Monday, September 29, 2008

The Lady Turns 1!

Sesame Street Cupcakes


Waiting very patiently


My little lady turned one yesterday. We had the party at my parents house. Despite the overcast skies and high humidity, I think it turned out pretty well. I am not one for huge kids birthday celebrations. Clowns, ponies, giant inflatable bouncy castles can all be entertaining but they aren't for me. We tried to do simple. Four pink balloons, one Sesame Street one and a living room full of toys. The little lady loved it. Despite taking a five minute nap from the exit ramp to my parents driveway, she was able to walk, talk, eat and entertain her way around the party. She crashed pretty hard after the sugar shock wore off and most of the guests had left. My husband put her crying in the crib upstairs, when my father went to check on her ten minutes later she was in the corner, still sitting, her face flat on the mattress in front of her, totally passed out.

As for me, I started the day in my new jeans and four season scarf, but the jeans need to be altered for length so I basically walked around with them rolled up like I was crabbing on Ocean Beach. The scarf found the back of the chair soon after due to the high heat and my cute ballet flats never made it on my feet because they are starting to hurt. Did anybody at the Gap wear these before they decided to sell them? I will continue to break them in for the sake of fashion and dumpy moms everywhere.

I started my day at 6:45 am, the little lady didn't wake her little birthday head until ten after eight, but I had pulled pork in the crock pot overnight and even though it is perfectly safe, I have a panic attack every time I make the dish. It was a little like the night before I gave birth. I didn't sleep at all and kept wondering how is this going to turn out? The pork turned out fine but there wasn't enough, that warranted a phone call to my sister who I turn to in all kinds of culinary trouble. She suggested picking up a Rotisserie chicken and making pulled chicken as well. With that problem solved we headed out.

When we arrived at my parents the cupcakes were baked but not iced. Of course we had some last minute things to pick up, including new red food coloring because the icing I started to make at 7 am was entirely too pink and not very Elmo at all. So my husband and I dropped the babes off, ran to the store and got back at noon with a car full of balloons, new food coloring and one hour to go until the party started.

Now I know some of the things I have written about my husband might make him sound a little selfish and fantasy football/TV/sports oriented only, but in actuality he is a funny, smart, caring man who loves our daughter more than anything else in this world. He also volunteered to help with the icing. Did I mention he doesn't really like to get messy? This is a guy who will not scoop out pumpkins for Halloween, he will carve an amazing face in it but no way is he sticking his hand in there. But he was responsible for saving my sanity in that critical icing and decorating time period. He added more red to the very pink Elmo icing and got us a pretty good color. Then he tried to fill the pastry bag with the icing. Things started to ooze. Needless to say I was handed the proverbial bag. The amount of red food coloring in that one container of icing was incredible and my hands are still tinged with it today.

The kids loved the cupcakes. There were a few small swipes of icing here and there throughout the day before cake time, but once dessert time came they all seemed pretty pleased. Good thing I made more of Elmo, he seemed to be the favorite.

I was grateful for all of my family and friends who made the effort to come and celebrate with the lady. The entire day I kept thinking back to what we were doing at that time last year. The car ride over was around the same time I started having a hankering for the epidural. Cake time was right in the middle of the hour and forty-five minute push. When the guests started leaving and things wound down, well that was around 4:24 pm when the most amazing thing in my entire life happened.

I think about that day. I remember that surge of emotion and adrenaline when she finally arrived. I remember the faces of my family and friends as they paraded in to get their first look at her little face. I remember holding her small and quiet against me just listening to her breath and waiting for her to wake up. I would never trade those moments, but yesterday in my parents living room, surrounded by many of those same faces of family and friends, I watched my little lady light up that room and I couldn't imagine anything better then that. Plus, I was fully clothed, enjoying a cookie, not too drugged up and without an ice pack in my pants and a line of stitches from where the doctor took a scissor to my lady parts.

So Happy Birthday my little lady. Mommy loves you.

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Friday, September 26, 2008


There is nothing worse than standing in a dressing room with pasty white skin peppered with adult acne and wearing a pair of purple Hanes underwear that should have been thrown away after the third trimester.

