On Becoming an Accidental Introvert

I’ve always identified with an extrovert’s personality.

Controlled chos? I love it.

Throwing a party? As long as there’s cake, I’ll be there.

Lonely days where I don’t talk to anyone all day? I go nuts. NUTS I TELL YOU.

That’s why my kids are my BFFs. Unhealthy, I know.

There have also been several occasions where someone is describing a cool place or their future plans of vacation, I tend to say, “Ohh, take me, I want to go too!” Which always makes for some uncomfortable eye contact. It’s not that I really want to invite myself on your honeymoon, it’s just that I’ve never been to St. Croix or wherever you’re going, and it sounds so good, and I like you, and in my mind it would be fun to have a group vay-kay, no?

Growing up, my house was the one where all our friends and family ended up. It was like, par-tay over heerre! We had a pool and giant 5-pound bags of chips, so all the time, and especially in the summer there was a constant flow of visitors.

I grew up eating heaps of onion dip out of a crystal serving dish and waiting in line to use my own bathroom.

But then I married an introvert.

And with that, the onion dip left the building.

I didn’t think it would effect me too much.

I kind of liked the idea of some peace and quiet. I was looking forward to a more exclusive life. A respite.

But now, eight years later, the respite has evolved into less of a break, and more of our daily life.

And it dawned on me that I have become an introvert. Unbenownst to me.

We don’t let many people through our threshold.

We do our own activities on the weekend, and never extend the invitation to any one else.

We don’t belong to a life group and even going to church has become a major chore.

 

But to be honest, I don’t like it.

It drives me crazy. I love people. I love to talk and make plans and have company and laughter.

Of course we have friends, and have people over, but being married to an introvert, plus being an accidental introvert myself, we have become more selective about who we are friends with.

People have to pass a veritable friend gauntlet, if you will.

It’s a rigorous six week period where we judge you based on your clothes, your taste in music, your food choices, your political views, your children’s’ behavior, your leisure time activities, and the interior of your vehicle.

But once you pass, you’re in. FOREVER.
Because once Pat and I deem you our friend, we hold on tight, and never ever let you go.

It’s like getting a hug from a grizzly bear. And who doesn’t want to be mauled, I mean hugged by a furry, albeit vicious animal?

Come to my house, I’ll make Paella! I’ve never made it before, but it sounds like it’s something that can feed a crowd.

I might even serve onion dip out of a crystal bowl.

And let’s start this 6 week friend period!

What I Wore Wednesday

This is what I looked like for the first part of my day:photo 2

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Shirt and scarf: Ever

Jeans: Citizens of Humanity

Shoes: Christian Louboutin

I was all set to go to Bible study with Hudson and Silas in tow, but I woke up feeling kinda blah, and as I was driving I realized that my scalp and eyeballs hurt, and when your scalp and eyeballs hurt, that means serious business. So with that, I deemed myself sick. And instead of Bible study, I took the boys to the park, where I sat on a bench and zoned out.

Then I got home and put this fancy outfit on:

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ZING!

Much better.

Cold War Kids concert t-shirt and cozy Ever sweatpants.

Keeping it real.

Magic 8

Eight is my favorite number. Mostly for selfish reasons. I was born on the eighth day of October, the month that means eight.  I remember the year I turned eight, I looked out the bus window on my way to school, and pondered my existence. I’m eight, on October 8, 1988. It was a big year. I learned cursive that year, it was the only year that I played on an organized sport’s team, I was coming into my own as a self proclaimed puffy paint artist, and it was also the year that I would find any excuse to wear my gaudy 3-tiered pink dress. To me eight was magic.

Today marks our eighth year of being married.

When we first met I thought you were interesting with your pointy hair and your desire to be unique.

You just got back from spending a summer in New York City, studying design at Parsons. You were cultured, and you had insight. “I don’t like Death Cab for Cutie,” you told me. “Because they sold out. And I’ll only listen to Jimmy Eat World, pre Bleed American.

I nodded in agreement. To me it made sense.

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You took me to interesting places. Our dating life was art shows, and picnics in the grass with cheese and hunks of bread. We watched foreign films together and we’d let the eerie tone wash over our bodies before we made out on the couch.

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We dreamed of living in a French flat on the Left Bank, riding bikes and shopping at sidewalk produce stands. In our minds, we’d park our bikes, and talk in broken French to each other as our fingers glided over the waxy fruit.

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We were babes, chasing after something that was small. Living somewhere foreign would never had made sense. Instead, we honeymooned in Paris, trying to act natural and ordering off the menu with our best Gerard Depardieu accents.

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Confit de Canard, s’il vous plaît.

