Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Badger Blame and A Homemade Year Anniversary

I need a badger to blame things on.

Like when I forgot my deodorant this morning.

* NEVER fear. I have a special drawer at work completely decked out with toiletries. If I get stuck in my building during the zombie apocalypses, it will take at least a month before I start to smell bad.

I'm also going to blame the badger for forgetting to celebrate my favorite friend-author's one year anniversary. I'm so super duper proud of you, Jerusalem! I can't wait for the next book!

And now I'm going to pay my phone bill online. Because it's late.

I blame the badger.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Taking Care of Business, With a Crown

This almost-three-year-old of mine takes care of business in this house. 

1. She helps Matt get his shoes on. She finds, delivers, and oversees the tying of the laces. Every time.

2. She monitors Mabel's food intake, dishing out her food in the morning and evening, noting at times, "Dats too much fo you Mabels."

3. She notes when a towel is on the floor in the bathroom. "Dats duwty." Yes, yes it is.

4. She helps herself to my pink lip gloss every morning, pats my face and says, "I so pwetty. Oh. You too Mom."

5. She came home from daycare last week and said, "I push Chawlie down, becawse he take my toy. And I say, 'NO, you don't take my toy.' And I push him. But I get in timeout. Ms. Erica said, 'No pushing, Jane.' So I go to timeout. Pushing is bad." Okey-dokey.

5. She wears a crown now, which is entirely my fault as I naively spent $9 in Charming Charlie's one day thinking she would get a kick out of it. She not only got a kick out of it, she took her new job as a royal very seriously. Very, very seriously. So now she's that kid. The kid who puts the dog on a diet. The kid who expects to wear a crown to church. 

Watch out Princess of Wales. Jane will cut you.

She's my bossy, rough and tumble, completely endearing princess.

She's taking care of business, with a crown. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Have a Three Year Old Stylist. Very Funny, God.

I have always been a girly girl. Albeit, a girly girl with a potty mouth, but I'm working on this. For example, when I feel the urge to curse, I try to insert harmless words instead.

For instance, when a teenage driver from the local high school nearly plows into me head on because she hasn't yet mastered the art of lighting a cigarette and driving in her own lane, I yell something like, "Trash can face sucking Kim Kardashian loving moron!"

Cause there's really no cleaner synonym for moron. Also? If moron is the worst word Jane learns from me, I'll stand on a mountain and declare victory.

But, I digress.

So I was thrilled when Jane wanted to wear my jewelry. And paint her toenails. And have "Snow White hair" every morning before daycare.

Shhh, don't tell her it's just a pony tail.

I'm not big on pageants, or beauty centered hobbies, but I think all women/girls need to be able to feel good about the way they look when they leave their house. Whether it's lipstick, or a set of shades, or heck, your favorite mumu. Whatever floats your girly boat.

But after a while things took a concerning turn. She became dogmatic about not only her own appearance, but mine as well.

Every morning after she dons a skirt over her pants for daycare, and helps herself to the pink lip gloss in my makeup drawer, and examines herself in the mirror, she turns her intense little blue eyes in my direction.

She follows me into my closet.

"Wear dis dress," she says.

"No," I say.

"I don't like those shoes," she states.

"Leave me alone," I reply.

Does this stop her? No.

Finally, I looked at her and said, "Thank you, but no thank you. I will dress myself. Go play with your toys."

She pursed her little lips and said, "Ok. But wear the wed (red) necklace."

I. Am. Not. Kidding.

So you can understand my lack of surprise this morning, after fixing my hair in what I thought would be an office acceptable version of a 1940's style, when Jane sauntered into the bathroom, leaned against the sink and said, "Mom. Wha happened to you hair?"

I took a deep breath, braced myself, and said, "I curled it"

She huffed out her breath and said "It's big."

"It's the south!" I rebutted.

And that's when it hit me that I was debating the merits of big hair in the southern section of this country with a three year old. My three year old stylist. And not the sweet Rachel Zoe kind. My little darling is more of the Joan Crawford with a wire hanger kind.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to find a hat to wear over my "big" hair.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Let It Go: Go Away

There's nothing like the presence of daffodils and white flowering trees to signify spring is here.