Let's face it, dressing rooms are never really your friend. They are a glaring reminder of every insecurity you have ever faced all reflected back to you under fluorescent lights filled with the sound of chipper sales people asking if anyone needs a different size.

I have vivid memories of being a little girl standing in a communal dressing room at Caldor's while women in all states of undress tried to squeeze their way into clothing without exposing too much skin. Thank goodness for a locked door.

So I did it. I actually purchased an entire outfit in the year 2008. I know there are only three months left to this year, but I feel a sense of satisfaction. I walked into that dressing room pushing my stroller topped with jeans and sweaters, a cute pair of ballet flats and the newest must have accessory--the year round scarf. I love a scarf. It covers you up and keeps you warm! I squeezed my way in and tried to distract the lady with a Halloween book and her barrette.

Why are dressing rooms 900 degrees?

It was hot in there and I was trying on sweaters. The saleswoman was asking if anyone needed help and much to my surprise--I did. First of all there was no way I was getting redressed, dragging the lady out of the tight corner I had her squeezed into and getting myself a new size. So I braved it, opened the door and asked for a medium sweater. A medium! Not the large size that had so long draped its way over my ample bosom, not a large that contained my back fat and my muffin tops but a medium!!!! I was psyched. To top it all off, the jeans I tried on--also too big. Now to be fair the other jeans I tried on in the same size fit just fine, but according to the saleslady these had stretch. Stretch if you come in a smaller size I will take you every time. So not only did I walk out of there with a medium sweater, I walked out with a pair of pre-preggo sized jeans, a cute pair of shoes and a very trendy scarf. Success!!

Dare I push my luck?

I wheeled my way into one more store but Baby Bulimia showed up in the Banana Republic. First she was practicing a very loud fake cough but the fingers found their way down her throat. I think it was her very subtle way of letting me know that this shopping spree was over and should end on a high note. Oh, and just for the record, she was sporting a very cute fall outfit herself--fresh from the dryer.

Closet Crisis

No everyone, I am not talking about the shocking outing of Clay Aiken, but the literal crisis in my own bedroom closet.

Yesterday I wore a pair of jeans. These are the same jeans I wore pre-pregnancy, and although the size on the tag indicates I am back in pre-preggo form, the stretch in the ass does not. They fit, which in itself is a minor miracle considering I have absolutely nothing to wear. For the past four months I have been wearing a combination of two pairs of Gap Body capri black yoga pants with one of three shirts from Target, all the same shirt, just different colors. This combination has been modified only by the inclusion of two pairs of capri cargo pants (with an elastic waist and tie) from Gap Body and one brown peasant skirt. It has gotten colder here and the thought of wearing my three pairs of long yoga pants with varying hoodies for the entire winter, like I did last year, is starting to hurt my heart.

I do have a closet full of clothes. They just don't quite fit yet. Although I am taking the steps necessary to get these clothes back on my body, it is still going to take some time. I don't want to buy bigger and don't want to spend the money on buying bigger, but I also don't want to look like a slob everyday. I have watched enough What Not to Wear to recognize myself in those women. I want to be comfortable but I also want cute shoes. I have decided for the babe's b-day party that I am actually going to wear clothes purchased in 2008, even if that means buying jeans that I will hopefully have to belt in the upcoming months. I am also hoping to buy pants that actually button. Yesterday, every time I went to the bathroom, I automatically tried to pull down the jeans without unbuttoning them. Between maternity pants and the yoga/elastic pants I haven't unbuttoned a pair of pants in almost two years.

Speaking of closet crisis, you should have seen what the Lady wore today. She is wearing 18 month stuff and her drawers are filled with the most adorable summer dresses and short sleeve shirts, unfortunately she doesn't have much for the fall. All the long pants and sweatshirts she owns were in the laundry and we needed to go out. I did find a pair of light green play pants that would have been perfect if I could actually find a top that matched. These instead got paired with a little t-shirt covered by a pink and white camouflaged sweatshirt that was size 6-12 months. Needless to say the babe's belly was on full view. To top it off I put on the only pair of socks I could find, a pair of purple Trumpette golf socks. This baby has not worn socks since May and spends every opportunity she can trying to pull them off her feet. Needless to say we were a sight to be seen in Party City. Schleppy momma and her belly baring babe.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I hope everybody watched the Biggest Loser last night. The Grey team gone? Those guys needed to lose the most weight. I will miss their Boston accent and wish them the best, it looks like they are on the path to success.

