Saturday, October 30, 2010

Love Is Bella

"Mom, can I have two girlfriends?"


"I can't?"


"But what if I want to have two girlfriends?"

"Then you'll hurt their feelings."

That stopped my six-year-old Lothario short. I looked at him in the rear view mirror while he pondered what I'd just said.

"Well then I'll just have Bella as my girlfriend," he said.

"Does Kate know?"

"Does she have to?" he asked, looking pained.

"Yes! You have to end it with Kate before you start it up with Bella."

"I have to?"

"Yes! How do you think Kate would feel if she found out Bella was your girlfriend while she thought she was still your girlfriend?"

"Bad," he said and looked out the car window.

"Maybe we need to get rid of this whole 'Girlfriend" business. You're six."

Cracky gave me two saucer-like eyes, looking as though I'd just sentenced him to life in a monastery.

"Why can't they just be your 'friends' why do they have to be your 'girlfriends?" I continued.

"Can they be my 'friend-girlfriends?'"

I sighed.

"Bella rested her head on my shoulder while we watched a movie," he smiled a little smile to himself.

"Oh, really?"

"Yeah. It felt really good, actually." He repeated the pleased little smile.

He's six.


Six and he's staring out the car window, smiling to himself while he dreams of Bella with her blond head resting on his shoulder.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I've Been Pulling My Pants Down A Lot Lately

I went to see the doctor for a swollen eyebrow and ended up with my pants down.

How does that happen?

Sometime last weekend my eyebrow started swelling up. Each day I figured the swelling would subside, but instead it got worse. By Wednesday morning when I looked in the mirror, my eyelid was swollen too.

"Have a good day at work, Squinty!" My husband said.

"Quit staring at my eyebrow." We'd been having a conversation where he stared at my right eyebrow and not directly in my eyes the entire time.

"I'm not," he said, still staring at my eyebrow. "You look beautiful today."

"Shut up."

"You do!" he said and continued to stare at my eyebrow while trying to look earnest.

So I made an appointment with the dermatologist. Once there, she seemed rather perplexed by the swollen eyebrow.

"Are you sure you didn't use any new products or do anything different?"

"Yes, I'm sure," I said.

"Did you recently have your eyebrows waxed?"

"No, I'm growing them out."

"Have you used any new makeup?"


"Lotions, creams, soaps?"


"Did any sharp objects come in contact with your eye?"

"No!" I laughed. "I would have noticed that."

"Did you get bitten by a bug?"

"Not that I recall."

"Were you outside this weekend?"

"I was! I went to a corn maze!"

"Perhaps you were bitten by a bug in the cornfield?"

"Possibly!" I agreed.

She suggested cortisone, a topical antibiotic and an oral antibiotic. At the mention of cortisone I tried to raise my eyebrow (which I couldn't do, because of the swelling).

"Cortisone? How do you administer that?" I asked and then bugged my eyes out in an attempt to raise the eyebrow.

"In a shot."

"Where exactly would you administer this shot?" I began imagining a needle in my eye.

She pointed at her rear end.

"Ugh," I said.

"In fact, I recommend we do two. One in each cheek."

"Aw man!" I said.

"You've had children, you'll be fine."

Now that I've given birth to two screaming infants this has officially set the bar for my pain threshold. Actually, now that I think about it, the doctor's right. That is all you have to say to me and I'm on board. It's like an instant reality check.

So the nurse came in with two needles.

"How do we do this?" I asked. "I haven't had a shot in my rear end since I was five."

"Some people lay on their stomachs on the table, and some people just bend over and put their hands on the table like this," she said and demonstrated the position for me.

I weighed the comparable humiliation of laying on my stomach with my naked hindquarters facing the florescent lights versus just bending over and scooting my pants down.

"I guess I'll bend over," I said and sighed. "Should I pull my pants down now?"

It's moments like these that I'm glad I work out. In fact, I think having to pull your pants down is the motivation for all exercise on the planet. At least that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Fortunately the shots didn't hurt all that much going in. It is true that just having had a baby six months ago has set my pain threshold rather high. That and the fact that the epidural wore off before I had to push that baby out. Ha ha. I am woman, hear me roar.

What did surprise me was that by the time I walked out to the parking lot and had reached my car, both cheeks were already sore. Sitting at my desk was mildly uncomfortable all day and every time I got up out of my chair, I winced just a bit.