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We never lived on the Left Bank, or in a metropolitan city bustling with people that run into the sidewalks and city streets like a cut that starts to bleed.

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Instead we had babies. Children have come into our lives and have caused our  relationship to bend into a new path. Our kids have become our adventure. Six piercing blue eyes guide us through our marriage, challenging us, growing us, and watching us.

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Our marriage is not a wobbling toddler anymore. We don’t drink watered down grape juice out of leaky sippy cups. We are established, we are solid. We are a tree with roots and thick branches. Our branches aren’t quite sturdy enough to hang a rope swing from, but maybe strong enough to climb up at night and count stars from a bough or hang upside down from.

And that’s fine.
Because it’s gives us something to look forward to.

So happy eight years, Patrick. This year let’s celebrate by counting the stars and hanging upside down.

 

*for more anniversary posts: 7, 6, 5, for some reason I didn’t write one for 4, oops! And 3.

What I Wore Wednesday

This is what I’m wearing today.

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Shirt: Ever

Leggings: Nordstrom, Brass Plum

Shoes: Minnetonka

FYI: I’m pretty much always wearing some article of Ever clothing on a daily basis. Because my husband had them as a client for 4 years, and they partially paid him in clothing. It was amazing for me because I got jeans, sweaters, leather jackets, shirts, pants, etc. Ever clothing makes up about half of my closet. But sadly the company went under, so they don’t exist anymore. Boo!

This is what Zoey and Hudson are wearing today:

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Hudson is in jammies today, becaues he’s sick, and likes to cough on every single surface.

Baby? Coughed on.

Dog? Coughed on.

TV remote? Coughed on.

My sandwich? Coughed on.

Thanks Hud!

 

And Silas is looking suave in stripes.

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Okay he looks ridiculous in those pants, but seriously they are the only ones that fit him when he wears a cloth diaper. The diaper makes his croch look mega.

And now I ask you, in a non-creepy way, what are you wearing?

Not a Soccer Mom

I feel like I’m letting my children down.

Well, let me be more clear, because, yeah, I probably let them down for a number of reasons on a given day.

No, you can’t have yogurt, because, it’s basically ice cream.

None of your friends are outside, go play with your brother.

No you can’t be pants-less all day.

These cookies are mommy-cookies. Not for kids.

But I’m specifically talking about sports.

I’ve raised a couple of non-athletic children. Try throwing a ball at them. It’s like they have their eyes closed, and they’re underwater. The ball just hits them in the face. It’s basically like throwing a ball at my grandma. And my kids don’t even ride bikes. MY KIDS DON’T RIDE THEIR BIKES! Every kid is supposed to ride their bikes, but my kids are all, meh, about it. See? Letting them down.

I feel like I have to say something about this. My kids aren’t really intersted in riding their bikes, but we do go on three-mile hikes just about every weekend. So in my brain, that makes it alright.

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Plus, you can’t really do this while riding your bike:

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So then there’s the sports thing. I keep missing the sign ups for soccer. Every year, without fail for the past 3 years, I have missed the sign ups. But I think it’s partially Freudian. Because deep down I don’t want to be a soccer mom. I don’t want to cart around a cooler filled with Capri Suns and oranges slices. I don’t want to drag my lawn chair with me and watch a bunch of wildly uncoordinated 6 year-olds chase a ball down a field. And I don’t want to make friends with the other soccer moms. I don’t want to engage in small talk about how Sophie’s mom makes her daughter’s bows to match her jersey. Or talk to Maddison’s mom about about Maddy’s peanut allergy. Blurg.

But I think I have to suck it up, because Hudson is very interested in joining a soccer team.

High Fiver, because he’s too young this year.

Which means I have one more year to enjoy before I have to lug around a cooler and my tri-fold lawn chair.  The plastic tubes one. Neon pink. So my kids can spot me.

Capri Sun anyone?

I’m a Celebrity Hair Stylist

Did I ever tell you about the one time when I styled John Paul DeJoria’s hair for a photo shoot?

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First off John Paul, or JP, as I can refer to him as, because we’re buds, is the super rich guy who founded Paul Mitchell, and he also owns Patron Tequila, and a bunch of other stuff.

Here’s the story: when I was a cosmetology student at the Paul Mitchell school, I was asked by the school director if I want to style hair for a super secret photo shoot.

Um, duh. Was my exact response.

He gave me an address. It was JP’s house. In Malibu. And this is the part in the story where I crapped my pants.

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I rang the door bell, and he answered, I shook his hand and he lead me to the dining room. He finished up his meeting on global issues with Middle Eastern dignitaries, and brought his daughter who was about the same age as me downstairs. The photo shoot was for him and his daughter, so I flat ironed his daughter’s hair, and then JP sat down and said, “What about me?”

