Saturday, February 27, 2010


To steal a category from Elisa at Globetrotting in Heels: I present Outfit of the Week. With one big difference: you could watch me on any given week and see basically this same outfit at least 5/7 days. Jeans, long sleeve t-shirt, and sneakers. Sometimes I wear a sweater or corduroy pants, but in the winter, that's about all the variety there is.
Sheesh, I had to go back to November 2008 to find a suitable photo. Unfortunately, I look pretty much the same. Take away a little from the tummy and add a little to the hair and this could have been taken last week - when I wore that same outfit.

Getting dressed up in the winter is practically impossible for me. I HATE being cold so if I can't wear slacks and a sweater I don't know what to do. If I'm trying to look a little, well, enticing to my husband... this unfortunate outfit is what might happen.
Hello up there? Can you see me? I'm the one looking all nonchalant by the kids school calendars.
To be fair, the tights were way more electric red on than they appeared to be in the package.

I ate my lovingly prepared dinner with a space heater approximately 6 inches away.

So that's me. Now you see why I rated my fashion sense as high as I did.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My attempt at smokey eyes

I do believe this is the first picture (of my own) I've posted here, though I've linked to some in the past that are on my other blog. This is my makeup for my Valentine's Day Date. I have on what I thought was a lot of eyeshadow, but it doesn't look that way here. Perhaps if you could actually see my eyelids...
that must be what convinced my pediatrician to repeatedly ask my mother if either of my grandmothers was a Japanese WWII bride. Mentioning that makes me think that maybe I should seek out tutorials for eye makeup aimed at Asian women.
Even though I ended up using youtube when I was looking for some guidance on the ballet stage makeup required for my 15 year old's debut in the Nutcracker...

Wait, I forgot she was only 5

and has her own opinion on makeup application.

... it didn't occur to me to search youtube for makeup guidance for myself. Tweeter @tisworthwhile introduced me to the idea so I watched a few the other morning watching. Which is what convinced me it's the shape of my eyelid that's the problem. Oh well, I'm fine with that - no eye surgery for me! (I can barely tell the difference in the before-and-afters anyway) However,

Coming soon Valentine's Outfit AKA Floundering in Closet for 5 Minutes to get Dressed before Dinner got Cold but I'd Still Need Help Even if I had 50 Minutes. AKA Another mention of Globetrotting in Heels nee Unlikely Housewife.

Meanwhile, just after I wrote this and had just scheduled it to post this evening, I logged onto Twitter to find a message from @hipmom with an eyeliner review. Must be the cabin fever from being stuck inside with kids so much that's put this topic on the mind of so many moms. Check out #beautyparty or #smokeyeyes if you're on twitter.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm sorry Hubs - sort of

I've mentioned it in the last few days that the basis for starting this blog is different from where I am coming from now. Sometimes, I need to write down the crap that happens to get it out of my brain, because if it stays in there it just bounces around and festers. However, I stopped doing it because I could never keep up with the stupid notebooks. I always meant to keep it in the bedside table, but it seems it was hardly ever there. Then I discovered blogging. Well actually, I discovered it, scoffed at it, found great DIY info on blogs, then accepted it into my life. I don't think I've ever misplaced my computer (not sure I will still be able to say this after I get a netbook though), so it seemed like a good repository for my bitching.

Now that more than 1 person is being exposed to my thoughts, I felt it was time to re-read the things I wrote about a year ago. First, I was shocked that even though we aren't actually fighting much these days, little has changed in his behavior or our patterns. Obviously something has changed in me: I think the PPD has finally realized that it overstayed its welcome as the baby is nearly 3. I still have bad days, I still feel like I'm in a fog most of the time, but the wild, overwhelming, funk that I was in isn't there so much.

So, I read my own words, refelt those feelings and contemplated where I want to go now. I still stand by what I wrote and I'm not embarrassed that I put some word-for-word spats out there for the world, but my husband might be. A year ago I didn't care because a) I didn't really tell any one about myself, this was more of a diary b) I wasn't concerning myself with him. Cranky Mommy was an accurate title rather than a tongue in cheek one. Now that I'm going with more of a working-my-way-out than I-don't-know-how-to-get-out view of depression, I think it's time to take down the nitty gritty. Don't get excited, it's not all that gritty.

OK so why am I bothering to tell you all this? Why don't I just take it down? Because there might be someone reading right now that could benefit from finding out another woman is married to a good guy who is often a crappy husband. It is a frustrating and isolating situation to be in. So, if you're so inclined there will be a few days to peruse but then I'll no longer embarrass my husband - in such great detail.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time for a change

I'm not sure where this daily string of posts is coming from. Perhaps from a sense of deprivation for going so long without any? HA
Anyway, I feel cleansed of my feelings about the funeral and the over-worrying-over- active-imagination has ceased to dwell on that topic. So, I'm just making a post to get it off the top of my blog. Since I've gotta leave for the toddler program at the library this is all I've got time for. Aren't you glad you took the time to come see me? I know this post will be a commenting record breaker.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The funeral

(edited to add an apology for the disjointed nature of this post. I don't usually write at this time of day - too many distractions - and I haven't really had time to pull my thoughts together, but I wanted to get this out of my system.)

