Sunday, March 29, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I have had the "California" theme song from The O.C. stuck in my head all day. I spent the 2 last days packing and preparing for our trip to Los Angeles. We leave bright and early in the morning, at like 4:00 a.m., and I am too excited to even think about going to bed. Packing turned out to be a little bit of a struggle. I am sort of in-between sizes right now and I just need to have at least one good pair of jeans to take with me on this trip.
A few years ago, when I lived in L.A., I spent a good deal of money on this very hip pair of Lucky Jeans for my mom for Christmas. She was sort of worried about wearing them because they were "low-rise" and a bit longer than other jeans she owned. They looked great on her though, and I was satisfied that I had given her a "great gift!"
Fast-forward to October 2007 when I was 18 weeks prego with Natalie and running out of clothing that fit me. My mom lovingly handed me down the pair of Lucky Jeans I had given her because she no longer wore them.
"Mom, what happened to the hem on these jeans?"
"Oh, they were too long so I cut them off."
I looked at the frayed hem and decided to take them off her hands anyway. No use letting a pair of Lucky Jeans go to waste, but I was a little perturbed she had chopped them up. I think what happened was she got confused about whether it was still in style or not to have cut off jeans with a frayed hemline. And I quote, "I wasn't sure whether it was still the style to wear them that way, so I went ahead and cut them off. I remember you girls used to do that!" (in her defense my mom does generally have GREAT style so I think her brain was telling her that she had ruined these particular pair of pants and she should just get rid of them by passing them onto me!)
These particular pair of jeans are the only pair that fit me well right now. I have been rolling them into capris to hide the fray, or just wearing them promising myself to take them and have them altered. If any of you have noticed the fray and wondered about it, you now know the secret. No, I have not been trying to bring back any outdated fashion trends.
Yesterday, as I packed for this trip, I got the bright idea that I would just hem these jeans myself since I now have my sewing machine out and working. Well, let's just suffice it to say that I apparently don't know how to hem jeans. They certainly don't look like they do when you buy them from the store. I only did one leg because it looked bad enough that I didn't want to waste my time mutilating the second leg. Maybe I will just go the rest of the way and make them into cut-off jean shorts so I can really make sure everyone thinks I am stuck in the 80's. If I wait long enough maybe it will come back into fashion.
Anyway, I guess I am now officially out of jeans! Maybe I will find a special new pair on my trip.
For those of you wondering how my preparation extravaganza finished off:
a. I lost a total of 4 pounds instead of the 8 I was trying for, but hey, why not aim high, right?
b. My acne is gone and my face is starting to glow again.
c. I have a dress to wear to the wedding that I actually feel good in.
d. I bought new make-up and I feel pretty again.
e. My hair is recently highlighted and my teeth are clean and white again.
f. My workouts have dwindled in the last week because of all the preparation I have had to do, but I feel in tremendously better shape already, and can't wait to get back to my routine after vacation!
I also have the plan to dress my kids up so cute that noone really notices me, but just focuses all their attention on them!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
"You have the most beautiful teeth!" commented Donna, my lovely dental hygenist as she finished scraping the last bit of who knows what off my teeth this morning.
"Thank you! I keep thinking I want veneers because of the white spots." (a suggestion of my sister's when I was home last.)
"Oh, you hardly notice those, sweetie. You were blessed with great teeth!"
"What about the fracture lines you noticed last time? Do I need a bite splint?" I have been grinding, chewing, clenching my teeth at night for who knows how long.
"A bite splint could only help you. Let's ask the dentist."
He came in, "Perfect teeth! A bite splint? I thought you already had one?"
"I did. I lost it."
"What type of splint was it?"
"I don't know. I never wore it. And then my husband accidently threw it out when we moved"
"Well, I recommend that if you get another one, that you start by wearing it!" He grinned.
Perfect dental check-up, as usual. I left feeling guilty. No reprimanding me for not flossing ONCE since my last appointment. They didn't even notice. No notice of the fact that I didn't brush last night (or many other nights) after eating popcorn. How disgusting. I am sure there had to be a few kernals lodged in my gums. But, no. "Perfect" was the response I received.
I called my husband on the way home.
