I have a crazy story about so and so!", I will stop what I'm doing and hide in my closet to hear it.  I hide because my kids take the sound of a ringing phone as a clue that they must either need a snack or they need to turn up their squealing volume to 11. 

I do realize that gossip is supposed to be sort of tacky and we should all rise above it, but if the content is true and the star of the story is causing all their own drama, then I'll listen for sure.  The stupidity of others can be a great learning opportunity for the wise and also it's free entertainment.  Take that Comcast!  Your overpriced "XFINITY" can't even compare to the dumb shit people in Ogden are doing!

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School

My first grader is awesome.... precocious, mouthy and hilarious, but mostly awesome.  Today is her first day of all day school and she was cool as a cucumber when I dropped her off at her classroom door.  Yes, that's right, I did walk her to her classroom.  You'd think at six years old that she would want me to do this, but she did not.  She asked me very sweetly if I would let her go by herself, and maybe she'd consider letting me walk her into school tomorrow.   I refused this request, not because I want to humiliate her, but because there is nothing quite like the first day.  Tomorrow,  all day school will be old news, but today it's all new.  I wanted the photo op.  I made her a darling first day of school dress and there was no way in hell I was going to miss the photo op.  My child was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the first grade parents felt the exact same way as myself.  The first grade hallway was practically a red carpet.  There were flash bulbs going off left and right.  The paparazzi parents were EVERYWHERE! So I got my shots and got the opportunity to make certain that she got into her new classroom on time.

The other reason I walked her into her school was to deliver the truck load of school supplies that her teacher requested.   Of course they wanted the basics: markers, pencils, glue sticks and tissues boxes, but this year there was another interesting request.  They wanted 2 reams of copy paper....per kid!  So this means that my worst nightmare has been confirmed.  My kid will be bringing home 100 papers a day for me to stress about.  What gets recycled?   What gets saved and why are we saving it?  What gets put in a pile that will cause me horrible hoarder anxiety?   Why has a forest been decimated to produce all this freaking unnecessary paper?  When will I ever learn how to spell the word 'Necessary' without the spell check safety net?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back From Vacation, Not Ready For School

We just got back from a wonderful vacation to Coronado, California.  The trip was great, but the timing was awful.  The last 3 weeks of August are crazy busy for everyone with kids, but extremely busy for someone in the hair-do biz.  In addition to all the hair appointments, my husbands work had their Lagoon Day Scheduled (local amusement park) and hoped to do a family camp out the week we got home.  I HATE camping, but s'mores are nice, so I could be up for it, but again, the timing is awful.  I have so many non necessary activities I'd like to do with my kids, but there is just no time.  They both start school  next week and  changes are coming.  Sasha will be in school all day for the first time and Lyla will start pre-school.  The kids seem really excited and I know it will be a positive change for everyone, but the end of summer is a bit of a bummer.  Don't get me wrong, I am so happy that my girls won't have the opportunity to bicker over ridiculous topics all day, every day, but I'm going to miss them too.  They don't seem independent enough to be out in the world without mom there to wipe their butts, and I mean this very literally.

So right now, on top of being very busy, I'm starting to get that last minute panic.  The questions that pop into my head every ten minutes go like this:
  1. Do both my girls have pants that fit that don't have any holes in the knees?
  2. Do they even need pants yet?  If I buy them pants, they will both grow 2 inches in the next week, so I probably shouldn't even bother.
  3. Do my kids have school appropriate shoes that will fit? 
  4. Will the shoes that they have coordinate with the clothes that they have?
  5. Why did I buy Sasha shoes with laces?  Lace tying is not one of her strengths.   Her teacher will probably call the department of Child and Family Services  if my six year old hasn't mastered the art of tying her own shoes yet.  I hope I saved my receipt!
  6. Do I even know how to pack an appropriate school lunch?  If all the 'school lunch' pictures on Pinterest are any indicator of what's expected, then the answer is NO!
  7.  Will Sasha's first grade teacher expect her to read a novel every single night?  I can't stand those awful books that get sent home in their back packs.
  8. Does she NEED a new back pack?
  9. What if my kid ingests a peanut or an egg  (things she's allergic to) while she's at school and out of my sight?   I trust no one!
  10. What if my kids do a poop at school?  What then?
These kids aren't attached to my apron strings, it feels much more like apron chains and shackles.  I'm not ready for any of this.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Less Clothes

