Tuesday, December 02, 2014

How my brain works

     "Hmmm, I have a second; I'll check pinterest for clever holiday decorating ideas.  Let's see, rustic holiday, traditional holiday, modern holiday, decorating your porch, decorating your entryway, decorating your kitchen, decorating your bathroom....
      "Wait a second. Somebody has a board all for decorating their bathroom for the holidays? Is that a thing now? That's so stupid!"

I click on it.

     "I suppose Christmas hand towels make sense. And a couple candles. Ooh, holiday scented soaps!"

I open a google tab and search Christmas+scented+soap.

     "Why does everyone show photos of the actual soap? No one cares what their bar of soap looks like! I need to see the pretty decorative wrapper!  Oh my God, why do the ones with pretty decorative wrappers cost so much more than the ones that just show the soap? Are they charging me ten dollars more for twelve square inches of Christmas paper?! I could do that myself with wrapping paper."

light bulb

     "Why don't I just buy the scented stuff in the ugly wrapper, wrap it myself with Christmas paper and a glue stick, print a label to go around it, and save tons of money?  I. Am. A. GENIUS!"
     "Shit, I've been on the computer forever. When am I supposed to pick up the kids from school?"

Saturday, November 01, 2014

More on that one quilt.

Tommy saw a quilt on a sale site, that was marked all the way down to $80, so of course I wouldn't buy it. But I did try to make it, although I decided to try stripes instead of squares. So here's the inspiration: 

They do sort of have a point.

Sometimes when I'm on pinterest, and I see all of the decorative uses for pumpkins and apples and corn for this time of year, I think of starving nations and realize that the rest of the world is kind of justified in hating us.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The pressure to be finished with a work in progress is a LOT.

I have picked up subtle and less subtle hints that I should show off my new house. And man, would I love too. Except that my kids wreck it as fast as I clean it.  But also, I have always been weird. And a lot of it was by design.  My mother's voice echoes in my head, "You do this all for shock effect."  I now have a home I love, and feel comfortable in, but are the visible eccentricities just sad cries for shock effect? Am I begging for attention? I don't think so. I feel relaxed and comfortable whether or not anyone sees the man under the stairs, but if I were photographing the house, the man under the stairs would be a photo I'd include.  But when I get the place cleaned up more, maybe for Xmas???  I'll post photos. Promise

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What have I been doing instead of blogging?

Ryan's quilt.

Danny's quilt

Tommy's quilt

Couch quilt just to try to get rid of some scraps.

I just finished a lap quilt tonight but it's in the wash so I can't take a picture of it yet.  I desperately need more blankets and sheets for filling and backing. I guess I have no choice but to run to Goodwill.  Tommy's and Danny's quilts have $5 Walmart blankets in them and $5 Walmart flat sheets for the backs, as well as (gasp!) new fabric I bought just for them. Swanky stuff. Don't worry, though. There's some old stuff there, too. The tye-dye/cloudy sort of fabric in Tommy's quilt is from my mom's stash, so that's almost 40 years old, and the thin orangey flowered strips in Danny's is some of my highly prized authentic vintage 1970s polyester. They don't make that shit anymore. Mostly because people requested that they stop actually making shit like that.  Anyway, this is what I've been doing while the kids are good, so mainly after they've gone to bed. I'm pretty durn proud of myself, actually.Five quilts finished in half a summer. Not bad.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Tom let me sleep in on Saturday before he went golfing and then when he got back, I took Ryan and went shopping for flowers, a trellis or two, some bird feeders, and dirt. When we got home, I took a quick shower and then Tom and I took the boys to see Godzilla and The Amazing Spiderman 2 at the drive-in. We were out until almost 3:00am. Then on Sunday I woke up with the boys at 10:00 and hung out with them until Tom took them and their best friend, Corwen, to watch the Monster Truck Jam he won tickets too on the radio. While they were gone, Ryan and I did some more landscape shopping and tore a hole in the front yard to take advantage of the only full sun area we have. We de-sodded it, ringed it with blocks, mulched it, filled a lot of planters with strawberries and flowers, and got it looking pretty decent before Tom got home.

Dirty, sweaty, tired, sore. I have a new flower bed, Ryan has a container garden and a trellis that will grow fragrant flowers right up her bedroom window, both my boys had two nights in a row of best-dad-ever time, and Tom maybe appreciates a little more of what I go through with the boys. Best weekend ever!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My bathroom is an unfortunate and undignified shade of pink. Pink sink, pink tub, and pink 4x4 tiles all over the place.