"I need a bite splint but it is going to cost $430.00 and insurance doesn't cover it!"
"How about you just go to walmart and buy a mouthgard that you boil on the stove and bite into? That should protect your teeth while you sleep."
Great suggestion. I was annoyed.
"How about you have your root canal done in a back alley somewhere?"
Yes, I said root canal. They keep threatening that he might need one. He takes PERFECT care of his teeth. Brushes, flosses, rinses constantly. He is convinced my teeth are going to rot out of my head. But "perfect" is all I ever hear. Good genes I guess. I am not complaining. But I do sort of want veneers to cover the white spots. Is that vain? And I do need a bite splint for my TMJ. I just need to not lose it this time around! And I promise to start flossing everyday like a good girl!
Monday, March 16, 2009
1. My washer and dryer. Though I hate laundry, I love it alot more with my current washer and dryer than I did when I had to truck through the apartment complex hauling load after load. I love the sound of clothes tumbling in the dryer. I just dread folding them!
2. Natalie's kindermusik class. That one hour a week for just her and me is so special. I can tell she loves it too. I get lots of hugs and kisses in that class.
3. My husband's job. Thank you Lord that he is able to provide for our family and that most days he is happy doing it.
4. Naptime. I cherish the 2 hours of silence in the afternoon.
5. My mom is coming for Natalie's birthday. Yay!
6. Airplanes. One that is taking us to California on Thursday. Isn't the gift of flight a miracle in itself?
7. Will's love for his silky bear. It makes my heart smile when he has to find his "Silky Bear" before bedtime.
8. The rain. Spring really is here!
9. Friends who have 3 year olds as lively as mine.
10. Chocolate cupcakes. I had the most delicious one today. Thanks Brandy!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
"What am I going to wear to the wedding?" has been the big question on my mind lately. I have a closet full of several size 6 dresses that no longer contain my ample bustline and overall post-baby cuvasiousness. Plus, none of my dresses are exactly red-carpet worthy, except for maybe one that was passed down to me by a friend and has already been worn to a zillion christmas parties full of the same crowd that will attend this wedding. I have been on the hunt for the perfect dress for the past month.
"Oh, honey, that dress is just GOOOOORGEOUS on you!" purred the shop owner.
"Ummmm...yes," I startled as I realized she was peaking through the crack of my slightly opened dressing room door. "But," I hesitated, "it doesn't exactly zip up!"
"Oh, that is a shame!" she scuffled away to go help a more worthy customer.
"C'mon, let's go" I said to my trusted friend who came along to give me an honest opinion.
My husband has never had trouble giving me an honest opinion about dresses. After I purchase them, I do a fashion show for him and he either gives me a thumbs up or a thumbs down. The last wedding I had to purchase a dress for, I struggled with what to wear. Thank God he was there to save the day. He firmly told me to RETURN the dress you see below, lest I show up at the wedding looking like a shamrock.
WHAT WAS I THINKING?
So you can see, though I have always thought I had great taste in clothing, and I love to be on the cutting edge of fashion, sometimes I am a bit delusional about how things look on me. I think they look better than they do!
So, after weeks of uncertainty about what will be appropriate for this upcoming wedding in Beverly Hills, CA, today I found the MOST PERFECT dress. I am in love. It is a beautiful blue strapless silk and is completely red-carpet worthy. Not that it needs to be, but I could totally see a celebrity wearing it. It is gorgeous. And it fits like a glove! Perfect.
I found this dress in 20 minutes while my husband waited in the car with my sleeping son. Natalie was in the dressing room throwing around hangars and entertaining the staff. But, even the pretentious women working there concurred that THIS was indeed the right dress. And, it zipped up!
Friday, March 13, 2009
I found this quiz at loren christie's blog http://lorenelizabethchristie.blogspot.com/. Since I've always been a big Jane Austen fan, I decided to take the quiz myself. Here are the results!
You are Marianne Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a bit too brutally honest. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels, and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply, and love passionately.
My husband will be happy to hear of my results!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I know I do. I am such a perfectionist and have such high hopes for how things will turn out. Sometimes that leaves me afraid to even try. Today I broke out of my comfort shell and decided to try to make a shirt similiar to the one I was about to shell out $25.00 for.
