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.

Obligatory End of Year Post

I know lots of people say this and it’s totally cliche, but where did 2011 go?
Seriously, it’s insane that it’s almost 2012. Forgive me if I wax nostalgic for the next couple of days.
Shouldn’t we all be jetting around in hovercars and jetpacks by now? That’s what the Weekly Reader told me in 1988. 
When I was 8, the year 2000-anything seemed impossible. I suppose it’s true that everything is relative. I certainly would never have put myself where I am, in thinking about the future.
Chalk it up to divine plan or whatever you want, but it’s strange the way things work out…and whether it sounds dorky or not, it’s exciting to see what happens next.
As for resolutions? I make them every year. More often than not I lose steam in a couple of weeks, but I always resolve. This year isn’t any different – well, maybe a little.
This year I’m not resolving to lose weight or keep the house spotless (sorry, family). I’ve done those or some variation thereof every year since I was 15.
But not this year. For 2012 I simply resolve to be diligent about being happy. To do whatever needs to be done in order to make my life good and full. To keep my family happy and whole, to love my life from day to day, and to be able to come back this time next year and say with honesty that I kept my resolutions to the best of my ability and that my life is better for it.
I don’t get many comments…but if you’re reading, tell me what you want out of 2012. Really. I’d love to hear.

Blogging bum

Not the real bum like ass bum, the hobo kind of bum.

I’ve spent the last couple of days with a fevery, whiny toddler who will not relinquish more than two feet between us without screeching and whining.

I love my baby. So much. But as much as I love her, being in such close quarters with ANYONE OR THING for extended amounts of time makes tempers and fuses kind of short.

Please tell me you understand this.

I love that I get to stay at home. I’m thankful that I have a husband who wants me to be home. I love that I’m seeing all the little milestones that I missed with the other two.

But sometimes…sometimes I forget how to speak adult language, or I find myself swaying to comfort a baby I’m not holding, or I haven’t qtipped my ears in four days.

Things like that.

I feel terrible saying these things because I know that there are people who would do anything to stay home with their kids. I know I’m blessed to have a healthy and happy brood. I feel terrible also that I just used the word “brood.”

It’s just sometimes I realize that I really have nothing interesting to say or do. I don’t go out, I’m not involved. And if I do try to involve myself in anything I end up resenting the obligation.

And then I bitch about it on the Internet.


Lucy drew this.

Untitled because I can

This week is drawing to a close and oh my GOD can you believe it’s December? That is just crazy. Really, insane.
I mean December is for Christmas and holidays and Hanukah and Kwanzaa.

Max asked me one year if we could celebrate Kwanzaa. However I wasn’t really sure what all that entailed so I told him we could have a menorah and that seemed to appease him.

I generally despise Christmas.

I love giving gifts, it’s one of my favorite things in the world. I just don’t like giving gifts on a strained budget. I want to buy everyone the iPads and iPhones and xboxes they want and I want to watch their faces light up because they got a kickass present from someone who loves them. Me.

I just can’t do that yet. Maybe one day.

Oh, and there’s some exciting happenings with school stuff, maybe I’ll be able to fill you in soon. Yeee!

I am out of sorts with the weather. I love the cooler, but it’s moving a little too quickly into bitter ass cold. And that’s not cool.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Lucy has a permanent marker.

Thanks be

(here’s the giveaway I know you’re looking for)

So there have been lots of thankful countdowns and such on Facebook.

Generally I don’t shy away from things like that.


I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for:

My health, however I may sometimes hate the way I look and think.
My heart, and the ability I have to love and care. Really. Some people can’t do that.
My desire to be more of a person.
The way Josh loves to cook.
Pumpkin muffins.
Friendship – over the past year I’ve done some regrettable things. I’ve lost people who meant a great deal to me. But I still have some people who love me, flaws and all. And that is a blessing beyond words.

And now for the hardcore love:

I’m thankful for Dan. He is exactly the father Max and Ava need, and we are all lucky to have him.
I’m thankful for my Mom. She is everything I have ever wanted to be.
I’m thankful for my Dad. He is, now and always, the measure of the type of man I need.
I’m thankful for my sister. She has been my partner in crime for my entire life, and one of the best friends I could have. Even if she left me out of her Facebook thankful countdown.
I’m thankful for my grandmothers. For how loving and sweet they both have always been, and the memories they’ve given me.
I’m thankful for Josh’s family. They have loved me and accepted me, they are my family.
I’m thankful for my son. Max has, in the past decade, taught me more about myself than I ever expected. His heart and sweet soul are something we should all strive to match.
I’m thankful for my Ava Thomas. For the fire and joy she carries with her. For the independence I envy, and for the beauty she carries, inside and out.
I’m thankful for Lucy Grace. She has given me new life, laughter, and a joy I didn’t know I had room in my heart for.
I’m thankful for Josh. I could gush and spew about every reason, but I can sum it in this: he has taught me what love truly is. I would have gone through my life an incomplete person if I did not have him.