I have decided that Jerry and Coleen, while I am still routing for them, aren't my favorite team. I am picking Red. I just wanted to cry, well I did tear up a bit, when they called home to talk to their kids. I couldn't imagine leaving the babes for such a long time. I think they are pretty down to earth and their Southern accent draws me in, it comforts me like a piece of peach cobbler. Go Red.

Orange needs to go. I am liking Ed more because he really works but Heba? Get her out. Also, still not a fan of Vicky on the Brown team, they seem to be the team to watch in terms of manipulating the other contestants this season.

The best part was the recipe segment. You can find all of Rocco's recipes online. I think we might try the Tiny Turkey Meatball and Chickpea Soup. I will let you know how it goes.

As for me, I have been keeping up with the food journal and am feeling like I have a little more energy and a little more control. I just have to fit in some exercise and I think I will be able to make some of my fitness goals.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Photo Shoot

Here are some pics from The Bean and The Bear's first official booking. Yes, this is the wild man, and yes he is my nephew, but we still took the photos and I think he looks pretty good!

I am feeling really good that I have finally taken another step towards some of my goals. I am hoping that this will give me the opportunity to create the time I need for myself as well as be able to provide for my family and most importantly spend time with the babes.

Wild Man: 9 months

I love how he looks in this photo. My sister will hate this of course, it was just supposed to be a photo shoot of the little guy, but I couldn't resist.

I just want to eat him up!
We are still trying to figure out all the little details that it takes to get up and running. I got my new flash today and I am feeling more professional with every shot I take.
Overall a good day today, a successful photo shoot, the husband got back home from travelling, the babes and I had tons of time to hang, my US magazine finally came and tonight. . . The Biggest Loser. Tuesday, my friend, thank you.
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Stuck in My Head

I love music. I love to sing. I have a terrible voice, but that never stopped me from turning the radio up loud, opening the windows and pumping some serious Bon Jovi. The Lady also likes music. She likes to dance. Some days I glide around the kitchen in my socks with her as we listen to the iPod. I have tried not to go overboard with the kids music. We have a few cd's downloaded and some for the car, but I have tried to introduce her to music I love, music I hope she remembers when she is older, music I hope reminds her of me. The problem with some of the kids stuff is the problem with a lot of pop songs, they get stuck on an incessant loop in my head.

I have spent the last two days singing, sometimes aloud and in public, a song from Sesame Street that I kid you not goes like this:

Frogs do it.
Toads do it.
Even alligators on the road do it.
Let's do it.
Let's lay some eggs.

It is a song that is designed to teach kids what types of animals lay eggs. Perhaps it is the early hour in which I view this program, or perhaps it is the fact that I have seen this episode probably five times in the last two months, but Let's do it. Let's lay some eggs, seems a little like a call to procreate.

Also, in an attempt to entertain the babes in the grocery store, I found myself randomly screaming out Frogs do it! Toads do it! I could only imagine what the guy in the frozen food section thought, but hey these are the things you do for your kid. Now it wouldn't be that bad if the "do it" song was the only song embedding its way into my every synapse, but it is overlapped by the theme song to The Backyardigans.

We've got the whole wide world in our yard to explore.
We always find things we've never seen before.
That's why every day we're back for more
With your friends, the Backyardigans.

I will admit it is pretty catchy.

So just remember, when you have some pop song making the rounds in your brain one day, that it could be much worse. You could be sitting at a red light with the windows rolled down, no music blasting, singing Even Puffins on the rocks do it. Let's do it. Let's lay some eggs! to a child in the backseat that isn't visible to the neighboring drivers. Happy singing everyone!