"What are you making mommy?" asked little Will.
"A cupcake shirt for Natalie's birthday" I absentmindedly answered as I attempted to sketch a cupcake on transfer paper I would use as a pattern for the cupcake applique. I was hoping it would turn out like I envisioned!
"Is that a cupcake mommy?"
"Yes, its a cupcake, Will"
"For Natalie's birthday mommy?"
"Yes, for Natalie's birthday..."
"For her shirt?"
"Yes, for her shirt"
"Look mommy, I'm cutting the ribbon!" I looked over to see him pinching the ribbon with his play pliers.
"What are you making mommy?" The questioning started over again. The entire line of questioning repeated itself again and again and again as I struggled to figure out how on earth to make an applique and make it look as good as the professionals. I think I kept answering Will with the same answers too. I was sort of distracted by my intense work. He just sat next to me and watched every step.
Finally he said, "that's AWESOME mommy!"
It's funny that a 2 year olds opinion could matter so much, but he made me feel really good about myself!
I even pulled out my sewing machine that I seriously have not used since I was 16 and took home-ec in highschool! I think the last thing I made on that machine was hair scrunchies and matching shorts for my cheerleading squad to wear to cheerleading camp. I was so cool. The scrunchies looked great with my big bangs.
So, today, I was shaking all over when I tried to run the machine for the first time. I think I thought it would bite me or something. I was having flashbacks to my home-ec teacher correcting my inadequate work and was feeling extremely insecure. I muscled through the anxiety though and did a few practice stitches. Yay! Success. I used the zigzag stitch for the first time in my life and thought it was so much fun! I am pretty happy with how it turned out too. Actually, I am amazed that it looks as good as it does considering I had no idea what I was doing! I just kept improvising and following a tutorial I found at this site.
I used calico fabric for the cupcake liner, terry cloth fabric for the icing, ribbons for the candle and flame. I zigzag stitched around the liner and the flame and then straight stitched around the icing and the candle. I am thinking the icing will look good even a little frayed on the edges to give the appearance of frosting! I can't wait for Natalie's birthday! She is going to wear the shirt with this darling tutu that was a gift from my friend Jean when she was born. I just love it! My friend Brandy helped me make a bow to match and I can't wait to see it all together!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Today, while frantically cleaning my house to prepare for our church small group coming in the evening, my children were busy finding ways to amuse themselves that did not involve their toys. I had cleaned up all one million of their toys and threatened them every time they tried to touch them. They didn't care one bit. They were quite happy finding other ways to create mischief of every kind. Every few minutes a door would slam as they would make their way into one of the bedrooms and attempt to shut me out.
"Mommy, you get outa here. You gotta go." says Will.
Natalie grins,"Eeeeee!" Translation, "yeah, what he says mommy."
Since Natalie is not even quite a year old, I am not completely comfortable with leaving the two of them alone. In fact, I think its a REALLY BAD IDEA! I try NEVER to leave them alone because Will is not to be trusted around her. I mean, his favorite thing to do these days is push her down while she attempts to walk across the room.
"Oops, she bumped her head on the wall mommy!" Hmmm..I wonder why? Could it be because you found it necessary to push her head toward the wall just to see what would happen? What am I going to do with him?
Anyway, I do find it pretty cute that they both keep trying to find ways to be by themselves. In spite of herself, Natalie adores Will and follows him around. If Will isn't shutting the door, Natalie is, and typically they innocently play with books in Will's bedroom. I usually listen outside the door, wait a minute or two to give them a sense of independence, and then I peak in on them.
The door to Natalie's room slammed shut which meant the party had been moved and mommy was not invited. I waited a minute to check on them before I heard Will say, "Where Natalie go?"
I opened her door and peaked in to where they were playing. There was no Natalie in sight and no sound of her either. I called her name, "Natalie? Where are you?" Silence. Will was just standing there guiltily grinning ear to ear.
"Natalie hiding mommy!"
