Thursday, April 28, 2011

My clever idea. Clever-ish. Maybe.

So many of you are so crafty and good with your hands; I'm almost embarrassed to post this since I cheated by going through CafePress. But I designed an apron (design? hah! I slapped some text over a picture of an apron and called it done. I did spend some time agonizing over the font, I guess...). Now, some people may not care for it, but it's been a joke between me and Jeremy for a long time, and someone suggested I actually put it up for sale. So I did!

Anyway, go check it out, if you don't mind. Even if you won't buy one, share it on your Facebook wall if you like it. I'd love to just sell ten of these!


Barefoot in the Kitchen

(I wrote a real entry earlier today)

This and that

I sit down to write something at least five times a day and then blank out. This is the busiest (good busy) I've been in years, and somehow I have nothing to talk about.

I have continued to lose weight. This is nice, but it also means I'm slowly shrinking out of even my older standbys. Buy a new wardrobe, suffer self-loathing for all the money I've needlessly spent, or don't buy a new wardrobe and suffer self-loathing for how horrible I look all the time? It's a conundrum.

(Don't worry. "Self-loathing" is hyperbole, folks. My ego is far too healthy--some might even say "fat"--to do any such thing to me.)

It's very odd because I'm still 15 pounds heavier than I was right after I had Emmy (the tiniest I've been since before I got pregnant with Grace, believe it or not; eating nothing but lettuce through an entire pregnancy does wonders for your post-pregnancy body... sadly, nursing had me packing it right back on), but all my clothing from then is really loose one me. Even the stuff that was old and stretched out already. I know I've put on muscle, but I'm certain it's not fifteen pounds' worth.

You know the other disadvantage to losing weight? (WARNING: OVERSHARE AHEAD) Bloat. Yeah. Turns out, if you lose a whole bunch of water weight, it comes back every time you're on your cycle. Bonus points if yours comes every two weeks (lucky me!). Now, it's really nice to feel lighter and smaller every other week, but it's also really frustrating to go up half a pants size for four days out of every fourteen. Yech.

Utah's weather may be better, but it still likes to drag out winter for a looong time. While it's much warmer here on average than in Wisconsin, 59 degrees and windy with rain is just not happy spring weather. We get a teaser every couple of days, and then Pbbbbt, says Utah, and snots all over us.

Yesterday was one such glorious day. We were going to grill out and then couldn't figure out how to light the stupid thing. This involved Jeremy running to WinCo with Grace to buy a long-handled lighter while Emmy and I hung out on the grill patio behind the clubhouse. She's so funny. When Grace goes anywhere without her, she'll cry for five minutes. And then once she gets over it, she turns into the happiest baby. Not that she's unhappy when Grace is around, but I think she relishes her few moments alone with a parent. Yesterday, I set her down in the grass to see how she'd react. Much like Grace, she Did Not Appreciate it, and sat there crying for a few minutes. Then she gingerly stood up and took a few tentative steps, stumbled, fell, and realized how much fun it is to fall in grass. That's pretty much all she did until Jeremy came back. If anyone noticed, I'm sure they thought I was feeding my toddler beer.

In Wisconsin, that would probably earn me a hearty, "Atta girl! Start 'em young!" from most people. Not so sure about Utah.

My sister and family are coming to visit next week. I am so excited I could squeal. In fact, I have squealed. Several times. It will be an adventure to have four adults and four (five, maybe, I'm not sure) children under one roof, but I am not worried. Especially not if the weather cooperates. Hi, sister! If you are reading this. I am giddy!

With that, I leave you. We have people coming over tonight, and while there's not a LOT to do, I know that I will regret it if I procrastinate any more.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I need a good slap in the head

There has been a *babyspolsion among my friends in the last couple of months. It is making me positively feverish, which I know is complete lunacy. I can barely make it through most days without ripping my hair out in frustration. The girls just happen to be at two very irritating phases.

*(I love this typo. Instead of mashing "baby" up with "explosion," I mashed it up with a misspelled "expulsion," which is pretty hilarious if you think about it.)

If I might get all math geeky on you, it's like two sine wave added together. Each of their overall behavior patterns looks like one of the top two:


But when you add them together there are spikes and dips and craziness all over the place. Each by herself is a pretty easy child with a few irritating quirks. But when they line up juuuust right, it's a week of tooth-gnashing and hair-tearing.