Also, those white flower trees? They smell weird. And they make me sneeze. But that's alright, because I'll take it over heavy winter coats and icy roads any day. I don't know about the rest of you, but I was done with winter back in December.

We took Jane to the park this weekend. She was thrilled. She ran around with colored hair extensions and a yellow tutu and reenacted all the scenes from Frozen. She even held up her hand and said, "No, leave me alone" when we tried to play with her.

Apparently, when you're pretending the slide complex is your own personal castle, and you're Ana trying to save Elsa, and you're yelling "conceal don't feel" over and over, the presence of your parents is quite the playtime buzz kill.

Sidenote: If I have to hear Let It Go one more time my ears will never stop bleeding. Please Idina Menzel... go away. Just for a little while so my ear drums can heal.

What else. 

Jane turns three soon. 

I'm working on a new book, which means I spend a lot of time staring at the ceiling. And asking Matt questions like, "What's another word for filet? Not like the noun, but the verb?" To which he raises an eyebrow and very quietly leaves the room. 

Matt just finished another poster for LACMA. He works really hard on these, and I'm always proud. 

We've fended off the stomach flu twice in two months. 

 I discovered that my hips are the perfect size to get stuck on the kid slide at Jane's park. I also discovered that I could care less and ate a huge steak that very night. 

We paid a visit to our college alma mater, where Matt was speaking, and I wandered around the campus remembering what it was like to be 19. For me it meant feeling confused most of the time and bad judgement resulting in bleach and blonde hair. Thankfully that ended quickly. It's like the t-shirt says. Brunettes: someone has to be smart. 

So that's our spring update. No European vacations or fancy-ness. Just regular life and bleeding ears while the dulcet tunes of Let It Go permeate the air in our home yet again, for the fifty billionth time. 

Thanks a lot Disney.

Now I'm off to reattach the rainbow hair extensions on Jane's hair before she leaves for daycare. Because as she puts it, "I need my long hair, I really NEED it Mom."

Sunday, February 9, 2014

34. I Think I Like Her.

I'm an all or nothing kind of girl.

This is both good and bad.

When I throw myself into something, I go all out. I eat, sleep, and breath it. I wrestle with it, I work on it, I don't stop until it's good enough, clean enough, done enough. I'm like this with writing, with myself, with relationships, with everything. I go as hard as I can, for as long as I can, until I can't go anymore.

For the past six (?) years, I've pushed petal to the metal with this blog. I wrote a book. Actually, I've written two. And all of it was intimate. Non-fiction. My life for all the world to see if they wanted to. I don't know why I do that. I think most writers would agree it's a compulsion. I suspect it's because we just have so much inside our heads that if we don't get it out, somehow, we won't function right. Or something like that.

I've been glad to do it. I've been blessed to do it. I've been flattered and touched that there are people out there that care enough to read the things I've written.

But after this last round of writing about postpartum depression, I retreated. I stopped blogging. Instead of all, I gave nothing. I didn't understand why, until now. I retreated to be private. I feel like I haven't given myself permission to be private in a very long time. I gave myself permission to just live my life without constantly assessing it, photographing it, analyzing it, writing about it.

Truthfully, it's been good. I've relished spending weekends without wondering where my next blog post would come from. Or writing about my most intimate thoughts and fears. Instead, I just lived. I went with the flow. I didn't try to make the food I was eating look pretty so I could take a picture of it. I didn't try to phrase my emotions into just the right sentence so others could understand it.

As my Angela would say, I went to ground. Like a fox.

That was her favorite animal (long before hipsters made them trendy).

So I'm sitting here. It's early morning. There's snow covering our neighborhood, Matt is snoring next to me. Jane is sleeping down the hall.

It's my birthday.

I'm 34.

I think maybe it's time to stop being an all or nothing girl. I think maybe now there's room for a happy middle. I think I can still blog and write without being consumed and stressed. I think there's room to write my thoughts, and still be private too. I think I can eat breakfast, and take a picture of it, and not worry so much if it makes a pretty picture.