I went to the memorial service for FSIL's father today. It was the first one I've attended where the deceased had been cremated. Not that I've been to a lot of funerals, but that fact made it a bit different. He was also retired Air Force so there was the military aspect that was new as well. FSIL and her family handled it like champs. Their family has suffered several losses on her father's side in the past few years, so I suppose they've had unfortunate cause to practice grieving in public.

Funerals are odd places. The reason for being there is always sad but at the same time you are meeting new people and seeing ones you haven't seen in a long time. There are smiles, laughter, and heart wrenching tears all in one room. I met one of FSIL's dear friends after the service. She is a lovely woman, sweet and bubbly. I just kept thinking it was strange to learn of her exuberant personality in that room. But you know what? That's who she is. She deals with loss that way and she knows how to deal with it because she lost her dad last summer. Meeting the people who are important to her in this way... well we just envisioned it at an entirely different kind of ceremony.

My brother has grown into a wonderful and caring man. I already knew that, but today I got to see it in action. And hear about it, repeatedly from the other attendees. I know my mother was proud. Brother and FSIL are not actually engaged but have talked about it, he plans to ask and expects a "yes" (though to talk to her bubbly friend, you'd think the wedding was a month away HAHA). If there were any doubts in her mind if it was the right thing for them, after the way she spoke of him to Mom and I today it is clear that going through this tragic time together erased them.

Loss and love, tears and laughter. I know I would make it through if I were in her place, but I'm glad I'm not having to figure it out.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Anissa Mayhew

Sometimes I check out the blog roll on other sites, because my Reader list is tiny and I need to find more ways to waste time on the internet than I currently have available, yeah. Anyway during the previous shift of actually having time to waste, or rather feeling so fed up with housework that I chose the internet over it, I saw a blog called Aiming Low. That sounded about right so I checked it out. It was mid November and the current post was very personal to them. One of their contributors, Anissa, had just had a massive stroke. I felt sad as I always do when I hear of such things. But I did something I don't always do, I intentionally went to find out more. Now don't get me wrong, I don't avoid these kinds of stories because I have no heart, but because I have too much. I take these things on in my soul, worrying over them as if it were happening in my own family. I just can't function like that so I say a prayer and praise the blessings in my life as well as theirs and try to move on. But not this time. Maybe because I have a friend who had a stroke when she was young (totally recovered). Maybe because I once had symptoms of a mini-stroke, a TIA, though I didn't know that as it was happening, but learned about it only after my neurologist wanted to do a scan. Fortunately, he saw no physical signs that a TIA had occurred. Although we never figured it out, it hasn't happened again. But I think about it because I just can't turn those kinds of thoughts off. And I'd been thinking of Anissa. I hadn't checked in on her since the end of January but I checked last Saturday and shared her story with my husband. I thought about her and about something else I realized - that she moved states last summer and now lives in the same metro area as I do. I'd been wondering if there was something I could do to help. But it's kind of weird. I could only offer time or service, but I'm a total stranger. She has kids, I have kids, would I want to accept in-person help from a total stranger? Allow them into a life that included my young children? She could easily live an hours drive from me and still be in the same metropolis but she could be in my same town. So with these thoughts, I checked her blog again yesterday (which she started when her daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia - talk about a double whammy). I, along with others touched by her story, found good news. Anissa is well enough to return home. The thing is that their insurance co-pay for the therapy she needs is quite high - to the tune of $4000. We may have run out of money like 2 weeks ago and it may be too weird to offer/accept my in-person help, but this, passing along her story, I can do.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A change in tone: Night Time Waking- Toddlers

When I originally started this blog, I had the idea that I'd use it simply as an outlet to vent - mostly about my marriage and financial situation. After all, I had other blogs, each with a different base topic to satisfy my compartmentalizing needs. But after the past few months, in which I didn't blog anywhere and barely made an appearance on any on-line outlet, I began to rethink my goals and needs. Instead of embracing the "cranky" part of this blog, I'm going to focus more on the "mommy" part, which is more than just my family title, as all you fellow moms know. To be sure, I will still have cranky days - mostly owing to lack of sleep. Like today since my son spent a very restless night in bed with me. This is something new, I don't think the girls ever spent a night in our bed, once they stopped night nursing, if they weren't quite sick and that hasn't happened often. I don't want to start a trend but I don't have the energy to figure out what is going on with AK (who's 2.5). Really, he's just been very cranky himself through the day and has been refusing afternoon naps in favor of late evening naps. This is a problem I haven't gotten figured out yet. I'll share my tips for the sleeping problems I did figure out and hope you'll share any tips you have for me on this one!

