I have a new friend named Sarah. She, too, is a stay at home mom with a blog. But her blog isn't about her children. Well, not directly about them, anyway. It's about her thoughts and her feelings, even when (gasp!) they happen to fall outside of the "Mother Hood" (Katie, that's for you!) I think this is a powerful idea. It lets me write sort of anonymously, it allows me to omit pictures of my children, and it makes me feel much better about a public blog. Many thanks to this lady for sure!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Titanic dive

Last night, the hubs and I decided to watch "Titanic" again. On VHS. I think he has great memories with this movie. I do not. The first time I saw it, I got so upset I had to leave the theater. NO, it was not because of the wrenching love story between Rose and Jack (more of my disdain for that later on). It was because of the sinking footage. So horrendous to think of so many people dying in such a torturous way. Those bodies sliding down the deck...eeeeeek. I was like 19 years old, and overwhelmed by seeing historical sadness packaged as entertainment. I bolted.
The 2nd time I saw it, I was on a really really sad date. The circumstances are too humiliating to write about, especially because one of my blog readers was involved. Let me just say, he didn't know it would be me he was taking out. So the whole idea of that movie being at all romantic was in the toilet. It was like 3.5 hours of awkwardness. Eventually I pretended I was there alone, and it totally helped.
Fast forward to last night. We are sitting there watching it, and I can't help thinking that Leonardo looks about 12, and Kate looks about 28. I am just so so unconvinced that the 2 of them shared any kind of sexual tension at all. How, how, HOW was this like the hottest romance ever when we were young adults? People put posters of these 2 up in their dorm rooms! I wonder if it was the hormones coursing through our bodies. Now, it just grosses me out. I never was a huge swooner over Leo, but it's reached a whole new level. I feel like if he plays a romantic lead, I refuse to watch the struggle. Am I alone in this? Anyway. Getting older is so disappointing sometimes.
On the upside, we spent the rest of the night saying things like, "You're so stupid, Rose!" to one another and laughing wickedly.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You Tube and me

I gave up Facebook for Lent, and it's going great. It always does. I am reminded that I need to work on actual, in the flesh interaction, because interaction on Facebook is risk-free and therefore not really real.
Anyway, this has meant that I have had to find new distraction from studying and housework. No need to look that hard! I have started to follow beauty channels on YouTube. If this sounds sort of paradoxical, it is. I spend about 5 minutes getting ready, maybe less. But I hope it will not always be that way. And I have 2 little girls, and I want to be able to give them beauty tips as they get older. This means that I had better work on acquiring some beauty tips. When I was growing up, my mom worked full time as a nurse, and makeup and hair weren't really a huge priority. She has had like 2 zits in her life and the most even complexion ever. She wore eyeliner and lipstick, and I think that was it. She never really did her hair in front of me...it was always short anyway...but I think we were all too busy in the mornings or on opposite schedules or something. When my parents (yes, they both!) did my hair, it was basics only. Basic braids, half up half down, pony tails. I didn't learn to use curlers until I was a senior in high school, and I don't think I truly mastered them. I still can't use a curling iron all that effectively. I got a perm and that took care of things for a long while, and then I cut all my hair off and discovered my hair has curl all on its own...lucky for me!! Wow. I got by on that forever. Product shmoduct.
I have always had pretty good skin, or always pretended I do because wearing makeup really really feels gross to me. I was asked in grad school if I wore it at all, and I remember asking if moisturizer counted. This cavalier attitude, I fear, is no longer realistic or functional. I am older, with some older people flaws. Hence the new interest in video tutorials from total strangers.
I am going grey at the temples. I am 33. I am not thrilled. My hair has also morphed into my dad's hair...very dark, like almost black. This is bad for hiding the greyness. I am going to have to start dyeing it, which I hate hate hate the idea of. I have dark circles under my eyes. Like, all the time. I get about 7 hrs of sleep a night. I am also sprouting zits all over my chin. My mustache and my eyebrows require constant maintenance which I fail to give pretty consistently. I figured out today that my daughter will tell me I look beautiful no matter what...wake up hair was practically matted to the side of my head. I told her I was ready for the day...she told me I looked great. Bless her. I also love these capri pants from Kmart. Like, they literally cost about $5 a pair, and I am wearing them OUT. I think I bought them when I was first pregnant w E. But it's hard to remember. I hurt my big toe on my left foot so badly that the nail is black. At first I attempted to hide it w nail polish, but now I don't really care. And I wear my $2 Old Navy flip flops with my black nail. Stellar.
Back to the intention of this post, which is really to praise an LDS mom and other LDS moms who look so good and have so many beauty tips it sickens me. Now, I know a whole load of lovely LDS girls from high school. They were then, and are now, just the epitome of womanly beauty. Not my kind of low maintenance beauty...beauty that involves shopping and nail polish. While looking to enhance my beauty tool chest, I found this LDS mom on YouTube with a channel called "cute girl hairstyles." She has 5 girls. She shows women just like me HOW to do their child's hair. Naturally, she has become super famous and is on TV and things. So deserving. I am reminded how much technology gives to people who ordinarily wouldn't get recognition outside their own communities, or even families. Anyway, this is improving my mom-confidence in a big, big way. I can do this! I can learn the joys of a three barrel curling iron...how to double french braid...how to use dry shampoo and hairspray! It's all very exciting. Because let's be honest, I want to raise girls who care about that stuff just a smidgen more than I do. When they're in their 30s, I don't want them to feel panicky about catching up, because it sucks, frankly. So here's to the hot LDS moms who are already my friends (you know who you are!) and the ladies I will never meet but absolutely respect. Thank you for sharing your womanly wiles...for FREE.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Museum mumbles and grumbles