Grace has recently made a few huge leaps in development. She's suddenly very eager to do things like go down the slide or go for walks in the wind, and I think she's on the verge of understanding the relationships among letters and words and reading. She also recently started telling stories about things she's done, which is, in my opinion, a pretty big leap. But her milestones have always coincided with some seriously high-maintenance behavior, and this time is no exception.

Emmy, on the other hand, has had the most horrible diaper rash I have ever seen in my life. Cherry-red, broken skin, something that looks like yeast bumps, maybe some burning and hives mixed in, and nothing (NOTHING) worked on it. Gobs of Desitin, stripping the diapers, switching to disposables, cutting out any possible allergen candidates from her diet, Lotrimin, coconut oil, lots of naked time. You name it, we tried it. Two weeks of this, and we were thisclose to calling the pediatrician, when it was suddenly better this morning. I'm still baffled.

Both of them have also become even pickier eaters recently. I tell my friends with picky eaters to just let their kids choose to eat what's on the table, that it's okay if they don't eat supper once in a while (as a pediatrician and several other people have told me: "It's your job to offer a good variety of foods at each meal, and it's their job to pick and choose."). I've been pretty Zen about the whole thing for a while; I've had to with Grace, lest I go completely mad or start feeding her French fries for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But with two needy, high-maintenance children, it is just exhausting to sit through yet another dinner where they poke at the four different kinds of food laid out for them, eating nothing and occasionally whimpering. I work hard to make a variety of foods to keep things interesting, and nothing. When Grace gets a little older, she will have to start trying one small bite of each thing if she's never had it before. But she's a bit young for that yet.

Anyway, with all of this, I still feel the baby fever brimming up inside of me. Our apartment is far too small for another body, and until we get rid of our house, we really shouldn't even think about another baby anyway. Plus, imagine if you added another sine wave to the graph above. It'd look like a cocaine-addled heart rate monitor.

I know that if an "accident" happened (I know that a baby would not be an accident at all, but I'm speaking from our perspective, not God's), we would deal. Things would work out, we would pare down our expenses and be okay. But it would be really hard. And the interesting set of challenges presented by children 16 months apart (especially when the older one is needy and shy and clingy like Velcro, and the younger one is hell-bent on killing herself at every opportunity, and both of them are about ten pounds heavier than any child their age has any right to be, and you can't carry both of them at the same time anymore) would be absolute insanity with the next one just 23 months later.

What I need is a local friend with a newborn. I could go hang out at her house for a week and be reminded of all the fun involved in those early days. I'm sure that would cure me immediately. Maybe. Newborns are awfully squishy. And they smell good.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

No Man's Land

Picture yourself, high on the knowledge that you have sloughed yet another size off yourself, walking into Savers with a plan and a dream. A dream of a cheap wardrobe. A cheap wardrobe that must be cheap because (you hope) you won't be stopping at this size for long. But a fabulous wardrobe, one that will encourage you to keep going! We are going to have so much fun, Savers, you and me, old pal.

SHIRTS: They come in several forms.

1. Cute at a size 8, not so cute at a 10 or 12. Because a size 10 or 12 person is not the same shape as a size 8 person. If you were a size 8, the shirt would fit nicely--snug in the right spots, just barely skimming the wrong spots. When you are a size 10 or 12, it is snug in the right spots and SNUG in the wrong spots. It draws giant arrows pointing to the parts of your body you are dissatisfied with and says, "LOOK HERE, EVERYBODY! I'D SAY IT'S ABOUT TEN POUNDS!"

2. Cute at size 14 and up, does not exist at size 10 or 12. I love Lane Bryant. LOVE that store. Their clothing says, "I am maybe a little hefty, but I am still a woman and want to look beautiful and feminine." But sizes 10 and 12 are not allowed into that little club.

3. Cut right for size 10 or 12, but not cute at all in any size whatsoever. This shirt says, "I GIVE UP ON EVER LOOKING LIKE A WOMAN AGAIN."

4. Flimsy jersey knit, the bane of my existence, and the fabric every single manufacturer in the world is CRAZY over these last couple of years. I cannot find clothing that is not jersey knit. It simply does not exist. I mean, yeah, it's soft and comfortable, but it magnifies every single roll. That little baby pouch that you're still carrying around? At the part where it touches your shirt, it looks like Mount Everest. It is the most unforgiving fabric, and it is everywhere. Unless I want to dress head to toe in business casual every single day. Which I don't. I really hate ironing.

I hate you, Savers. I hate you and your stupid clothing.