(The following post originally appeared on my "company manners" blog Neoteric Traditional)
No super parent am I, nor have I had terrible issues with my kids at night, but I've got some experience and some tips. This doesn't mean that I'm not awoken nearly every night by one thing or another, but sometimes it's my own sleep issues or more frequently it's the train rumbling past, oh wait, that's my husband's snoring.

To find the correct fix, you have to figure out why your child is waking up.

Are you in potty training mode? She could be waking as she pees or when it becomes uncomfortable. Is she dry when she wakes up in the middle of the night? One issue we went through was she was being alerted by her bladder but she was too sleepy to realize the cause / didn't know to go to the bathroom at night. When she woke up, I'd take her to the toilet and remind her that was why she woke up. As she went to bed I'd tell her "If you wake up at night, go to the potty, quietly and without me."

Is she a cover kicker or a night sweater? Try changing PJ types and different blankets. First, we practiced how to fix her cover during the day which worked sometimes, but eventually I turned the flat sheet perpendicular so I could snugly tuck in the "sides" and she couldn't get everything so twisted up. I kept the sheet a bit loose on her because she's an active sleeper but the length meant I could tuck in more sheet than she could kick.

Is this the start of nightmares? This one is a bit tougher, because when they're scared they just want you. Talk out the dream in the morning, ask her things that she could change or add to the dream to make it turn into a good one. Try to not give answers here, but if you do make sure they're as silly and as "rainbow-y" as you can think of. Bestow some magic powers on her favorite snugly or get a new one that can fix the scary dream. Flashlights, especially those with the silhouette caps are good at chasing bad dreams out the window.

Is she in a growth phase? Our bodies do most of their growth and repair at night but sometimes it can hurt. It might take you massaging her legs or arms for a few minutes but see if you can figure out something she can do herself. Try adding a little rub down to your nighttime routine and getting a funny little massager thing she can rub on her legs/arms. The one I have is just blue plastic but it's mine therefore special for her to use. There are ladybug shaped ones and plain wooden ones etc.

My final tip is to think about your and your spouse's sleep patterns. You kids could have similar patterns / issues. If they simply wake up at night make sure there are things to do at night in the bed or in easy reach. A dim lamp, nightlight, or flashlight so she can see what she's doing, some favorite books, little stuffed animals, a magna-doodle type board. Something she can do alone, quietly and that won't be wrecked when she falls back asleep on top of it.

Those are the 5 main reasons my girls have woken up at night and for the most part these fixes have worked. Let's not forget the boy though, and since I've publicly put in my 2 cents on this issue, he'll have bigger and harder to solve problems!

See, I knew it!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Marital Communi-whatzis?

If all a man's thinking went on in his brain, I believe a sizable chunk of marital miscommunication wouldn't exist. If I have told you dozens of times over the years that *standing too close* and rubbing my bicep doesn't get me in the mood, furthermore, that after all these years it is now an irritation, yet you still try it this morning, you must not be thinking with your brain. I know you are able because I can say to you "What are you singing? Is that something you made up or is it that band you like?" and you answer with "I made it up, it's not Soul Coughing" you know who I meant even though you haven't been really into them for about 7 years.
I'll concede that it may not be possible to think entirely with your brain, but at least get it involved.

What's that you say? Something about women and emotions? Hormones? What the hell are you getting at man? Are you saying that I don't always think completely rationally? Really? Yeah, I didn't think so. OK Baby, we'll talk later! *kiss*

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reflecting on fathers

My brother met a really wonderful girl, (I should say woman, but he's my little brother so I still see him as a teen) a few months ago. His personality and convictions being what they are, at this point he is very serious about her and it is his intention to one day make her part of our family. And with our family, if one of us loves you - all of us do. Well, within reason.
Anyway, what I'm getting at is that we've accepted her into the family with the bonus that we all actually like her. Then yesterday something happened that I'm sure has nearly shattered her world. Her father had some sort of surgery on his lung Tuesday, he came out fine and was doing well until yesterday when he had a fatal heart attack. I can't even imagine how massive an attack it must have been for him to have been IN the hospital and still die. I can't imagine her grief right now. I was OK as I was on the phone with my mom, but when I called Hubs, I really started to lose it. I don't know why exactly. Yes, part of it is pure sadness for her, but I'm talking about being on the edge of not being able to pick the girls up from school. I don't know her very well and I've never met any of her family so is it something else? I don't know, but the most likely scenario is putting myself in her situation. Having just gotten serious with someone I can see marrying, with so many important times ahead...