If I've learned anything in the past 34 years, it's that life isn't always a pretty picture. It's not all or nothing. It's a little bit of everything all mixed into one bowl. The good, the heartbreaking, the exciting, the sad, the laughing, the depressing, the beauty, the feeling. It's all in there together.

So I'm still here. I'll still blog. I'll just do it with a happy middle, instead of all or nothing. Because as I sit here this morning, looking out the window at my neighbor's house, the roof covered in white, I think that's what this year will be about. 34 is whispering in my ear that change is good. She says that privacy and transparency are two sides of the same coin, and they're both good. She says that I don't have to be all or nothing anymore.


I think I like her.

Friday, February 7, 2014

And.... February

We've reached that part of winter where Mother Nature smiles down on the south and says, "Oh, you big babies. You think this is cold? I'll show you cold."

We're going on round three of winter weather, complete with icy trees and floating snowfall that makes everything look like a snow globe. Sometimes I get antsy this time of year, but I think our new house helps with that. The windows are big, and the light is good. All I need is a big vase of pink roses and I'll be in good shape until spring.

I got a new rug for the dining room. I love the white walls in there, but it was just a little bit cold looking. Hence, a giant red rug that hides stains like a champ.

We also moved Jane from her small bedroom to the big spare room. It's a little makeshift in there right now, but I backed her bookshelves with some wallpaper, hung a few things, and her grandmother gave her a special reading chair. I find her in it, long after she's supposed to be asleep, reading to herself.

I will apologize to our future guests, as Jane's old little room is now the guest room. It's pretty small, but there's a tv. So that evens everything out in terms of comfort, right? So yeah. That's the latest house update.

 I'm so looking forward to a long weekend of hibernating like a bear. It's my birthday weekend. 34 years on Sunday. I think a big vase of pink roses is a must.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bad Blogger

Ok. I'm still here. No one keeled over. Nothing exploded. No major drama transpired.We're all happy, healthy, and going about our lives. I just, sort of, ran out of juice. In fact, I'm still a little out of juice. But I'm here. Thank you for the emails. And for caring.

So I'm not sure what the future holds here. I've got a couple of ideas, but suffice to say, my blogging journey is in flux at the moment. Until I figure it out, here's what's been happening lately.

1. We took a trip to Portland for Christmas. It was beautiful and I fell more in love with the west coast than ever. But I realized several things. For one, everyone in the San Francisco airport was beautiful and skinny. What's up with that? And two, people in Portland, as a rule, don't wear a lot of makeup. If any. I am freaking Tammie Faye Baker up there. Which changes nothing, cause you know I'm gonna wear my eyeliner until the end of days.

2. I shopped for new clothes. Small thing I know, but not for me. I've lost some weight and going shopping was actually fun again. A few dresses, a pair of boots, new underwear. But I learned something critical. Boy shorts are just code for permanent wedgie.

3. Jane has entered a whole new stage of life, I'm calling it "Princess Pissy Pants Syndrome." Don't get me wrong. I love my daughter to the ends of the earth and back, but the child completely intimidates me. Sometimes she looks me dead in the eye, never blinking, and says, "I don't like that Mommy." It might have been the way I coughed. Or cut up the meat on her plate. She's a steely little thing, and a part of me rejoices in the fact that my little Princess will never roll over and let the world kick her in the shins. But in the mean time, she and I lock horns. Often.

4. I've been spending a lot more time with friends. My social butterfly phase sputtered  with a death rattle for a while, what with working and having a baby and the subsequent nervous breakdown that followed. But I'm enjoying going out for drinks and dinner with women who are, in a word, fantastic. Somehow I've been blessed with friends who tolerate my silly, loud mouthiness. And I appreciate them, each and every one. Also? When you go out with friends and order a drink called El Diablo, beware.

So that's me and my crew.

I'll be back.

* Insert terminator accent here cause Lord knows I can't actually do it in real life, even though I keep trying and Matt shakes his head and says, "No, Liz. No."