Things I’ve Missed, part first

Since it’s been a sizable amount of time since I wrote regularly, there’s been some stuff that I haven’t mentioned. Big things that have come and gone and I’ve just lived through. In a way, that’s good – because now I can look back and attempt to be objective about how great, how indifferent, how scary.

My first impulse was to write a huge post and recount everything I could think of.

Then I realized that a wall of text might not be so appealing and plus BONUS, I might get some not-just-one post action out of it.

I’m relearning this stuff, guys.

Anyway, we moved.

 

Josh, me, the kids. The cat. We left Dan’s and we found a house that we think qualifies for us as the home we need.

It wasn’t an easy decision. We went back and forth and hemmed and hawed and what if’d and then that. Screenshot_2014-05-04-23-33-21_1

So much of how I saw my family had become so encapsulated in our living space. We were all so close and so present and all so CONSTANT. It was foreign to think of that as changing. But it did.

Adjusting hasn’t been easy. It’s been five months and I still catch myself thinking in terms of smashed-into-one-room living space, and there are still things that we just don’t have because we didn’t need them for four years.Screenshot_2014-05-04-23-32-57_1

Lucy’s adjustment was what I’d worried about the most, really. She had spent her whole life in our compoundish circumstance. Dan’s home was the only one she’d ever known.

I need not have worried. Once she realized that we would have a whole house of our own AND that she could still go see Dan pretty much whenever she wanted, she hasn’t looked back.IMAG0166_1And now we have formed our own unit. We are what we were, but somehow more so. My son has his own space, my girls have theirs. We are more together because we can be separate.

It was a good decision.

 

I remember Christmas

I am now embarking upon my 33rd Christmas season.
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I’ve never been a Christmas nut, but I enjoy the season. I enjoy it more now than I ever have, although that probably shouldn’t be the case since now I have to worry about presents and money and Santa Claus.

Still.

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Every year I am bombarded – often when I least expect it – by waves of memories I haven’t touched since the last year. It’s like I stockpile stuff and only think of it once a year – some of them aren’t even Christmas memories. Maybe it’s a getting-older thing, saving up good thoughts for times they’re needed.

But still, I remember.

I remember my Grandaddy Wilkes and how he always bought boxes of Andes candy. I would subsequently eat them, row by row. God only knows how many calories were involved.
I remember rides to Selmer and plastic mistletoe – always in the same spot.
Shining silver and comic paper gift wrap.
Black Friday shopping to buy all my presents from my Mimi – only to have to wait until Christmas to open them up.
Hiding under a green blanket while my mom and dad pulled all the presents out of hiding.
Sweet potato pie, even though I hated the very idea of a sweet potato.
My mother always making my sister and I pose for some weird ass photo outside by the mailbox or in a chair.
Mom’s Santas.
The smell of the attic – the smell of the ornaments.
Peanut butter rice krispie treats.
Ham. Always ham.
Chicken and dressing with a shitton of sage.
Neverending, persistent and endless renditions of “Mary Did You Know?”
Max’s first Christmas and putting a bow on his head.
Playing board games with Dan’s family into the wee hours of the morning.
Josh dressing up as Santa when the kids were small. Max was convinced Santa had found him.
My first Christmas with the Steens, my first time ever to have a stocking.
Josh’s grandmother and how she always bought my kids the perfect presents.

There are so many things.

Things to love about now.

Maybe this year I won’t forget.

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ProcrASStination.

Basically, people, I feel like I’ve been sleepwalking through the past month.

 

Really.

 

Even yesterday, when I had plenty of work to do at, you know, actual work – I stayed home with a whiny toddler and firepee thanks to being female and having, apparently, a short urethra. *bows to the TMI audience*

So I could have done schoolwork, right? The geneaology paper that is due today. Or the research paper that is due tomorrow. Both are still barebones and need work.

Instead, though, I spent the day watching Big Love on demand, flushing out my system with echinacea and vitamin C, thinking about the past and the future and how to best go about making pumpkin muffins.

