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.

I am woman. Hear me… more?

(Last night was the election, but to spare you political yammering, I’ve asked Lindsey from Campfire Song to grace us with her presence. I found her on Twitter, and I think I love her. Also, if you’re new here, you can follow me using one of the buttons on the right. I love it when people do that.)

When I asked Emily for a topic to write about today, she suggested, among other things, maxi pads.

I really wanted to write about maxi pads, just to see if I could do it.

Annnnd, I couldn’t.

But I thought for a few days about her suggestion, and what maxi pads mean in the world today… or at least who uses them.

Here goes – sort of.

I’ve never really considered myself to be a feminine woman. I know I’m attractive and all that, but somehow I’ve always thought of myself as slightly masculine. It might be the short haircuts I sported during my teen years or the fact that I’m an awful dresser or that I don’t have a cutesy voice or that many of my friends are men – I don’t know.

At face value I can identify myself as a woman in terms of being a wife, mother, sexual being – but what power does being “woman” give me? What makes me special to the world as a female? What do I offer that a male can’t?

Femininity can’t be all about hemlines and boobs and a sultry perfume, right?

Are my best qualities what they are because of my gender, or my personality? What makes me different from my husband, for example, might be

• my sensitivity
• my generous spirit
• my ability to make our house a home
• my desire to take care
• my drive to do what’s right, even facing adversity
• my profound ability to talk (much like every other woman, right?)

Recognizing the benefits of the female gender is difficult for me because both sexes have their strengths and purpose. Many of my best (and worst) traits are also shared by men. An individual’s actions don’t represent the entire gender. And gender transformations lend to the idea that femininity might not be all about biology or looks, either.

Maybe it’s… a feeling?

Some women don’t feel like women unless they’re done up in the mornings. I don’t feel feminine without a great hairstyle. For some it’s clothing, others it’s pampering, yet others it’s attention from their men that makes them feel powerful.

To me it seems to be something that’s in our heads. It’s a desire to embrace who we truly are, without conforming to societal expectations, that allows us to truly be feminine.

Have you ever wondered why you were born the sex you are? Or what your responsibility (if any) is to fulfill that role in your life? I’m still figuring out what my femininity is for.

Because some days (like when I’m 40 weeks pregnant or PMSing) I’m sure it’s a curse.

Lindsey is mom to four kiddos under the age of five. She writes at Campfire Song about life as a military wife and SAHM, growing up, social media and funny stuff. She’s @dashingly on Twitter, and she sometimes haunts Facebook too.

Things I’m embarrassed to say

You may think I don’t get embarrassed by much.

For the most part that’s totally true.

But at random, inopportune times, I get weirdly heady and self conscious and it’s vastly unpleasant.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor. Issues with my ear.

It was an impromptu stop in, and I knew I’d have to wait for a while, so I took one of my textbooks to read.
When I went in to a room and the nurse came in (after weighing me and here’s the first embarrassment – 150 pounds), she naturally saw my book.

“Going back to school?”

It was a simple question, friendly and pretty obvious – but it made me feel like a moron. Like the ash reeking, mall banged, tanning bed woman who used to sit next to me in English Comp I and Hermioned every question until one day she had to quit because her factory job got to be too much.

I don’t know why. I mean, I AM back in school. It’s not a secret.

But I felt stupid. Like I’d gotten caught stuffing my bra.

So that happened.

And then I came home and I started wondering why I get bothered by some of the stupid crap I do.

Like how I can feel great and glammy and then I get among people and feel like a donkey in drag.

I think I’ve said all this before. Now I’m embarrassed.

So, to avoid any further confusion, here are some things that embarrass me.

I drink Diet Coke out of the 2 liter bottle.
I suck at games.
I can eat a whole package of cookies.
Speaking of school, I’m taking all the subjects in this one semester that I never took in all my prior semesters because they were difficult. And now I pretty much know I’m not going to have this fab Dean’s List gpa. I totally won’t fail, but I’m not going to blow the doors off like I thought I should.
I have hairy toes.
I don’t really know how to put on makeup.
I worry I’m not interesting.
I fear my perception of people is sometimes off.

I know everyone has things that embarrass them. It’s my hope that if I put them out there like that, there won’t be anything left to worry about.

So if you see me out and I look like a glammed up chubby ten year old, just know that I already know that. And that’s ok with me.

I’m out. Time for Twizzlers.

Sounds like an STD

So, most of you know that I like to…well, craft, for lack of a less corny cheese grandma word.

It soothes me.

I’ve found it’s especially effective at being soothing now that I have so many other things I could stress about.

I’m a selfish crafter, though, for the most part. I make stuff and I really would rather just keep it for myself. Especially the difficult stuff. I mean, sue me, but if I stress over making it I want to wear that shit myself.

So at the risk of boring the pants off all of you, I have to tell you about this project I think I’m going to undertake.

The shawl/scarf/wrap above is called a Clapotis, and if you’ve ever perused the Ravelry discussion groups (knitting message boards, that’s RIGHT), chances are you’ve heard of it since it’s kind of a legend.