Um, duh.

I grabbed a comb and re-ponyed that guy’s hair.

The photo shoot took place in his backyard because this is what his backyard looks like:

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And here is what the finished product looked like:

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The article ran in Item magazine with Kevin Federline on the cover.

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Kevin Federline!!

I guess we were both enjoying our 15 minutes of fame.

What I Wore Wednesday

You might be asking yourself, why is Beckey posting what she wears every Wednesday? I don’t want to know what she wears. Because I don’t value material things, Beckey can wear a Kiss the Cook apron for all I care.

But the reason I do it is two-fold: One is because it’s fun! And two is because I have trouble getting dressed in reasonable clothing everyday. I still have approximately 7 pounds of extra back fat and hip girth that makes zipping my pants a challenge, and I nurse Silas, so I have to be able to fling out my mamary glands at a moment’s notice.

So I feel like I have all these constraints on my wardrobe, and to be honest, it’s just easier to slap on an old concert t-shirt that I’ve cut the neck out of, and some strechy pants, but that’s no fun. Where’s the challenge in that?

So here’s what I wore today:

Cozy black shirt: Ever

Coral mom jeans that go all the way to my waist: Madewell. Thank you Madewell for holding all my biscuit-y parts in.

Super shiny ballet flats: Lanvin

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First I had on the yellow flats, then I thought maybe I’d throw on my green satin boating shoes. Because, hey I’m might go sailing today. Just kidding, I hate sailing. It makes me barf.

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Then I thought I’d wear my oxford shoes.

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But then I realized that both those shoes are stupid because they hurt. And they’re not cute enough to wear when they hurt.

So I put my lemon yellow flats back on because they’re cozy. They’re basically the best flats in all of flats land. And I also threw on this sweater that my mom hates, because she thinks it looks like it’s falling apart. But it’s my favorite, and I try to ignore the fact that when I take my arms out of the sleeve, the sweater Chinese finger traps my arms, and I get stuck. I think it’s my sweater’s way of saying, “please don’t go, I love you.”

I love you back, Sweater.

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But this is the cutest thing by far that I wore today:

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(Photo credit: Hudson Jack, age 3)

Musical Enrichment

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In our home music is a necessity.

We need to feel the base line softly drumming through the halls. So that we can move our bodies with the rhythm and sing the words with abandon.

Because of my small people, we sometimes dance along with Bob and Larry, and the words that we sing are, “I Love my Lips,” or “The Song of the Cebu.” But most often, we use our record player and we don’t have any Veggie Tales on vinyl.

So here’s a sampling of what has been pouring out of our windows lately.

James Vincent McMorrow

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This one is my jam right now. My favorite track is his cover of “Higher Love.”

Plus, hello? Total hottie.

Okay duh, of course I think he’s hot, he looks like my husband. It’s the shaggy beard. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a shaggy beard.

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The Lumineers

Yes, their music is everywhere, but I don’t care, it’s so good. Plus my kids love it, so everyone is a winner.

Favorite tracks: “Submarine” and “Big Parade” and “Stubborn Love.”  Alright fine, I love them all.

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Local Natives because they’re awesome, and their music puts me in a good mood.

Favorite track: “Three Months”

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I’ve been loving the Alabama Shakes. They have a gritty-Southern-hipster-vintage-music vibe, and the lead singer’s voice is heaven. She’s amazing.

Favorite Track: “Hold On”

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And becasuse I’m a Ryan Adams’ teamster, his album Heartbreaker is a daily necessity

Favorite Tracks: “Come Pick Me Up” and “Call Me on Your Way Back Home”

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What are you listening to?

Six Sick

Berlyn came home from school Friday with a tall hat striped with red strips of construction paper and a fever. Her cheeks were flush and the hat looked out of place on her head because her eyes were tired, her hands were weak, and her body curved over like a tree branch weighed down with snow.

All her classmates wore their Dr. Seuss hats with big grins and silliness when their moms picked them up.

Berlyn’s just sat awkwardly on top of her head.

“Mommy,” she said as she looked up at me.

“Yes?”

“When I get home I want to finish my snack from my lunch and go to bed.”

“Okay.”

And that’s what she did: She diligently finished her lunch at our table, excused herself, and went to bed.

When I checked on her, she was out. Her chest rose and fell with deep sleep, her lips were rosy, and her hair clung to her forehead with sweat.

Later that night she sent herself to bed without dinner.

“I’m just not that hungry.” She admitted. “But can someone read me a book?”

I read her a book, turned the lights off, and she slept.

That’s it.