So what did I accomplish? I lessened my infection, I think. I pondered what my hair would look like a la Ginnifer Goodwin in Season Three. I made the muffins. I vacuumed the floor. I did work a bit on the papers.

 

I can’t say I made much eternal progress in anything yesterday. Except the muffins. They were amazing.

 

 

How to be condescending

If you are on Facebook (and if you’re not, WHO ARE YOU?), chances are you’ve seen a link circulating recently about how your fascination with your electronic devices can make you miss your children’s lives.

If you haven’t seen the link, here it is. It appeared on my facebook wall more times than I can possibly tell you, always accompanied by “OMG, you must read this,” or “I’m crying. So true.”

Now, the content of this article is very heartfelt and very to the point. She talks about how being lost in one’s digital gadgets can be harmful to your relationship with your children, how the children learn that whatever is happening is more important than them, all sorts of statements that had just enough truth seeded into them to make any modern-day, smartphone toting, social media savvy parent feel like dog shit gone white.

Now, to be fair – she does dedicate a couple of sentences to how this is the modern world and sometimes we have to be accessible. Sometimes it’s necessary to allow laptops and smartphones into our lives.

Generous.

May I offer my point of view? I’m gonna.

I’m a blogger, and a full-time online student. I’m also married to a podcaster who is also a full-time student. Technology and the gadgets involved are completely enmeshed in our lives.

I love my iPhone. My iPad. To a lesser degree, the computers and such which inhabit my house – and there are a lot. I love to text message. I love to steal a few minutes in the day to check facebook, tweet something random, or peruse my blog stats for the day.

Certainly, as a society, we are more interconnected than ever before. I talk to my husband while he’s at work. I always have a camera because I always have my phone. And yes, I check my phone before I talk to anyone in my family because EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY IS USUALLY STILL ASLEEP SINCE I WAKE EVERYONE UP.

Some people escape into books. Some into painting or gardening or building rockets. This has always been the case. I don’t really see any difference.

Of course it’s important to acknowledge your family and the others in your lives. To look them in the eye, listen when they talk, and be fully present when they need you – but I don’t see that as having anything to do with being less connected. I see that as being a decent human being.

So, my response to the article is as follows:

I am a connected mom. I interact constantly and I learn constantly. My children know they are important. They know because I’m their mom. I bandage scrapes and icepack bumps and come running when they have nightmares. They do not have some woeful mourning inferiority because I sometimes play Jetpack Joyride.

Because I show them moderation, they learn that I am, as they are, members of a continuous mechanism. Everyone is connected, everyone is important. I don’t have to throw away my iPhone to be a good mom. I just have to use good sense. And I think that’s a better example than anything else.

 

Fix it. Or I will.

Look out, I’ll fix your shit

It’s well established that I fancy myself a bit of a crafty wizard. If by no other standards than my own. That’s okay with me, because if you have ever met my dad…well, let’s just say that MacGuyver and my dad head to head? Mr. Popsicle Stick and Chewing Gum would be Dad’s bitch.

So when things break around my house, well, sometimes I fix them. Sometimes I fix things that no one else realizes are broken, but really they are.

If I feel like it.

And if it doesn’t take too long.

I blame Pinterest for making me think I can do things.

Example:

Josh, Lucy and I sleep on what is, technically, two beds. There is one normal, full sized mattress and box springs. Next to them, a smaller single bed that was once Ava’s. Back before we all lived together and she had her own room. She’ll hate us thoroughly for her lack of personal space one day. Or now.

Anyway, did you guys catch that? I just publicly admitted that my husband, toddler and I sleep on what is essentially Crackhouse Chic. Mattresses and box springs on the floor. Someone go find my mom, I heard her fall over just now. Also, we have so much crap stuffed into this room that I don’t think we could sort things out into any sort of presentable order. Not for any length of time.