I looked frantically around the room because I did not trust that he hadn't pushed her under the crib or injured her or something, rendering her unable to make a noise. I glanced at the closet, worried that she had crawled in and something had fallen on her or something. She was just too quiet and I was seriously worried! Oh No! I am going to seriously regret ever letting them in this room alone together. It had only been a few seconds, but I had a sick pit in my stomach.
Right in the middle of her room I noticed Natalie's big green canvas Pottery Barn hamper was turned over. Now, I am not a detective or anything, but it was not extremely obvious to me what was going on. I should have figured it out more quickly, but Will loves to play with that hamper and frequently turns it over. I lifted up the hamper to find Natalie sitting there underneath it as quiet as a mouse with her legs crossed! It didn't seem to bother her a bit that she was sitting trapped in the dark like a wild animal by her 2 year old brother. In fact, I am pretty sure she was enjoying the game of "let's trick mommy!" Will was incredibly proud of himself! I did feel pretty stupid when I realized I had been outwitted by a 2 year old.
"You found Natalie mommy!" Apparently they have already learned how to play hide-and-seek and Natalie is the queen of being quiet while hiding. Goodness gracious. I am in trouble!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
She shot straight up in bed as her husband burst in the room exclaiming, "The freakin chickens are here!"
The What??? Now, if my husband were to say that to me I would be stumped. Did we order frozen chicken breasts from some company similiar to Omaha steaks or something? Did he make a surprise trip to Sams Club and bring home a box of chicken nuggets for the kids and can't find room in our overstuffed freezer? Is chicken code for friends who are afraid to enter our house for some unknown reason?
No. For my dear friend, her husband was being very literal. Ten baby chickens were delivered to their doorstep and though they were expecting them to arrive within the next few weeks they were just not exactly prepared for them to show up yesterday. The chicken coop is not complete. That's okay. The little chicks need to stay inside getting to know the family for the next month anyway. They will become like pets.
My friend does not live on a farm, or even in the country for that matter. Neither do several of my other friends who own chickens and collect their own eggs. We are talking about residential neighborhoods and downtown living. One friend even had a scenario where a few chickens escaped her yard and were running down the sidewalk of a main street in our downtown. Don't worry! She chased them down!
I would not know where to even begin with raising chickens. Have you ever heard of debarking a dog? I think I would have to have the chickens "debocked".
So, in L.A. the hippest people carry little purse dogs everywhere they go. Here, my friends proudly sport chickens. They don't carry them in purses, although that might be a fun trend to get started!
I know! I will borrow one of my friend's little chicks and take it with me on my trip to L.A. I 'll have a little chicken sweater monogrammed for it to wear, and I will carry it around in my purse with its little head poking out proudly informing people it's the "latest trend". Soon you will see on the cover of US Weekly "The Latest Hollywood Accessory! The monogrammed Chicken! See which celebrities are sporting this new look." If you happen to notice it laid an egg in your purse that is an added bonus! Mmmmm....breakfast!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
As part of my rigorous, 28-day California preparation, I booked a facial at Serenity Day Spa hoping for a transformation of my blotchy, breaking-out skin. Plus, I had a gift certificate I needed to use. My facial was scheduled for this afternoon, and after a hurried day of going to the gym, running errands and taking Will to an afternoon birthday party, I finally left the children with daddy, so I could enjoy this much needed time for myself.
Now, I know what you are thinking! Oh, that sounds so wonderful! I would be in heaven! Yeah, that is what I was thinking too when I booked the appointment. So, why was I dreading the appointment all day? Yes, I just said DREADING. When I said goodbye to my children I felt anxiety about leaving them for the hour and a half I would be gone. I must be going cuckoo! As I stood there in the spa facial room and prepared to lie down, I realized I did not feel like being there at all. Why on earth?
Then I was hit with a revelation about what was wrong with me. I am constantly being touched all day long by someone, whether it be one of my children or my husband. I am tugged on, pulled at, bitten, kissed, hugged, loved on, and I enjoy every minute. My love tank is full. In fact, I am pretty sure it is overflowing. When I was single I really was not touched by anyone unless I was dating. I remember loving things like facials, manicures, pedicures, and massages partly because it provided human touch. Today, I did not think I needed or wanted ANYONE ELSE TOUCHING ME!!! That sounds ridiculous for someone as touchy-feely as me, but it was truly how I was feeling.