Thinking of that naturally makes me think of my father. He isn't Father of the Century material, but he's a good guy. Certainly a better father than his, my mother's or my husband's were. He always worked hard, in a physically demanding profession, to provide as best as he could. Some years the provisions were more than others, but we survived the lean times somehow. Though he wasn't the most supportive, he was far from absent. He accepted my husband, then boyfriend, into the family before he met him, and despite the age difference, because he had faith in my feelings. He proudly walked me down the aisle. He waited anxiously in the hallway for the birth of my children. (Well, no one was there for #2, but that's another story). He loves my children and would spoil them rotten if he could. He's there when I need him and when I don't. He shares his interests with me and makes plans for how he'll share them with my kids when they're older. I think FSIL was close with her dad so I'm sure he'd have been right there with her for all the big moments to come. I'm so sorry for her that she won't get to share it with him.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm too sexy for my...

aahhh, I got nuthin'. I'm not fashion illiterate, dyslexic maybe, 2nd grade level reader maybe. I can't translate seeing clothes to wearing clothes and I'm very picky when it comes to fit and wearability (I'm being told that's not a word - how apropos) . I don't know how to go bold. I can pick individual items, but have a very hard time making outfits. Plus I'm all over the place eclectic in my tastes. Then you know there's the small matter of the single-income-earner-out-of-work/harried-mother-of-3-with-no-time-to-do-own-laundry-much-less-shop thing I got going on.

I don't do fashion blogs, because for me, what's the point? I can stare at things all day, doesn't mean it will work for me, that I have the ability duplicate it or the money to afford it. But sometimes fashion makes an appearance on some of the blogs I do read. Like One Pearl Button. Her style fits one of my personalities. A quiet quirky one. But, Unlikely Housewife, now her picks make me drool. Her picks are colorful, boldly (to me) accessorized, and damn sexy. I can completely imagine her wearing them, but me - not so much. Though they appeal to another personality, it is one that I didn't discover until it was kinda too late for her to really bloom. It's winter for her and I hope she will see spring again - if I wore something like this, it might just seem like the end of the frost.

I don't think there's a woman out there who couldn't bring a little summer heat to her Valentine's date if she showed up wearing this.

Photo is from the polyvore set by Unlikely Housewife aka HipMom

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I just HAD to do it

I caved in a big way. I just couldn't resist. I tried. I waited 13 whole days. Thirteen. It sits in the fridge mocking me, knowing it's crunch won't be the same after tonight. Knowing it's pure simple "4" ingredient goodness combines so many of my loves. It is close to toppling brownies from the top of my list.


This is Bakerella's photo. My photos suck so I'm not even gonna compete!
She lives in the same metro area as I do. I could say that I wouldn't mind living next to her so she wouldn't have to eat all the goodies alone, but she would have to be on the right side. My left/back neighbor is pretty rockin' and it probably does me better to have an exercise buddy than a baking buddy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Oh, hey, I'm not dead

though you probably wouldn't guess from looking at the sleep deprived pallor of my skin. I am, however, burnt out. Unimaginably, Hubs still doesn't have a regular full-time job, fortunately he does get enough contract and freelance work to keep us from drowning in debt, yet.

Homeschool became a minute by minute battle of wills. Her skills are fine and perhaps ahead in some areas but silly me, I had the notion that the 9 hours a week that we got alone, if we were lucky, should be spent doing school work while she felt that she should get to stare blankly into space and drop her pencil at a rate of about 3 times per minute. Add to that the normal head butting that happens with a 6yo girl who thinks "it's time for [her] to be a teenager now" and it wasn't a happy day. But with her at a short day kindergarten, it's getting better. The other 2 have been pretty much the same as usual, so that's good.

I finally took some steps to better health. I stopped snacking so much and cut way back on my sugar intake. I must say, that though I joked several times that I run on sugar (as opposed to caffeine) I'm beginning to think it may have been true! I have even less energy than I used to. I've been working out for about 30-40 minutes 3x's a week, if possible, with my friend and next door neighbor, Violin Mama, on her Wii. Which isn't an aerobic strain the way we've been going: she's 6 months pregnant and I'm well, out of shape, but it's a good start. Those 3 steps alone have helped me lose a few pounds this month, now if I could just lower the fat content, I'd be good!

I haven't been on-line in general a lot in the past few months, you can see/read why at my other blog, Neoteric Traditional. I've definitely been cranky, but it's more like one-liners than blog posts so this afternoon I decided to -GASP!- join twitter. I think that will be a better outlet for me with my technologically challenged computer. I'll link it up here when I have time, but I'm @mommyiscranky if you're interested in the meantime.