Please don’t report me or anything – I swear everything is clean. It’s just crowded.

BACK TO THE EXAMPLE.

So we sleep on our two smushed together beds, and it’s really been okay. Except now Lucy takes up more room than Josh and I combined because while she MUST have me to squash against to go to sleep, once she’s asleep she flails around with all the reckless abandon of a….well, something that flails.

And when she flails, things shift. When things shift, the crack between the beds widens and Muno or Foofa or Buzz or any of the menagerie we keep in our beds can get lost. And die a horrible stuffed character death.

So I decided I would fix it.

By sewing it together. With fishing line and an upholstery needle, which I have no idea why I own.

I legit did it, people. Crazy thing is, though – it worked!

Kind of.

See I didn’t really engineer things very well, and once I did my sewing (masterfully), the corresponding corners of the fitted sheets didn’t stay on very well. Which left us with crumpled up cream sheets, peeling purple Tinkerbell sheets (oh did I not mention that? Yeah, the little bed has Tinkerbell sheets), and exposed mattress. Mom fell over again.

So, after about a week or so of trying in vain to make the sheets stay, I admitted defeat and cut the tangle of Paul Bunyan’s dental floss that was holding my beds together.

We have a gap again. I’m going to have to fix it.

 

Megamillions

I realize I’m pretty late in touching on this topic, but you know recently how there was a lottery prize of like $640 million or more money than I can even conceive of existing?

We bought a ticket. One ticket.

How much of a gas would that have been, people? All these people spending money they don’t have and being completely ridiculous and buying more tickets than anyone would need, and we win with an output of one dollar.

We didn’t, of course.

Although now that I think about it, I don’t know that I’d tell you if we did win.

What I would probably do is quietly send people I like checks for a couple of million apiece, and then I’d retreat into my compound zombie-apocalypse fortified house and be one of those eccentrics.

Of course, the beans would probably spill when Josh started keeping a pilot on retainer at Roscoe Turner and flying in Gordon Ramsay on the regular to hang out and cook.

But a girl can dream.

Sittin

So I have more things to list.

1. I think the Doritos taco sounds gross. And I even like Doritos.

2. Now I want some Doritos.

3. I think I need a new phone case. Suggestions?

4. While I am not salivating for the new iPad, I think Josh needs one.

5. I guess no one actually NEEDS one.

6. Looking for a job is fruitless. Some days I just want to take copies of my resume and stick them under windshield wipers.

7. In about two weeks my baby will be two years old. This is unreal. She got her toes painted for the first time last night.

8. I should exercise more. These days my regimen consists of some yoga and a grueling course of YoGabbaGabba.

9. I cleaned out my Facebook friends the other day, and I feel a little guilty about it. I’ll feel guiltier when the repeat requests start coming in.

10. Seriously why do people do that?

11. I need to vacuum. But frankly, it’s not really worth the five minutes it will stay clean, especially since Lucy screams like I’m pulling out her fingernails every time she looks at the vacuum.

Enlist

So the good thing about having a blog is that sometimes I can just randomly list things that I think, or that I want you to know. This is one of those times. Therefore….