I rarely get a sneak peek into the closets of regular women, but I get the feeling that most of our closets look the same.   We all have the small section of clothes that get worn and the rest are waiting for their big chance to see daylight again.  In Utah, that can be due to the major fluctuation of the weather, but for the most part only half of my summer clothes will get worn during summer. I don't even like half of my wardrobe.  I'll see a shirt that I must have loved once and stare at it wondering what the hell I was thinking the day I bought it.  "Did I really WANT to look like a chiffon pirate or was this on sale and I was in denial?"  Other purchases must have been fueled by store credit or a great coupon, because most of this stuff is awful.

I'll see tops or dresses that are SO not me and I'll recall buying them with the mindset that I'm going to start dressing older or more sophisticated.  I don't mean older like I'm going to start wearing polyester pants with elastic waistbands and jazzy sweater sets, I just mean age appropriate.  Unfortunately, my idea of age appropriate comes from T.V. and movies and doesn't seem to apply to my real life at all.  So I'll get some great classy ensemble that I feel totally stupid in.  If I worked in an office setting where I had to dress nice everyday, it would takes months for me to stop feeling like I was playing dress up in my mommy's clothes.  I know this about myself, but none the less I still find myself trying to buy grown up 33 year old clothes and refusing to wear them.

 I am a t-shirt and shorts kind of gal.  I suck at layering interesting tank tops.  I struggle to accessorize.  I bought five new pairs of earrings this last year and I'm getting much better at remembering to wear them.  It's been a process though.  I absolutely can not wear necklaces and bracelets.  My wedding ring is the  only ring I will wear, sometimes I don't even wear that.   The addition of a watch makes me feel very over done.   On the flip side, my mother is Liberace.  She loves jewelery and accessories of all kinds.  She feels naked without jewels on and I feel suffocated with them.  Go figure.  I like to take a quick peek at the jewelry case at Costco, but I really don't want any of it.  It's just not my style I guess.

I saw something on HGTV about dream closets.  Dina Manzo's closet (former cast mate of the Real Housewives of New Jersey)  was on full display.  Several bedrooms had been converted into her new closet.  It was huge!  She had a long hallway full of boots and heels.  I'm talking like 20 different pairs of tall black boots, hundreds of expensive heels and it was all lit and arranged beautifully.  She had rack after rack after rack of gorgeous, pricey clothes.  Drawers full of clothes!  It was endless.  She could have worn a new outfit every single day for 5 years and never had a repeat.  She was going on and on about how this was her dream closet and women just go nuts for it.   I was having a mini panic attack just watching it.  I felt overwhelmed just seeing it on the T.V. screen.  It was just way too much.  I would HATE to have all that because I would feel so wasteful.  Mind you, while she was showcasing her dream closet, she was probably wearing a track suit.  How the hell could you ever wear all that shit?  How would you even remember what you had?  How much money is hanging in that closet? 

That mega closet is the exact opposite of what I dream of.  I want a closet stocked only with the essentials.  I want a  few great pairs of shorts and 10 really great T-shirts.  I want two sundresses and denim skirt.  I want a few hooded jackets in bold, solid colors.  I want a few pairs of great, high quality shoes and two pairs of Old Navy flip flops.  I want 5 pairs of amazing butt jeans and a leopard print sweat shirt.  I want less.  I want simple.  Too many choices is not my cup of tea.  My basic wardrobe would serve me well and I wouldn't feel guilty for wearing the same outfit every couple of days.  I wonder how many people feel like this deep down?  We are all conditioned to want more, more, more.  But I bet lots of people would be really happy to wear their favorite outfit 3 days a week.  We don't want to be seen in the same outfit 3 times a week, but I'll bet we all want to wear something we love on repeat without shame.