It looks fairly simple. Apparently it’s not. Apparently it makes you want to cut a bitch. But then if you survive the whole process of twisting stitches and dropping rows and CUTTING YARN OUT OF YOUR SHIT IN PROGRESS, you have this kickass piece you can wear and be all, “That’s right this is ALL ME.”

It came out as a public pattern in 2004, and I’ve heard tales of it practically the whole time I’ve been a knitter.

I’ve never attempted it because I’m a pansy and it outright scared me. Still does.

But I really want to try to do it. For this fall and winter.

So I’m currently trying to focus and decide on a yarn to use for it (and I know, Dan and Josh are all YOU HAVE SIX THOUSAND POUNDS OF YARN WHY WOULD YOU EVER NEED MORE, but this puppy needs 650 yards at least. I may have lots of yarn but I do NOT have that much of any one kind). When I decide, and once I start, I’m totally telling you about it. I need accountability here. Like a prayer partner to pray to LaQuee the goddess of craft.

So there it is. It’s out there. Now I have to do it.

In defense of black nails

I’m not one to be trendy, or even fashionable.

I realize this doesn’t come as much of a shock. I don’t imagine I exactly convey an it-girl with-it vibe.

It’s not that I don’t want to be snappy and sassy and on top of things, it’s just not something that comes easily to me. I very much feel all Devil Wears Prada heroine, in a way. You know at the beginning where Andi’s all unconcerned and kind of frumpy? That’s totally me, except at the end she gets made over and gets what she wants while she has perfect hair and designer jeans. That’s not me.

And I’m okay with that.

Except sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I really wish I could wear ruffles and curl my hair and lotion and coif.

I can’t. I’d very much like to put on a belt and a dress and not be concerned that I look like a basset hound in a tutu, but something – I guess it’s just left over high school insecurity? – keeps the squirminess at the forefront.

The thing is, I’m thirty one years old. I realize that’s not old, but…I really feel it’s too old to be still seeking out my style. Or to even care about my “style” in the first place.

I few months ago I started painting my nails. It was the first time in my life I’d been able to paint them and not feel like they looked awkward and inappropriate, and as stupid as it sounds, it made me feel good. Typing with lacquer tipped fingers felt a little more…polished, pardon the pun.

But I didn’t really care for the colors. I tried them all, since lucky for me I have a seven year old girl.

Bright orange. Blech.
Purple, which I was sure I’d like and didn’t.
Deep, maroony red. It was called “Rock Star” or something strange.
Green. It looked a little like my fingers were rotting.
Pink. With all my girlish aspirations, it still didn’t surprise me that it looked ridiculous.

Then for some reason I picked up a bottle of black. Lingerie, or something equally lame.

I had no intention of growing gothic talons or anything, but I’d seen dark manicures. Something about it appealed.

As with everything, I did some quick Googling.

I found this, and remarkably I understood every word. I knew those feelings, those lines of thought.

So I did it. I slathered my nails with the glossy tar, and it was…amazing. I didn’t feel like a rock star but I felt – different. A little edgy. Like just by having the testicles to have black nails I became a little bit of a badass.

I realize this sounds ridiculous. I know they’re just fingernails. I know that to even feel like this about what color they are is petty and asinine.

But it’s a happiness I’ve found.

And it doesn’t hurt anyone, though Josh acts pained every time.

So black they are. And I’ll pretend they make me tough and cutting edge, deep and meaningful, even as I struggle with lace and frills, bangs and belted waistlines.

It’s Friday.

School started back yesterday.

I’ve never been one of those moms who tear up and take pictures and all that.

Call me selfish, but I’ve been kind of amped about a day of (relative) peace.

But that’s not what I got.

There’s been all this hubbub for us about our financial aid. I don’t want to get into it because I’m not really sure I understand it all and I’m not sure what it means for our schooling future.

We had to appeal, and the appeals people met Wednesday.

After waiting and stressing and moping, I was approved to receive financial aid this semester.

Josh wasn’t.

How’s that for some shit?

I’m torn. This is something we had planned to do together and I feel like I’m reneging on some unspoken deal.

But then it’s senseless for me to have the means and not do it on principle.

Neither of us handled the situation with much grace yesterday. Josh (rightfully) felt wronged and devastated, and I felt so guilty that I made him feel guilty for being sad.

Follow that?

So I apologize for not being entertaining. It’s beyond me at the moment.

As for school and the kids, they had a great day. It was “awesome but boring” according to Ava.

I do need to tell you about Ava’s feather.

This whole feather-extensions-in-the-hair thing is not something I’m much a fan of, I think it looks stupid and it kind of ranks up with fur in the ick department, not to mention places are charging an arm and a hemerroid to put them in.

But see, my dad is Larry Wilkes, and of course he has the contraptions needed to make farther hair extensions. The world would not be spinning if he didn’t.

So we picked out feathers from the fly-tying supplies, and hair feathers were had. The first time they looked pretty good, not too garish and a little bit funky.

Then this week Ava wanted more. Because school was starting and what better way to celebrate than with dead bird hair?

So she picked out the feathers and we put them in.

And because of this one fuzzy pink feather that refuses to calm itself and instead wants to catch every breeze and defy every law of physics by actually staying in her hair, my sweet second grader looks like she had a bad night at a Ke$ha concert.

Fashion victims, that’s what we are.