We don't want to do a gut and remodel because it's terribly expensive. My idea, which I love with a tiny hidden bit of glee, is to wander around home improvement stores and antique stores, waiting to find the perfect stuff, with no eye on any style other than "We like this".  We found a sweet dresser, the perfect size for a double sink vanity, at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for like $30. Now we need basins. To keep as much storage as possible, we need either a vessel sink or a low drop in one. And then we need two of them. And Tom is unwilling to even part with the money to paint the walls! It's a battle. But when it's won, I will love that bathroom forever. Like victory over plumbing.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I am pretty heavily medicated right now.Anxiety meds, beta blockers that I just learned from Bones might make me impotent, antibiotics for my sore throat, Xanax to calm me down when the really super itchy side effects of the antibiotics drive me mad, and ambien so I can sleep though it all.  So I'm thinking pretty clearly and I think I may have cured the world. Just, bear with me here.

I propose a revolution in how we teach teenagers how to live. For one thing, teach them the real boring crap that they should just know.Teach them the actual chemical names for their medicines so they know what they're taking. Tylenol = acetominophen. Motrin-Advil=ibuprofen.  But it's the tylenol you have to hide from. In fact, there's no reason to even buy it. It's not an anti-inflamatory like ibuprofen is, so it won't help when pain comes with swelling. And even better, if you drink and take acetominophen regularly, it's the highest single cause of spontaneous liver failure in the US. In fact, downing a bottle full of it is the preferred method of suicide in the UK. So I think wew need to teach kids that tylenol isn't harmless.

Also, We should teach them how to do laundry. Not the whole thing about sorting colors and don't forget the fabric softener. I mean, how to get black oil stains out of a pink tee-shirt. My daughter wore my new shirt to her jazz band concert and it came home with valve oil spots. First I'll try dish soap, then bar soap. Then the actual detergent, with color-safe bleach, and prayer.

Monday, March 31, 2014

I've probably done this before, but . . . .

I have a friend who is expecting a first baby and I offered him any advice/tips he may want. But I figured a generic link to a list might appeal more to him. Kind of like a cracked.com childbirth class.

  1. Pack earplugs and one of those airplane sleep masks in your bag. It's hard to sleep in a hospital at night, and harder still if you're up all night giving birth and then try to sleep in the day. A new mother could hear her baby stir through cinder blocks and earmuffs; the earplugs won't keep her from waking up to nurse.
  2. Pack nipple shields, and ignore ANYONE who tells you they're for flat nipples only. I can list off so many people who were ONLY able to nurse because of a shield (poor latch, tiny baby mouth, engorgement, pain, etc) and it literally cannot hurt to try the shield when you hit the wall. They sell them at Target.
  3. Depends.  Yes, adult diapers. All dignity screams NOOOOO, but after giving birth you bleed like a popped water balloon and the hospital issues those quarter inch mini pads. For cleanliness and peace of mind, sleep in the elastic waist underwear style Depends for as long as you need to.  They are NO more embarrassing or less stylish than the fishnet disposable panties the hospital gives you.
  4. Pharmacies sell this stuff that's basically ambesol for hemmorhoids. It's just lidocaine cream in a toothpaste tube. Hemmorhoids or not, you may end up with an episiotomy and any kind of painkiller helps with that. Also request epifoam, Tucks pads, and giant maxi pads you squeeze to activate the chemical ice back within. And a squirty bottle of warm water. If they won't give you one, use contact lense saline. I'ts sterile and keeps stitches from drying. Oh, and pat dry, don't wipe.
  5. Bring a swaddling blanket (my fave is the woombie  but Walmart sells one with velcro tabs that doesn't suck either) and use it from the first. They are wonderful and help the baby sleep so well. Added bonus: it holds too-big newborn diapers on a little tighter, gives a baby thrust into an alien world a new familiar constant if she wears it for every nap, and eliminates the need for most pajamas, so midnight diaper changes are easier.
  6. SPECIFICALLY ask for a post-birth IV of pitocin. Put this in your birth plan, make several copies, give one to your ob/gyn before your due date, and hand the rest out to hospital staff when you get there. Nurses are vigilant to the point of paranoia about getting the blood out of your uterus. Pitocin will cause cramping and accomplish this. The ONE time I didn't know to ask for it, they gave me the usual treatment which is to pull down your sheets and underclothes and grind their balled up fist into your already tender uterus until tears gush from your face and blood gushes from elsewhere. Just, trust me. Ask for the pitocin instead.
  7. Bring a purse full of sugar-free chocolate bars with you. The last thing you want to do after having a baby is push and sugar-free chocolate has the gentlest laxative/softening effect I've found. Better than stool softener pills, better than prunes or prune juice, better than drinking gallons of water (although you may want to do that one anyway, to help with milk supply.)
  8. If you plan to nurse, cut anyone who offers to help you supplement. Don't let them bottle feed the baby while you sleep or give sugar water if the baby's blood sugar drops (if you ask, they'll bring you the sugar water and a straw. Remember holding the top of the straw to keep it full until dripping liquid on the smooshed straw wrapper to make "worms"? Same basic idea, and it doesn't cause nipple confusion.  And neither will a shield if you have to use one.
  9. A well-controlled gag reflex and a bar of hand soap (I use Irish Spring) will clean just about anything out of clothes. Baby poop, spit-up, milk leakage, blood, even  the most disgusting- baby food.
  10. Homemade baby wipes are the best. A roll of Bounty (you need something strong when it's wet), and a weak baby wash and water solution. Cut the roll in half with a serrated knife, remove the center tube, put it in any plastic lidded canister the right size, and pour the soapy water in and let it soak. You can pull the towels right up through the middle like our moms used to.
  11. Gentian Violet. I don't know what it is but it works for thrush. And if you're nursing, you get thrush when the baby gets thrush. So you take this purple stuff and you paint your nipples purple, multiple times a day. And when the baby nurses, she gets some, too. The main issue with RX thrush meds for babies is that so much sugar is added to make the babies swallow it that it kind of feeds the yeast itself. Most definitely ask your doctors about all of this I'm saying, but I've never heard a pediatrician say anything negative about it.
  12. Another nursing thing. Everyone will recommend Lansinoh lanolin cream for sore or cracked nippled.  I tried it and it was just a goopy mess.  So the next time I gave birth I tried another product, one I would use again no matter how many kids I ever have.  The Gerber Breast Therapy Stick. Imagine a big chap stick you just rub on and leave. No gooey fingers trying to close up the bra, no muss at all.
  13. A nursing cami is just amazing. A good one comes with enough bra built in that you can undo and do it with one hand and no accidental flashes, plus you NEVER have to lift your shirt to nurse.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Remember today that the green-beer swilling, drunken, fake accent spewing "Irishmen" in the parades are just as accurate a representation of what it means to be Irish, as the boys in leather and dog collars and drag in the Gay Pride parades are of what it really means to be gay.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