Happy Thanksgiving.

From a Friday drive

Happy Saturday.

Last night, in the name of getting out of the house since I don’t do that very much, we went to pick up some pizza and drive around town.

There were people rehearsal dinnering, walking, taking pictures. One chick was walking a little chihuahua with a purple sweater on.

There was also one lady who was standing under a tree staring up into the branches. Just staring. Unless she lost her bird I’m not sure what the deal was, but hey, I don’t judge. Maybe she loves the tree.

We came home and ate our pizza, which was freaking delicious.

Then I went to bed. Nine o’clock on a Friday night and I went to bed. We’re crazy around these parts. CRAZY.

I was thinking last night during the drive about how much I miss having a job.

Josh was telling all these stories about work and his days, and I realized it’s this whole separate life he has. People and work and places to go. I wouldn’t call how I feel jealous, but I am a little bit wistful.

I remember being good at something. Having definite purpose during a given day. Talking to adults.

But then I think about how much I’d miss Lucy. How much I’d miss peekaboo and cheese sticks.

So I guess you could say I’m torn.

It’s not like it’s really even a choice right now. No one is exactly breaking down the door for my phone answering expertise and sarcastic wit at the moment. But maybe one day I’ll have an opportunity, and who am I kidding – we all know I’ll take it. And then I’ll whine about missing being at home.

Because that’s what I do.

Maybe the stereotypes aren’t all wrong.

I recently wrote a post about how I feel about local businesses.

In that same vein, I’ve been doing some thinking. It’s a change for me. I don’t really think about my town that much.

For the relative whole of my life, I’ve lived in the same town. I’ve gone the same places, seen the same people. I used to hate it.

I think living here takes a certain type of person, or, well, certain types.

There are the types of people who are easily and naturally involved with everything, those drawly pageant girl belles who belong to auxiliaries and leagues and go to meetings with cucumber sandwiches. Girls who wake up every morning and curl their hair. Who bake in tanning beds and can wear pearls every day without it being ironic.

Then there are people like me. Misfit people who can fit in, but only for a time and only with great effort. People who can live in the same approximate area and never be recognized from one day to the next.

But you know, deep down, maybe we’re not even too different. I bet a lot of the same things hold meaning for us, just because of where we came from.

How Shiloh Road will never be anything other than The Strip.
How those first few muggy weekends of the fall still feel like football weather.
How the honeysuckle perfume in the summer heat can choke you.
How we know a magnolia blossom smells best right before it starts to wilt.
How the papermill smell can overpower the whole town.
How a slugburger from Borrum’s tastes distinctly different than one from the White Trolley.
How impassable the streets are on the day of the Christmas Parade.

At face value I suppose there’s a lot of ways the people of my town are different, just like anywhere else. One only has to see the variety of church denominations to know that, and maybe stand by and listen during a political rally.

But we’re more than our face value because of the common factors we share. No matter how much we resist our sameness, it’ll always be there. Like the railroad, or the red clay. We are a part of our own corner of the globe, and we forget how important our simple surroundings can be. How much they make us individuals in our own right.

But then…a flood. A storm.

We realize then that we all depend on the same things, because at those times it’s forced upon us.

And those times – when people are desperate, shocked and hurting – we are reminded that as different as we are, we are a part of the community.

No, we are the community. And if we don’t take care of each other and the memories that make up our shared identities, then no one will. It will be lost, and then all people will have to go by are Faulkner novels and Eudora Welty.

I don’t want it to be lost. I want my kids to grow up with the privilege of loving and hating their town, for the same reasons I did. I want to look back and be able to share memories with them. Memories of the same trees, roads, hills and buildings. Maybe even some of the same people.

So I’ve thought about all this. And I realize that as corny as it sounds, I think I like my small town.

Photos courtesy of Joshua Steen, who takes great pictures and makes cute babies.

Not exactly Hoarders

Do you guys use Pinterest?

If not, you should.

It’s like a virtual bulletin/idea/brainstorm board where you can keep track of things you like.

Interiors. Crafts. Foods (oh my GOD people spend SO much time on food! Bento, fruit flowers..). Clothes. Outfit ideas. Creative party themes and useful things like that. It’s also a total timesuck, because I look at this cool outfit and that amazing reading nook and ooh this sunroom and then WHAM two hours are gone and my kid is outside smoking.I love this idea. Looking at other people’s creativity. Seeing things people like. Feeling a sense of community in wanting to create things and make things pretty.