  1. I saw The Hunger Games and it was so brilliant that I kind of want to weep because I have to wait so long for the next movies.
  2. I have not yet used shampoo on my hair since the last time we talked about it. My hair feels great, though I don’t know if it looks any different. Josh says (embarrassingly in front of other humans) that I have dandruff, but I used some apple cider vinegar and I don’t see any flakes, so maybe that took care of it.
  3. I registered for next semester this weekend, and seeing the words, “Classification for registration: Senior” kind of blew me away. I may have been so taken aback that I teared up a little.
  4. Lucy talks a lot more these days. A kind of whole hell of a lot. My other two were verbose, but she is…I don’t even know. Tenacious.
  5. Ava and I write letters to each other. I am ashamed to admit that the last letter (before yesterday) was sent months ago, and it has totally been my turn all this time. I feel awful about it. But she is just the sweetest thing ever and wrote me right back, so now it’s my turn again. Dammit.
  6. Ava also went shopping with her Nana yesterday and came home with two bras. This contorts my mind on so many levels that I can’t really even begin to describe. Yeah, I can, actually. I hid them. She’s been wearing little sports-bra/camisole things for a while now, but these are for real triangles and hooks. They have CUPS, people. I am not ready for this.
  7. Max is completely and totally awkward. I love him a ridiculous amount, but (I’m probably a terrible mother for admitting this) sometimes his oblivious dorkiness makes me cringe. He tries so hard – too hard – to be entertaining and cool. I don’t know how to tell him that he’s much more awesome when he doesn’t try.
  8. Josh and his friends are hosting a podcast. It’s actually pretty entertaining.
  9. The bedroom that we live in is getting kind of out of hand. Like the Hoarders people would have a field day in here.
  10. I read Fifty Shades of Grey. If you don’t know what that is, then I can only explain it as housewife porn. I have never really read stuff that is so totally and completely kinky. I can’t say for sure, but I may or may not be planning to read the next two books (it’s a trifecta of kink).
  11. I have started playing Draw Something. It makes me happy. Probably a little too happy. My favorite part is watching the other person try to guess my drawing. My username is Emylibef, so, you know…we should play.
  12. I missed my therapy appointment last week, and I feel like I stood up a friend. I suppose that either speaks well of my therapist or badly of my tendency to overpersonalize.
  13. My hair, since I already brought it up, is getting really long. I really like it, but I have these ridiculous waves of let’s-cut-that-shit-off and so far I’m pretty proud of how I’m holding up. I’m even growing my bangs out and that now means I have to pin them up in a weird little bouffant. I try to tell myself it’s a vintage look. Like it matters, since really Lucy and the cat are the only ones who ever see it.
  14. Lucy took this picture after she stole my ipad. I have, literally, three dozen incarnations of this photo on my camera roll.

That’s all I have for today.

 

 

I refuse to use the term ‘no poo’

So I haven’t shampooed my hair in over a week.

For several reasons. One being that I am a lazy ass. I openly admit that.

The other reasons are a bit more grown up and noble.

A while back I was doing some Twittercreeping. You do that, right? Someone responds to someone and you have no clue what they’re talking about, but it sounds like it might be good times so you go try and see the conversation? Then you end up, thirty minutes later, on some random person’s Twitter reading things they said 457 days ago, with no idea how you got there?

No? Just me? Ok.

Anyway, that happened, and I ended up following a link to a blog called Crunchy Betty. I read through some of the posts and found this one.

I was intrigued.

Now, I have always liked the idea of being all peace love recycle dirty hippie earth mother. But the fact is it’s a lot of work, and as we have established, I am a lazy ass. So while I like the idea of cooking organic and home grown and recycling and compost, let’s just say I’ve picked up some litter and called it a day. Except one time, in sixth grade I was inspired by an episode of Saved By the Bell and I circulated a petition to get recycling bins for soda cans. I did not realize that petitions are only necessary if you’ve asked and been denied, so it was kind of pointless, but I GOT THOSE BINS BY DAMN.

I did order some herb seeds recently, though. I genuinely hope I can get them in the ground. And I even looked at Diva cups on Amazon. PROGRESS.

This, though. For some reason this appealed to me. Fewer chemicals and less plastic, and if it doesn’t work my hair has never been that great anyway.

It was a no lose situation, people.

So, I stopped. I have “washed” my hair twice with baking soda, and the second time I put/spilled some tea tree oil into the powder.

At this point I’m kind of ambivalent. My hair is not nasty like I’d expected, but it’s nothing special. HOWEVER, the fact that it’s not terribly nasty after a whole week gives me hope that it will soon be Pantene commercial glamorous.

A girl can dream.

UPDATE: I just showered/baking sodaed and this time put some lavender oil in.

I. Smell. Delicious.