Guess what? I was WRONG. That appointment ended up being the most soothing thing for my psyche that I could have ever imagined. It was so stinkin relaxing, and I ended up feeling like I had died and gone to heaven. I felt all this tension melting away, and I started thinking of all these really nice things I should do for my husband. I thought, "Instead of henpecking my husband tonight, I should give him a facial! I bet that would make his year!" Yes, the facial was rejuvinating me alright! Since when have I had enough energy to even think of giving my husband anything above and beyond the ordinary? Middway through the appointment I thought, "Why on earth would I dread anything this wonderful? What was I thinking? I should have been so excited about this all week! I need one of these every day!" Nevermind the fact that my skin did feel so much better too!
The moral of the story is sometimes we don't really know what we need. I had no idea how tightly wound I have been lately until I started to feel myself unwind in that quiet, dim room. Sometimes as a mom it is hard for me to take time for myself because I am so attached to my children, but I guess I do NEED some mommy time. Oh, and my husband is happy now too, because YES, I JUST GAVE HIM A FACIAL.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Do you just feel it in your bones?
One of my friends said, "I knew when I held another baby and felt nothing. That maternal longing did not kick in."
Tom and I often talk about how convenient it would be to be done, but neither of us has that feeling like "this is it". We have always wanted at least 3 children!
I do have my moments of doubt though. Like the past 3 nights when Natalie does not want to sleep AT ALL unless she is in bed with us. And then Will decides to join the party at 4 a.m. because he wakes up out of a dead sleep instinctively knowing he is missing out on something. Jealousy takes over and he is pulling and wacking Natalie until I leave the room with her. In utter delirium I am stumbling around the house with her trying to decide if I rock her again for the 100th time only to lie her down and have her startle into a screaming fit. Or, do I take her to Will's room and sleep with her in there while he has comfortably taken over my luscious bed. Or, do I put Natalie in her bed and let her scream and then take Will back to his bed and let him scream while I drug myself and Tom?
Seriously people, there are moments when I really don't have enough arms, and I wonder how moms of twins do it. Adding one more to the picture sounds a bit insane to me. I realized today that I have not consistently slept through the night for over 3 years. I have had the occasional treat when a fluke happens and both of my children do not awaken. I have forgotten what REALLY being rested feels like!
My husband seriously struggles with insomnia, and I know I should feel tremendous compassion for him after he has a sleepless night. I guess in my own stupor I am usually pretty insensitive about it. "Oh, sorry honey. Natalie was up 3 times last night too!" Poor guy!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I, for one, would just love to get a hold of her hair. Her wardrobe may be perfect and cost $1000 per item, but how about a little decor for her head?
One way the south definately differs from the two other places I have lived (Michigan and California) is the love of the Hair Bow! As southern tradition would have it, a little girl's head needs to be properly decorated and for some babies it starts particularly young. I personally fell in love with the hair bow concept when our nurses in postpartum were obsessed with making little bows and gluing them to Natalie's head. One nurse seriously made me 12 different hair bows in different colors and sent me home with lubricating jelly to apply them to her head. Yes, we started extremely young.
The craze continued from there when we received this headband bow as a gift from one of our friends. I literally wanted her to wear it EVERY day! To me, she looked like a little present that had been dropped on our doorstep. Or maybe she looked like a wedding cake, so perfectly decorated. I had to have more! It worked particularly well with her monogrammed clothing and bibs!
There was no end to the possibilities with her wardrobe. Soon, I was ordering all different colors of bows and headbands from this Etsy dealer. Here I am a yankee, creating my own little Georgia Peach.
She was a trooper and never fussed about her bows. As my brother-in-law said at Christmas, "I don't think I have seen that baby without a bow on her head since the first time I met her!" I am not sure he was complimenting us, but more seemed a little puzzled about WHY we would do this to our baby.
My mother never said anything. She would just promptly REMOVE the headband bow when she was holding Natalie and then tell me that Natalie seemed a little "uncomfortable" with it. That was fine with me. Not to be swayed, I just put it right back on!