But if someone had told me on Wednesday morning that my swollen eyebrow would result in one shot to each cheek, I never would have believed them. Add to this the fact that just last Friday I had an IUD installed in my uterus.

It's a lot of public nakedness for such a private person.

Fortunately the IUD did inspire a great new haircut on Saturday. I told my hairdresser that I wanted "Sexy IUD hair" and I'll be damned if that didn't inspire her. I think I got the best haircut of my life.

Feel free to use that line as creative direction with your own hairstylist. It's very liberating. That and two shots of steroids to your butt and you'll be feeling pretty cheeky.

First attempt at Photoshop. Thanks to Steam Me Up, Kid for the mile-high technical advice.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oh Snap, Dalai Lama!

I just read this:

"Sometimes, when we are discouraged by a difficult situation, anger does seem helpful, appearing to bring more energy, confidence and determination. And while it is true that anger brings extra energy, it eclipses the best part of our brain: its rationality. So the energy of anger is almost always unreliable. It can cause an immense amount of destructive, unfortunate behavior."

— The Dalai Lama

I have often been mislead by my own anger or my friends' anger and thought to myself: "Hey, it's better than depression!"

My bad.

It's always better to sit with something than to react. Always. But funny how when you're in reaction mode, it seems so brilliant and empowering...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'm Toast.

My baby girl held her arms up to me for the first time.

Good lord.

If that doesn't pull at your heart strings, I don't know what will. Maybe it means more coming from my independent little girl. She's autonomous this one, and not overly snuggly or cuddly. You can try and squish her and hug her but she leans back. Oh, she's full of lots of smiles and laughs for you, but she's just not a hugger.

She does like to be kissed. She smiles a little smile, and if you keep doing it enough, she'll laugh.

She does show affection. But she does it by thrusting her fists into my hair and pulling. Hard. With her brother she grabs his face with both of her hands and then tries to claw his skin off. She's a rather violent lover.

But today I paused before I swooped her out of her cradle. I held out my hands and yes, I waited.

Those two little arms popped up and that expectant little face peered up.

"Pick me up, Mama. Pick me up."

Okay, she can't talk yet, but her eyes are very expressive.

Those little arms popped up like two pieces of toast out of the toaster. Bing! Just like that.

And it was love.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tall Girl in a Short Jacket

I love jackets.

I can recall a long stream of fabulous jackets going all the way back to a suede fringe number in high school. I think I wore it so much my friends started calling me "Fringes" instead of "Fish." I wish I'd kept it. (Not that I'd actually wear it, but it was such a piece of the era.)

Before this last move to my husband's house, I boldly got rid of some jackets I'd held on to for too long (or so I thought) and now my heart longs for the leopard print 3/4-length jacket that some homeless person is probably wearing now.

I thought you couldn't wear leopard after 40.

(I know I'm not 40 yet, but I like to be prepared.)

My friend Mary is a great jacket-wearer. You never see Mary without a jacket, so much so, that it's sort of her trademark. And as I am wont to do with most friends with trademarks I covet, I've proceeded to copy her over the years. This became particularly handy once I left teaching and started in the advertising world where jeans are de rigeur but one doesn't want to look slovenly.

Well, this one doesn't.

So jackets and jeans it is and has been.

I'm in a fit of conniptions over the military jackets right now. So much so that I've already purchased two and I would have bought three if the third hadn't been too short. This is the one shortcoming (ha!) of being a tall girl who loves jackets.

Forget about the jacket if it has some sort of waist detail or attached belt. Those features will likely come right under my armpits and indeed make me look like the comedy routine of "Tall Girl in a Short Jacket." This is particularly sad when the sleeves are super long and the waist is super high (as was the case with a particularly adorable khaki green camp jacket). Ah well.

Yesterday I went to return one adorable military jacket to NORDSTROM because the seam had split (I wore it twice!) and of course I couldn't return it without trying on a few more military jackets (this may be a full on-obsession and may require an intervention). The baby and I were in the large dressing room and I had Baby facing the mirror so she could watch me try on clothes (entertainment!).

As I tried on one too-short jacket after another, I watched Baby's face turn bright red. Then she grunted disapprovingly. In fact, Baby filled her pants and let me know that she thought the too-short jackets looked like shit.


Now I know I can trust Baby to give me an honest opinion.

Military Tracksuit for Infants by Juicy Couture.