I had to wear a uniform to high school.  At first I would stretch the boundaries of the uniform, trying desperately to make my outfits unique.  Most of the freshman girls did that.  By senior year I was wearing my navy blue pants and my white or light blue polo shirt 5 days a week.  I finally embraced the simplicity.  It took a little while, but I finally understood how much easier it was to simplify the process of getting dressed.  Skipping that morning closet decision time, gave me more time to sleep and apply loads of eye make-up!  It was a win win situation for me.  The point of this entire post is this.  Don't be the least bit surprised if you see me in the same outfit 3 times a week.  I feel no shame about it and it makes me happy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Man Closet

I currently have a small stack of clean, folded clothes in my laundry room that I have no idea what to do with.  They aren't clothes that the kids outgrew, they are Dave's clothes (and he didn't outgrow them either).  Aside from his socks and underwear, I can't put his clean clothes away.  This is because his side of our closet is organized in a way that only a man's brain can understand.  There are MANY piles, none of which make any sense to me.

Man Closet Piles:
  1. Pants that he wears-  This consists of the four pairs of pants that fit and get worn.
  2. Pants that don't fit right- These are jeans that are far too short.  (he's 6'5" and should NEVER buy jeans in a store!  He must order tall sizes online.)
  3. Pants to wear in case he paints -  Dave hasn't painted a room since we finished our our old house.  That was roughly 7 years ago, but he must keep torn up jeans on hand just in case this happens again.  He's so prepared for this that he keeps 3 or 4 pairs of ripped up jeans. 
  4. Pants and shorts that he will never ever wear again-  This is the dumbest pile of all, but I sort of get it.  I have a sub pile just like this, but I lovingly keep these items at the bottom of my good clothes stack.  It's a denial issue for sure.  I might really love flared leg jeans next year, you just never know (except that you do know and the answer is get rid of them).
  5. Relaxin' pants-  This pile has at least 6 pairs of "at home pants", most of which are either too tight or way too short.  Some should really be called "relaxin' capri's".
  6. Shirts in heavy rotation a.k.a. shirts that fit-  Roughly 10 shirt that fit.  They are good looking  T-shirts that have been consistently dried on the low heat cycle.  They ALL cover his belly button.
  7. Belly Shirts-  Dave isn't fat at all, just long.  He has a frightening number of shirts that expose the skin between his button and his underwear.  I HATE these shirts and I'm slowly removing them from his wardrobe (without his knowledge).
  8. In case we paint shirts!-  Again, he could get called into a painting situation at any time.  I swear he thinks he's been on call for an emergency paint job for the last 7 years.  Thankfully, the call has never come, but if it does.....he's freakin' ready to roll.
  9. Butt ugly relaxin' shirts-  This stack includes a Weber State shirt that has been washed 7000 times and is on it's last leg.  He tries to wear this shirt EVERYWHERE.  He enjoys the breeze that blows through all the tiny holes.   This also include his "Schrute Farm Beets" shirt, his Napoleon Dynamite shirt, his Dunder Mifflin shirt and a boat load of shirts that he's won over the years.  And don't worry, none of these shirts fit either!
  10. Work Clothes-  He has a full time job, so these are the only clothes he really needs.  These are the clothes that actually get used.  I sure hope he's able to stay with this company, because he'll continue wearing shirts with their company logo on it for the next 20 years, at which point they will turn into "in case we paint shirts".

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What Does Your Butt Look Like In Those Jeans?

So this morning, I was eating a bowl of oatmeal and perusing the eye candy I call, Pinterest, when I came across a photo of a normal woman's butt in two different pairs of jean.  I was intrigued enough to follow the link and read a blog post that was very informative.  This genius woman decided to do a covert fitting room photo shoot.  She and her husband went into the Gap and Old Navy and she tried on all their major syles of denim.  With every new cut, her husband took a picture of her butt in the jeans.  The photos tell a crazy story.  I don't think I'll ever buy a pair of jeans by myself again!

We all know the butt pockets on women's jeans make a huge difference on the overall appearance of your rear.  Teenie tiny high pockets can give the mom butt look and they can also just make your butt appear to be endlessly long.  Long butt is bad.  I normally call long butt, teacher butt.  I don't mean to offend any teachers, but in my head it will always be known as teacher butt.  When you spend that much time at a chalk board with your butt on full display to your class, you best be trying on a lot of jeans to make sure your pockets look appropriate to your butt size.  It's totally true, and I don't care what anyone thinks on that subject.

On the flip side, super long pockets or wide set pockets and can make your butt look ENORMOUS.  The super long pockets that end down on your thighs is the worst.  It give that melting butt illusion.  That's a sad sight indeed.  Let time and gravity melt your butt, don't do it to yourself with your jeans.

