What Stinks?

Oooh, ooooh! That would be me. Yup, take a nice long whiff people, because I’m super smelly. Why, you ask? Because I switched deodorant like a fool, like a damn fool!

I decided while at Whole Foods, that I would try an aluminum-free deodorant instead of my usual Secret mixed with Ban underarm concoction. I was in this weird soy-based, organic, hormone-free kind of mood, which is how I get when I go to Whole Foods. I’ll browse the isles with the mind-set that I’m one of those moms who eats balanced and healthy meals, who never gives her child processed foods, and who balks in the face of red meat, french fries, and refined sugar. Yeah, I was in one of those moods. I totally forgot that my everyday diet is filled with Funyuns and Skittles and I finish up with mozzarella sticks from Jack in the Box.

So anyway, I saw all these “all natural” and “aluminum free” deodorants, and I thought to myself, ‘what the heck’ and ‘why not?’ Again, I was in one of those moods.
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So I threw two in my cart, but what I failed to consider are the deep ramifications of me smelling bad: I go to hair school. I wash people’s hair and my arm pits are directly in their line of smell, next I cut their hair and my arm pits are right there again. And then there’s the blow dry, guess where my arm pits are? Yep, in their face.

I went to school last night, and after one whole hour I smelled like a teenage boy. I tried to keep my elbows tucked firmly into my sides as to insure the stink wouldn’t seep out, but I looked liked I was doing an awkward T-Rex impression.
Then I tried to joke about it, I’d say, “WHEW! Smells like someone’s getting a perm! Jeepers, that stinks!” And then my clients would laugh uncomfortably because they knew that my arm pits were the ones with the funky perm.

I guess that concludes my aluminum-free deodorant experience. Perhaps if I didn’t sweat like a 400 pound man I would be able to just rub a pretty crystal all over my arm pits and be done with it.product_information.gif

Please enjoy this photograph. It’s basically what my husband and I look like every morning when I help him apply his deodorant as he flexes his arm.

Sunflower Seeds are Little Drops of Sunshine

I get on these strange food kicks, where I only want one type of food all the time. It happened with baked potatoes, Greek salad, chicken sausage pita sandwiches, soup, Golden Spoon frozen yogurt, Ruffles potato chips dipped in cottage cheese, and so on. Today it’s sunflower seeds. I feel like I’m supposed to be on a tractor when I eat these, either that or watching a drag race. There’s all this cracking and spitting, and it’s not very lady like. But I keep coming back for more salty goodness. I eat them until my lips get wrinkly and my fingers get little salty blisters, that’s when I know I’m all done.

This morning I opened a fresh bag of sunflower seeds and started cracking. Oh the joy! Sunflower seeds in the morning! My husband looked at me like I was loosing my mind a little bit because I was so gleeful while I cracked and spit. I should have been eating a bowl of nutritious cereal and a halved grapefruit with mild sprinkling of flax seed–but no, I opted for sunflower seeds instead.
This seed obsession started way back when I was just a little girl. I watched my dad crack sunflower seeds while nestled comfortably in his famed barcalounger watching some 2-star movie on HBO. I would grab a mug from the kitchen and sit with him, and together we’d crack sunflower seeds while watching Weekend at Bernie’s 2.
I also remember taking a generous handful of sunflower seeds and retreating to my room as a little girl to make the most amazing drawings you’ll never see on my chalk board. I placed the seeds in a heap next to my chalk and began cracking as I drew elephants roller skating. I accidently took a piece of chalk in my hand and threw it into my mouth as if it were a seed. I munched it hard and was disheartened when I realized instead of a salty little seed, I got a mouthful of dust.

So this morning I poured myself a cup of coffee and had another cup to spit my empty seed carcasses into. I was extra careful not to mix the cups up, as I was known to do: the one on the right is for drinking, the one on the left is for throwing your regurgitated shells into–easy, no?. But sure enough, I went to take a sip from my coffee mug, and found little seed shells floating on the top–I just fished them out and took a nice long sip…yum.