kids need to feel the doors behind them

I had an awesome childhood. The part that was left to me, anyway. Sure, there were bullies and snoopy elderly neighbors, and Mom grounding me for something every couple of weeks. But back in the eighties we had freedoms, and incentive to use them.  There was one TV in the house and we kids did not control it. But there were parks and playgrounds and bike rides, and ridiculously invented dramas to occupy our days.  My friend from up the street, Brian, and I kept busy for a week spying on a highly organized assassins' ring, at least until it got boring pretending that the squirrels were after us.  Long before I ever heard the name Boo Radley, I was dropping things into the hollow tree on Brian's front lawn. I imagine I fed plenty of feral cats and bats and mercenary squirrels a lot of Wrigley's spearmint gum (torn in half like my grandmother taught me) and the one transluscent white Lifesaver from the roll. I can accept red, orange, yellow, and purple, but not cloudy white.  Better that the mercenaries eat those.

I want my kids to have awesome childhoods, too. My daughter's on her way, but my sons are young.They need to be taught not just to think outside the box, but also to read the box once you've flipped it around. Sometimes it says "NOT FOR CHILDREN" anyway. So why the fuck do they want you inside the box? It's a bloody trap!!

I want my children to collect. For years when she was younger, Ryan collected Buddha figurines. Mostly fat buddhas, but sometimes the thin peaceful ones. It made it a little easier to shop for her.  Gave her something to enter in the county fair for a ribbon. And every once in a while she'd see one which would become a goal. A jade one, or a gold-plated one. It was a nice tradition.

My sons are 5 and 3. I think I could get the older one (Tommy) to collect Godzilla movies and merch, if he'll agree to be careful with it.   MY 3yo, if given $25 and left to pick his own toy no matter what, would pick fairies. Or princesses.  And I could run with that. I could contribute to his collection but could his father?  I don't know.  I just want my kids to feel safe here like I did. So they can feel okay riding their bikes to the park, or the grocery store for chips and juice.

I may have to kill the internet a few times and then bitch about mediacom until they get out of the house.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top *** Best Movies Ever. In no particular order

  1. Life As A House
  2. The Big Chill
  3. The Other Sister
  4. Stranger Than Fiction