I think it's easy to spot these optical illusions in the photos on the blog I read today.  Especially when they are compared to pictures of the woman wearing really flattering jeans.  It really does look like she's lost 10 pounds in the flattering jeans.  It's obvious that any woman would prefer to look her best in her jeans, but finding the right fit and the right look is so hard.

A size 4 can look so different on two different body types.   Obviously all bodies aren't created equal and size charts are not even close to being universal.    I so desperately wish I could just see a photo of some really flattering jeans and then order myself the same brand, cut and style.  It's not that simple though.  While many ladies want their butts to look smaller, some of us need our butts to look a little rounder.  While I sort of know the basics of pockets 101, it all goes out the door when I hit the dressing rooms.  This is a fact because I'm certain I own at least 7 pairs of unflattering jeans.  I don't know how it happens.  Why did I buy these awful jeans?  I bet I was in a dressing room rush (hello two impatient kids) and I wanted to buy the least expensive jeans (hello cheap husband).  The truth is that one pair of very flattering jeans is a totally worth the money.  Even I can see that one pricey pair is far better than 7 unflattering, cheap pairs.

So now I feel committed to the idea of buying a really great pair of jeans, regardless of the price.  So where do I begin?  How will I know for sure that I've found my best jeans?  I don't know, but you can be certain I won't go shopping for them without an honest, straight shooting confidant.  Where will the journey begin?  I honestly have no clue.  HELP!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Where's My Black and White Striped Shirt?

I had a great post planned for today.  I started writing it and I got no where fast.  Why you ask?  Well my kids needed my attention for some VERY important matters!  I got the wonderful privilege of deciding who was right and who was wrong in my childrens 16th battle of the morning!  Who should get to use the pink bottle of bubbles on the deck?   This was some important stuff!  Almost as pressing as the matter that happened just ten minutes earlier.  What punishment should a three year old receive for knocking down a Mega-blocks tower that her big sister built?

It's going to be a longggggg day, I can already tell.  The soundtrack of my life sounds something like this, "She hit me!  She looked at me!  She touched my pillow pet!  Sasha's bugging the fish!  Lyla's crying for no reason!  Sasha didn't drink her milk all gone!  Lyla told me she thinks I'm rude!  I NEED TO GO POTTY!!! My tummy hurts, I'm hungry!  What are we doing today that's FUN?"

Where the hell is my full time, paid job today?  I could be showered and ready to go in 30 minutes.  Trade me somebody!  Please!  I don't want to be the referee today.  How many more minutes until the first day of school?  I'm ready for some quiet time.  I need to wrap up this post so I can go hide in my closet for ten minutes. 

P.S.  Spell check is down today, so this is FULL of errors and I don't care!

Friday, August 3, 2012

What's Wrong With Being a Stereo Typical Girl?

This morning, I read a great blog post about legos on a site that I love, Lil Blue Boo.  The post was all about the new "girl" Legos and if it should be sort of offensive that girl Legos are pink and include accessories like kitchen tools and sewing stuff.   Is it stereotyping women?   The blogger on Lil Blue Boo didn't think so and I don't either.  Here's why.  My daughters love the girls legos, which are really called "Lego Friends" and my daughters would be overjoyed if Lego friends  came out with a huge pink princess castle.  They don't want a gray, dungeon filled, Gothic castle.  They would turn their noses up to the Death Star.  They aren't the least bit drawn to all the Star Wars stuff.   Believe me, I know.  Dave has tried his hardest to make them long for those things.  He desperately wants an excuse to buy those things.

I have two daughters and without any coaxing, they ARE drawn to stereo typically "girl" things.  They love dresses, cooking, sewing,cleaning tools, babies, weddings, hair stuff, dancing, princesses and nearly anything that's pink.  They  openly discuss their dream weddings and their plans to have lots of babies.  As of yesterday, Sasha was still planning to have a minimum of 6 babies!  They are little girls and they are dreamers and they relish the role of being little mini-moms.  Does this worry me?  Not a bit.  Why should they be ashamed of being exactly who they are?  What's wrong with being feminine?  A world without stereo typical women would suck.