Seven Years Ago

I don’t really like to think of sad things, or things that make me overly emotional. Come to think of it, I don’t actually like to think. I’d much rather sit and stare and convince others that I am deep in thought, when actually I’m humming the dueling banjos song. Ba na ner neer ner ner ner ner nern.

But I’m going to stretch and think of a sad thing: this month marks the 7th year that my step-dad, Paul has been dead. I must pause for a moment and explain that my step-dad was not just some schmuck that my mom married. He was so much more. My mom and dad divorced when I was barely three, and within months, my mother had moved in with the next door neighbor (my step-dad and his two daughters). Apparently this was scandalous at the time, but to me, a wee toddler, it brought me solace in the form of a warm and suddenly larger family. Paul instantly became a father figure and took a very active roll in raising my brother and me. He taught me how to drive a car, how to be independent, and he encouraged me to do something great with my life. He would take me to football games, car shows, and every Saturday morning we would walk the dogs in the hills behind our home.

We had a vacation house at a lake in Arizona. Our home was on top of a cliff that overlooked the water, and it was surrounded by dirt paths perfect for ATV riding. We had 5 ATVs, and it was fun to ride around and pick out crusty black boogers afterwards. A weekend in May, 7 years ago, Paul went up to the river and rode his ATV along the dirt paths. He lost control and fell off. He broke his neck and instantly died.

My breath got caught in my chest the moment heard that he had died. I lost a father and a role model. My world became numb. Grandparents and extended family had died in my life time, but this was the type of pain that was unbearable. I had lost a parent, and someone who can take credit for me being who I am today. I wish he was still here, but when I think of how my life changed after he died, I can see how his death forced me to grow up, and become a stronger person.

I think he would be happy with the way my life turned out. I think he’d be impressed with the amazing man I married, and I’m positive he would be so incredibly in love with Berlyn.

Cheers to you Paul, for impacting my life in such a positive and inspiring way.

Still Not Sleeping Through the Night

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It pretty much goes like this, EVERY NIGHT:

I stop drinking all liquids at 9:00.
I get home from school at around 10:30
I visit the toilet one last time
and then I go to bed anywhere from 11:30 to 12

…then I wake up at 3:00 to pee. EVERY NIGHT.
It started when I was pregnant. and I had Berlyn, in tiny fetus form, pressing on my inside parts, forcing me to use the bathroom all the time! This was not fun, but I understood it. I expected it. 3 to 4 times a night in my last trimester, I was waking up to pee, and sometimes to fart.

Then she was born and the waking me up continued, but this time it was to scream as loud as she could until mommy’s ears bled.

But then Berlyn slept through the night at an impressive age, yet I still woke up to pump my breast milk at 4 in the morning, because if I didn’t I drastically lost my supply.

Now I don’t have anymore milk to pump, I don’t have a infant demanding to be fed, and I sure as hell don’t have a fetus pushing on my inside parts. So what gives?? When is it my turn to sleep through the night?

Random Smattering

I’m in a hurry this morning. Berlyn and I are headed off to Disneyland and I don’t have much time to write a cohesive and perfectly written post that you have grown so accustomed to each day. So instead, please enjoy this random smattering of photos I took recently with my phone:

Berlyn was sick and only wanted me to hold her. I was growing tired and weary from her girth, so I strapped on my Moby Wrap and toted her around the house. I don’t think she minded much that parts of her “girth” were sticking out.

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A yard gnome who looks particularly jolly.

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a sheet pan filled with lemons I used to make a tasty lemon crumb cake.

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window painting that’s probably been there for 25 plus years. and If you look close enough, you can see my reflection.

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and lastly, my favorite brother-in-law Greg. Who was a bit skeptical when I took this picture, because he worried it might end up on my blog.

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Making presents: a Tutorial in Hot Glue-Gunning your Fingers Together

Recently I was invited to a baby shower. I was thrilled because babies are neat, and sitting in a circle with floral dressed women is neat, and making uncomfortable small talk is always neat.