I took my kids to the museum today. It is a whole lot cooler than it used to be! Also twice the price. Anyhow. I met this grandma who, at first, made me think, "When I grow up, I want to BE her!" She seemed so intellectual and challenging, but kind to her grandkids. She was in great shape and in her 60s, but she had her natural grey hair and purple glasses and hiker-type shoes. She took time to read about the exhibits out loud to her granddaughters (who by the way, got along just great with G)...personally, I was struggling to pronounce all the names of the prehistoric eras and all the scientific classifications for the dinosaurs. She told me she had stayed home when her kids were little, and then taught elementary school for about 15 years. I asked if she thought it was a good thing to do while her children were growing up. She called the job "thankless", because you are always always working and worrying, and if you work in an economically depressed area, there are tons of factors kids deal with that they have no control over. And neither do you. So she's going on and on and I'm getting more and more impressed, and then the following comment stopped me in my awed tracks:

Purple glasses: "I used to volunteer one day a week in the classroom of the teacher I team-taught with. But after she had her second baby, it was like she just wanted to be home, and she was just doing the minimum. And then, we were at lunch one day, and she was talking with some other people about watching one of those dance programs...I can't remember the name...and I was like, 'Why am I photocopying for you when you're doing that at night?'"

Me: "Oh, because when you taught you'd be busy photocopying at night?"

Purple glasses: "No. Because when I taught, I'd be reading at night, or something. Like, now, I make baby quilts at night. How can somebody do THAT at night? I know I sound like an intellectual snob, but COME ON. So I quit."

REALLY purple glasses? I think I said something like, "Well, you're allowed." In my heart, I was thinking, "Way to judge! That is amazing. Proving that, like a whole lot of female dominated areas of employment, eating your young is still in style."

Ladies, I can't take it. I just cannot. Here is this pressure to be everything to your family. Strong and good and unafraid and unselfish and rock-like. To that, add the pressure of taking on a job where you care for other people's children. As if being a parent to your 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 isn't enough, become a surrogate parent, to like 25 kids at a time. The very thought sends shivers down my spine, if I think about it. How is that job even a real thing? So heaven forbid you actually enjoy yourself for half an hour. Escape into a mindless haze of tacky sequins and flowy movement. As an educator of our country's youth, you should be dedicated to improving your role model status constantly! And what about your role as a parent? Perhaps you should be making freezer meals or cleaning the bathroom! Volunteering at a soup kitchen! Brushing up on your Mandarin!

In social work, and I'm sure in teaching too, we talk about self-care. Take time for yourself! Be good to yourself or you are useless to others. In motherhood, we talk about it too...spend time with the girls once a month! Go on a date once a week! Get your hair/nails/eyebrows/mustache done! But who are the ones who get the awards in the arena of these altruistic careers? Who do we all admire? People who nearly kill themselves backward-bending. People without boundaries. People whose houses are scrubbed and buffed, and whose children read by age 4. People who never watch reality TV and then BRAG about never watching it because they are too busy READING.

Personally, I will never get an award. I already know. I love "Project Runway" too much. If I read, I love novels. Not the classics...Jane Austen is about as challenging as I get. I love memoirs and realistic fiction. No textbooks of any kind, even when I'm totally interested in the topic. I like my rest. Because life is short, none of it is guaranteed, and although I'll admit I've never met anyone who said they specifically wish they'd watched more TV, I have definitely met people who said they wish they'd taken time to enjoy themselves more.

I'm glad that Purple Glasses seemed utterly content and happy with her life. She was very very nice and I loved her grandchildren and I would love to see them, and her, again. Her 6 yr old asked us for our phone number over and over, and Purple Glasses just said over and over , "No, honey, that's OK!" Perhaps she sensed my inferior drive for perfection. I KNEW Lifetime had a smell!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gush, gush, gag

How is it that I even got chosen by my husband?
If you really think about marriage, it's a pretty big deal. That person across from you is deciding that you will be enough for them, for the rest of the time. They will share their house and their bed and most likely their communicable diseases. In a pinch, their toothbrush. It is huge.
In the last few years, my husband and I have been shocked by the dissolution of partnerships we thought were solid. No one outside of a relationship can really know its inner workings, but the reality of that 50% rate is disconcerting. For now, it is hard to picture a life without D. I asked him today if he thought I'd have found someone else if we hadn't started dating. He told me of course I would have, but I'm not so sure. There are some pretty cool single girls out there who are still single. I'd probably end up with someone like 10 years older than I am, because my farm boy's maturity level seems to be about 10 years ahead of his age. It is great for things like child rearing, but not so great when I want to watch truly crappy reality TV shows (or Glee) and listen to non-1990s music.

Monday, January 2, 2012

In praise of the soaring flocks

I have always gotten a small thrill out of watching flocks of birds. It somehow reminds me of how big the sky really is, and how much of it I will never be able to touch. When I was a teenager and had my first car, the boy (well, one boy) I adored lived in a country-esque house that had a lot of trees around it. I would often drive by his home just because I could, and there were always always flocks of birds. I think it had something to do with the surrounding dairies. But since that was a totally unromantic notion, I chose to ignore it. In college, I was so (somewhat sadly) chaste that I took lots of long drives by myself. I had a few favorite spots where I'd get out and just sit on a blanket and read, or write about why the hippie boy I loved didn't love me back, or sometimes sing Barbra Streisand (yes, I really did this. And I am really writing about it?) One spot was by a lake, and one was field-ish with hills around it. The birds made me feel more alive, less alone. Not that the birds gave 2 wing flaps about my sorrow, or my singing, or my safety...was it really advisable for a 19 year old maiden to be in the middle of nowhere by herself? Anyhow. Now when I see the flocks, they make me take a quick breath in. Whatever my three year old daughter has asked me has to be repeated, because I lose focus for a second and just watch. So that's why I chose this template. The end.