I love being a woman.  I adore all the girly things in life.  A huge part of my job description is being a "home maker".  I get the impression that the term "home maker" is negative now days.  Like it's pathetic or demeaning to be called that.  Honestly, it really bothers me that the role of stay at home mother is so deeply under valued in our 2012 society.  I love being a mom.  I feel very lucky to be in a situation where I can stay home and raise my kids.  They won't be kids forever and this is a relatively short phase of life.  I will have to go back out into the paid job force when my girls are older and more independent, but I am enjoying this time with them.  If I weren't doing it, I'd be paying someone else to do it, and the control freak in me loves that I get to be the one calling all the shots.  The world needs moms and child care givers.  It's a huge responsibility and it's a VERY important job.  I don't receive a hefty pay check to validate my importance as a mom, but I know what it's worth.

I will encourage my girls to go to college and get their degrees, but I wouldn't be the least bit disappointed if they went to beauty school and or ended up being stay at home moms.  It's a great life.  I know so many highly educated women who are forced to make great sacrifices.  Do they get that time with their kids or do they go to work and bring home the fat paychecks that their advanced degrees have earned them?  I see what a struggle that choice is for so many women.  And for many, it isn't a choice.  Their paychecks are heavily depended on and "home making" isn't an option at all.

Just last night, Dave and I were talking about a mutual friend of ours.  She has an amazing job and she travels all over the world.  She gets to see and do so many spectacular things.  I'll bet she gets paid a lot to do it too.  Her life looks so cool, and she probably has her dream job but Dave and I both recognized that there's a price you pay to have such an amazing job.  I don't know if she has any desire to get married or have any kids, but it would be very hard to do those things while also juggling her work schedule.  Women have the added pressure of the dreaded biological clock.  If you want to have kids, it sort of has to be done in a timely manner.   Dave looked over at me and said, "Her job would be so cool, but I wouldn't trade our girls for any opportunity in the world."  I totally agreed.  I love that I live in a country where a woman can achieve almost anything that she desires.  I love that we all have the potential to climb to the top of any corporate ladder, but I also love skipping all of it in favor of raising two adorable little girls.   It's a kick ass, under valued job and it suits me just fine.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Sister's Birthday

Last Friday was my sister's birthday.  I wanted to do something fun with her on her special day and she let me know, the week before, that she wanted to go to a movie.  Had her birthday been in June, the obvious movie of choice would have been Magic Mike.  Since every dirty minded woman saw that one opening weekend, we would have to choose another show.  My sister wanted to see Step Up Revolution.  I was all, "what????" and she was all, "It's gonna be awesome!"  So with that being said, I knew we should see Step Up for sure.  Plus, it was HER birthday and the birthday girl gets to pick the movie.

The morning of her birthday I was doing a hair appointment.  My phone rang near the end of the woman's hair cut and my sister was calling to confirm that we would go to the 3-D showing of our movie at 11:50.  I hung up the phone and my client (she's probably a year or two younger than me) asked me about my plans.  I told her my sister and I would be seeing Step Up Revolution for her birthday.  My client then said, "Oh that's cute!  How old is your little sister turning?"  I busted out laughing and informed her that my "little sister" is actually my older sister and she's turning 39.

We did see the movie that day and it was so good.  The plot was sort of silly, but the dancing was so good.  Seeing it in 3-D was totally the way to go.  I'm not a movie snob at all, and I much prefer a short, feel good movie, to a long, serious, dark movie.  I can only justify paying for a movie ticket if I'm going to feel really good afterward.  If I want to feel like shit, I'll watch the news for free in the comfort of my own home.   Step Up Revolution totally a feel good flick.

 We both loved the movie, and as cheesy as this sounds,  I'll never forget seeing that show for my sister's 39th birthday.  It will be my second favorite memory of her birthday.  The best one being her 15th birthday that we spent at Lagoon.  I'll never forget riding the Magic Carpet while Erasure's "A Little Respect" was blasting through the ride speakers.  I recall thinking that I was the coolest and and luckiest kid on the planet.  My sister was the coolest 80's girl ever and I felt so lucky to have her.  Her bangs were phenomenal and her perm was off the chain.  I was so pleased just to float along in her wake.  I can only hope that my youngest daughter will get the chance to collect these sort of great memories with my oldest daughter.  Thanks for being a great older sister Stacie and happy birthday!