There was the occasional carride where I would look in the review mirror into her little carseat mirror only to realize she had pulled the headband over her eyes and the bow was protruding from her FACE instead of her head! I do admit, I did feel a little bad about that. I mean, what had she been doing back there? I could just picture her pulling the band really far out and then snapping the bow to her face. Sometimes, I proactively removed the bow for carrides.
We have now graduated to clipping her bangs with the bows we have removed from the headbands. She is fascinated with her bows. She pulls them out, chews on them, and then tries to put them back in her hair. She hasn't quite mastered the clip though. We will get there soon, I am sure!
I admit, have wondered if I would look as cute in a hair bow as my daughter does? I mean, with her, it seems to cover any multitude of wardrobe flaws. Would it do the same for me? Then I watched American Idol last night and one of the contestents who has had obvious wardrobe issues told Simon that she was the girl who had terrible issues with style and did things like wore hairbows and leggings. I guess that answers that!
It should definately be reserved for our little girls, but here's to this southern treasure I am so thankful to have been introduced to. The delightful hair bow!
Monday, March 2, 2009
Workouts have become so intoxicating lately that after I am done I am euphoric and convinced that if I look in the mirror partially naked, surely I will look like a supermodel on the front of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition! I guess the endorphins really do a good job at lifting my spirits and making me delusional. Maybe I should do a swimsuit photoshoot for a reality check.
I worked out this morning, took a shower, and felt on top of the world. I decided to wear a black sweater today that is still a little too small for me (for it is a Size Small!). I tried it on, recognized that it was hestitatingly covering my midriff, and decided to go for it anyway because I was so excited that I could actually squeeze into it. This is a sweater that I have not worn since before I became pregnant with Will, my first child. It felt like a major accomplishment even though it would definately look better on me when the love handles are actually gone, not just diminished. Oh well! I wore it proudly and just hoped that it wasn't TOO obvious that I was slightly poured into it. Plus, it was really, really cold here today and a turtleneck sweater just sounded appealing (minus the wind around my belly when the sweater crept up).
I forgot to mention that I did lose my 2 pounds last week and am on to week number 2 of my 28 day challenge! Next weigh in will be Thursday. Cross your fingers for me.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Okay, I've never been supersticious. Or so I have always proclaimed. I mean, as a Christian I have always had faith and don't get worked up about things TOO much. But you know those old sayings like, "bread always falls with the buttered side down"? Where did they come from? Personal experience tells me that whenever things can go wrong, they often do. Like when I told a story on Friday about my sister's embarressing step aerobics class experience only to be tripping all over myself the next morning at my step class. My step literally almost flew threw the air at one point because I could not get it together right.
I have been thinking, can we really impact what happens in our lives by having the wrong conversation or asking the wrong questions? Both times I was pregnant people ALWAYS worked one little innocent question into any discussion we had about the baby. The questioner would lean in and quietly ask the secret question...
"So what do you want, a boy or a girl?"
"Ummmm.....either one is fine! As long as they are healthy!" (Of course you have to throw the as long as they are healthy in. What parent would pick having an unhealthy baby over having the sex they secretly desired.)
"You don't have any preference?"
"I don't know....I mean there are advantages both ways," hesitating because if I even let myself go there then there are consequences.
a. if you say you want a boy and then you have a girl, for sure your girl will find out at some point in her little life that her parents REALLY WANTED A BOY and she will be in therapy the rest of her life!
b. If you say you really want a girl, you will have JINXED yourself and you will for sure have a boy.
So, anyone who has been pregnant knows in her heart that these are two very real implications of this question. But NOONE can resist asking. Including myself! I actually asked two different pregnant people this very question within the last two weeks. I thought to myself, "WHY are you doing this to them?" The question is irresistable. You think you are going to find out a really cool secret and then you can root for them to have sex a or b. Like we have a say in the matter. Like it hasn't ALREADY been determined! The pregnant woman is trapped by the question because there is really no right answer except the one including "as long as the baby is healthy". But somehow, in that situation, wrong or right, I find myself believing in jinxes without even knowing it.
So to any pregnant woman out there who has been asked that question and answered wrong, don't worry, we won't tell your child and we will still root for you to have your way!