The bad thing is, though, that I often come away at a bit of a loss. I believe Moses would refer to it as coveting my neighbor’s ass or something similar (although my neighbors are PaPaw Buck and the invisible lady with the painted mailbox, so really, no worries there).

What I’m saying is I look at these beautiful creations, be they centerpieces, cute jeans with a surprising scarf and bright shoes, or a clever saying painted on a wall, and suddenly my hair feels greasy and my teeth feel dirty and I might as well go put on a bathrobe and a turban and start dipping tobacco because clearly I am a lost cause.

I love the house we live in. I love that these walls house people I care the very most about in the world. I love that my kids can run down the hall and have Dad (x2) and Mom and everyone can all be together. I love that we get two sets of Netflix movies. I love that my kids are growing up knowing that things don’t have to be normal to be perfect.

What I don’t love is the fact that we’re all kind of slobby. We all keep things we should probably toss. I’ve tried every trick in the book – cleaning for 30 minutes a day, throwing something out every time something new is brought in, cleaning obsessively all day.

I suck at it.

And the thing is, my mom was/is the ultimate cleaning banshee. She somehow manages to keep everything looking like Martha Stewart just came for cocoa and even when my 3 kids and my niece and nephew and the dog are all rampant in full force I would have no qualms eating off her floor.

So I kind of feel like a failure before I even begin.

I mean, this is my job, right? To make the home. To have things pretty and fresh and nice.

I’m like everyone else, I go through spurts of mania enthusiasm and things will get clean and organized and I’ll be really proud. Then Dan will make a tuna sandwich and make the whole joint smell like barf or Josh will cook a chef-caliber meal and the kitchen is suddenly filled with pots and pans. Or my kids will, you know, wake up.

So I look at the crisp and pristine loveliness on Pinterest or the living rooms in Facebook albums and I pine.

Well, I alternate between pining and scolding myself for pining.

The answer to this is obvious – just don’t look at it.

But then I get these bursts and I want to make things over – but I am crap at organizing. It totally escapes me. I used to (still do) wish I would wake up one day with a Monica Gellar yen for cleaning and organization, but thus far it hasn’t happened.

I wake up still me.

Still cursing the load of clothes I’ve left in the dryer for three days because I don’t want to put up clothes (PSA: it is not really possible for two adults and a toddler, along with all their clothes and shoes, to neatly share one bedroom and bathroom without some clever apartment type finagling. And I don’t have that. I’m not a finagler.).

Still wondering what to do with all the dog hair.

Still needing to find a system.

Still debating throwing down a paint cloth and just covering up the duck wallpaper.

A girl can dream, right?

You may hate me after this

I had something else scheduled to talk about today.

But I need to tell you about yesterday.

First you should know about my two oldest kids, though. They are beautiful lovely lights of my life, but they are loud as hell. They also have this uncanny knack for choosing the MOST inopportune times to interject themselves.

Prime example:

The entire family went to see UP (minus Lucy, of course. Also, if you haven’t seen that movie, do it immediately. Don’t even finish reading). We sat, left to right, thus: Josh, me, Max, Dan, and Ava.

Dan and the kids had already seen this particular movie once, but they’d come again for the 3D.

The movie commences, and we reach the part of the touching intro where a weeping Ellie is slumped over on an exam table while the doctor looks sad and Carl looks lost and helpless.

The entire theater was quiet, soft.

The lady in front of me was sniffling.

I lost a few tears. My throat was thick.

And in the wake of that beautifully sad, artfully conveyed, wordless moment that tore every adult’s heart right out of its’ casing, my daughter leaned over her dad’s lap, 3D glasses all akimbo, and stage whispered,


Yeah. We pretty much have a repeat of that on an hourly basis.

That’s why yesterday morning, when I heard a timid knock on my bedroom door, I did little but roll my eyes emphatically. Lucy had had an awful night (molars are a bitch) and she was finally sleeping, and I was not about to call out to answer whoever was at the door.

So I was quiet.

Ten minutes later, knockknockknockKNOCKKNOCK.

Again, I was quiet. Surely they would get the message.



So I did a stage whisper of my own: “what???”

The door opened, and in walked a child. I didn’t have my glasses on at that point, so I only halfway thought it might be Max. While I fumbled around for my glasses, I told him how it was.

“My lord, Max, that was three times, can you not TAKE a HINT that maybe some people are still resting and don’t need you being all loud and…”

Glasses on. And then I saw him. Standing awkwardly in the doorway, not sure if he should leave or stay, balancing a perilously flimsy paper plate full of something.

“I…I realized that we haven’t really given you a day off since it’s the summer and so I brought you breakfast.”

Hello, world? It’s nice to meet you. In case you don’t know, my name is TOTAL DOUCHEBAG.

He quickly forgave me when I gushed apologies and told him how wonderful he is, but the guilt will live on healthily in my heart for a long, long time.