No tears, no hours of rocking, no long list of demands, no spitting out the grape Tylenol everywhere because she didn’t like the taste.

She’s six now, and I guess this is what it looks like when six year olds get sick.

The next day was similar. She’d play for a while, get exhausted, and then she’d excuse herself to her room to nap. No tantrums, no big fuss, just some rest. Maybe she’d pull a book into her bed and read a few pages before falling asleep.

And that’s how our weekend went. Even though Berlyn was sick, even though she had a raging temperature and her body was hot and at the same time covered with goosebumps, she carried on. Playing for a while and then sending herself to bed when she felt too tired to continue.

I tried to pick her long body up to rock her, but she just laughed at me. I told her to come into our room at night if she didn’t feel well. But she didn’t.

I guess my baby girl is all grown up, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t sneak next to her while she was sleeping and softly twist her hair around my finger while she dreamed.

Even though she swatted my hand away in her sleep.

 

My Baby Junk

I put a few items up for sale on my community’s version of craig’s list. These are the exact ads I put on the site too. I’m nervous people might think I’m weird.

Whatever.

So I thought I’d open the market up to you too.
Want my old stuff?

Sure you do.

 

Fisher Price two-way baby swing $50.00

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A.K.A. the babysitter. Just kidding, I don’t do that. But I will tell you that snapping the knob onto the “speedy” setting, and placing your swaddled baby in there will give you time to take a much deserved shower and possibly watch an episode of Downton Abbey. I love this swing, and I’m sad to see it go. If I could only find a way to get it to support my weight, I’d keep it forever. I mean, who doesn’t want to be rocked to sleep while hearing soothing lullabies and seeing winged creatures circling your head? Aside: the winged creatures are nonviolent. Because I know what you’re thinking, you’re like why would I want things circling my head like I’m some sort of fresh piece of meat? That doesn’t sound relaxing at all! But let me assure you that these are non-carnivorous butterflies and blue birds. They only feast off the adorable coos and smiles of sweet babies.

Baby Bjorn $30

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I’m a huge fan of attachment parenting. I love to strap my babies to my chest and wear them all day. Having them close helps them feel secure, loved and warm. And it makes me feel secure, loved and warm too. Everyone is winning. Because I love to wear my babies as an accessory, I have a crap-ton of carriers, and the Baby Bjorn is champ. It’s like the original, the OG baby carrier, if you will. Plus it comes with instant hipster credibility. You should buy it just for your man, because there’s nothing sexier than seeing your baby daddy look like this, amiright, ladies?

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Breast friend Nursing Pillow $20.00

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Have you heard of these? They’re basically awesome. You strap the thing around your rib cage, just below your breasts, and then you lay your baby on top, kind of like a table. It’s perfect for first-time moms that are getting the hang of nursing. I used it with my son, but when I had my second son, I had a c-section, and it put too much pressure on the incision. That’s why I’m getting rid of it. I would totally use it still, but after 3 months, I’m still sore. Which makes me a little surly. Whatever. It’s good to bring to the hospital too. Because they give you all those sad pillows that fold in half and if you listen closely enough you can hear them weeping. Don’t use those, use this instead! Upgrade. Plus when you’re done nursing you can use it as a handy table for a bowl of cereal or ice cream. Its like a portable snack tray.

Moses basket $20.00

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Set your baby floating down the river in this basket. Wait, no please don’t do that. That’s a horrifying thing to do. And since we don’t live in a monarchy, there wouldn’t be a princess around to save your baby. Well there are a lot of girls out there that think they’re princesses, but that’s a rant for another time. All the inside coverings were handmade lovingly by a family member, not me, I suck at that type of thing. And I have more covers too, I just have to find them. I have this cute pink and white stripped pattern for a girl with pink floppy bows that attach to the outside.

Boppy nursing pillow $10.00

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I’d call it a sea foam green (or the color of those St. Patrick’s day milkshakes that McDonald’s has), minky soft Boppy. It’s a good unisex color and it’s super clean and fluffy. It’s basically the best baby pillow ever. And I’ve washed it a ton, so there aren’t any weird germs on it, plus you can wash it too, if you’d like. It retains a good shape when dried with a few tennis balls. It’s still firm and cushy. I’ve nursed all my precious babes with it, and they have all turned out wonderfully, I’m positive it’s because of the use of the Boppy. Well that and all that milk. This sucker is even good for bottle feeding, so Dad doesn’t feel left out. Oh and I originally bought it from Pottery Barn Kids, which doesn’t suck.

Geeez Now I can’t get that horrifying image of Moses floating down the Nile River.

*If anyone wants to seriously buy my baby junk you can email me or leave me a comment.