I found myself at a ridiculously expensive baby boutique a week or so before the baby shower browsing the rounder for True Religion jeans for Berlyn. What? You don’t spend 200 dollars on your baby’s jeans? You must not want her to succeed in life. Wait–you know I’m kidding, right? Anyways, I saw this adorable diaper wipe case that was covered in fabric and ribbon, and selling for 25 bucks. I turned to Berlyn, and asked, “I can do this, can’t I?”

She looked up at me and declared, “Yeckidoo.” That means, yes mother, you can. So I decided to become crafty for a day. Note, it was only a day, and I stopped way before I started stenciling my bathroom walls and decoupaging hat boxes from TJ Max.

Let’s get started.

Step 1. Find a baby shower to attend. Make sure you actually like the mother, because the blisters your fingers will endure better be worth it.

Step 2. Secure a wipe case. A new one is preferable. The mother might not appreciate your recycling efforts. They sell them at Babies R Us for like a dollar something.

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Step 3. Cover it in batting. This makes it soft and squishy–maybe the mother would like to cuddle it after a long night of baby screaming, you never know, and it’s not our job to judge.

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Step 4. Plug in your hot glue gun, because it’s time to burn the shiz out of your fingers.

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Step 5. Cover the case in fabric. This is not as easy at it may seem. But you go ahead and give it a try, let me know how it goes for you.

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Step 6. Cover up all your nasty edges in a pretty ribbon, so no one has to see what a total slob you are.

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Step 7. Add some more decorative ribbon, because I always say, the fancier the better. We’re pulling out all the stops people, plus I have a crush on ric rac, and it’s pretty serious.

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Step 8. Because you can’t just give some one a wipe case for a baby shower, use the remaining fabric and ribbon, and sew it to some cloth diapers–Zing ZA DAN! Instant cute!!

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Step. what number are we on?? let’s say 11, wrap some ribbon around everything and try to forge a smile when you give the gift, even though you know that most of your finger skin is firmly attached to some parts of the case.

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Our European Model Names Would Be Sven and Helvetica

Every once in a while an event is worthy enough in our social calendar for me to abandon my squalid uniform of sweatpants with an elastic ankle and my face-washing headband, and my husband’s usual jeans and white t shirt, for a more ‘proper’ attire. The event de jour? A wedding.

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Because I was so excited to not be wearing socks I took plenty of photographs of how hot we looked…care to agree?

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We couldn’t resist taking a photo of ourselves on the mysterious X in the middle of the field. Note my glass of wine, an integral part of any wedding festivity.
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My favorite is the lady in the background’s whimsical flower clip.

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Doesn’t he look debonair? Especially with that slick hand-in-pocket move. Nice.

First Steps

It’s funny, I actually got used to the fact that Berlyn isn’t walking. Oddly enough, it’s weird for me to envision her walking. Like when I think her going off to her first day of pre-school, I consider making sparkly, bedazzled knee pads so she has something soft to crawl on. And for her wedding day, maybe some lacy gloves, so her hands don’t get dirty as she crawls down the isle.

But seriously people, it is bound to happen. Her first steps are imminent. And they just so happened LAST NIGHT!! Oh, and I wasn’t there. Yeah, I missed my FIRST child take her FIRST steps. This is why I don’t work, so I don’t miss things like this, and so I can slather myself with tanner any time of the day, while eating hummus straight out of the container.
My husband and my mom were watching her last night while I was at school, cutting lame peoples’ hair, and they decided that they were going to get Berlyn to practice her walking skills. Well, apparently she took three or four steps, and walked straight into dada’s arms! When I got home I had Pat recreate the whole thing, complete with Berlyn’s coos of delight and drool, he was good, but it wasn’t the same. I contemplated waking Berlyn out of a deep sleep just so I can see her walk. But instead I waited for morning. When she woke up, I peeled back the covers with a jolt and headed straight into her room. I plopped her down on the ground and tried to get her to walk to me, but she was more interested in her box of books next to her crib. I waited 15 minutes and tried again, but this time she was hungry. Then I tried again, but instead she wanted to play with her train. CRAP. Thus far I think my mom and husband are liars.
But mark my words: Today Berlyn will walk for me, and bonus points if I have the video camera and still camera set up on tripods to record this moment, even though it isn’t her first attempt…