Share with us some of your favorite and some of your least favorite kids songs in the comment section.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Where Are You US Magazine?

I have been a faithful US Magazine subscriber for a while now. It is my weekly moment of Zen. It is my half-hour on a Friday night, when I can sneak away after the babes is sleeping and lose myself in the lives of people I will never meet, probably never see in person and who I can judge comfortably from the privacy of my own home.

Where are you US Magazine? As a subscriber I should receive my copy on Friday--Saturday at the latest. After that, not only am I mocked horribly at the grocery store check-out line when I see its bright, neon face, but the news is old. It is old! US sends me a daily link to their online site. I already know half the stuff the magazine is going to be talking about by the time it gets to me. Why can't it just get here on time? Monday starts a new week and I am busy. Tuesday? I might as well just use it to line my neighbors cat box, by that time even my grandparents are up to speed on the celebrity circuit.

I only live 40 minutes from where their office is located. I am thinking about taking a late afternoon drive. One small window of time is all I ask for. I am not asking to read a short story or God forbid an entire novel every week, just one glossy tabloid rag that I can whip through in 25 minutes, a little brain candy for a busy mom. Please. Please. Please be in the mailbox today.

First Day of Fall

I spent the last day of summer outside. I took the lady on a long walk with my sister and my nephew (who will here forth be referred to as the "wild man" for his crazy amount of hair).

I will miss the warm nights and the way the light stretches its way through the evenings. I will miss the beach (but not changing sandy, dirty diapers there) and the way a cool shower feels after a long day in the sand. I will miss my iced coffees when the days turn too cold and the grey of another winter sets in. But I love the Fall.

The past week or so has been beautiful in New England. A mix of an Indian summer with the first few cool mornings of Fall. My morning walk to Dunkin Donuts has left me refreshed and energized rather then panting and sweaty. I have seen pumpkins at the grocery stores and felt the need to bite into a crisp new apple. Although, I think mid-August was a bit too soon to start laying out the Halloween gear, I am looking forward to it and vow to not hang my Halloween welcome sign until October 1st.

I have always felt that Fall should be the time of new resolutions. Forget New Year's where the cold of December 31st is the same as January 1. You should be able to feel change in the air, watch as the leaves go from green to gold to gone, and start there. So start dancing, or walking, or reading. Start laughing more, spend more time outside with the kids, take advantage of the crisp afternoons, the late afternoon sunshine. Go pick apples and carve pumpkins all before the sun sets sooner, the air gets cooler and the Holidays sneak up on us again.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Minor Musings

I am flipping between the Emmy's and the last game at Yankee Stadium. The flipping has caused me to not only miss Tina Fey's acceptance speech, but also Johnny Damon's home run. Oh well.

On the Emmy's I did see Lauren Conrad walk out with my boyfriend David Boreanaz from Bones. My husband asks me why I don't just call the show Boreanaz but I like the girl too, just not as much.

Speaking of Lauren Conrad, how did she get a book deal? And a YA book deal to boot? It is just the motivation that I need to finish the novel. That, and the fact that a girl I went to High School with published a chic lit book. I found out about it on Facebook, which I love and use to stalk random High School people to see photos of their kids and to find out what my sister is doing at college.

Mommy Mind Melt Moment: I used body wash today to wash my hair. This was after I had already shampooed and conditioned. It smelled nice but I think it might have been overkill.

The Mommy Mind Melt

I knew that with pregnancy came the "mommy melt" the phenomenon of walking into a room and not remembering why you were there or trying to form a coherent sentence that came out only slightly more articulate than a conversation with Charlie Brown's teachers. Whah, Whah, Whah, Wha.

I also knew that with the combination of lack of sleep, the sheer amount of baby paraphernalia to tote and speaking and dreaming in baby talk, that once the baby came it might not be something easily overcome.

Yesterday I left the house without my cell phone. Not a huge problem considering I was still in the driveway, the engine running and the babes all strapped in. It became much more problematic when I realized that I didn't have any house keys. Where were those house keys? The ones that I thought I threw into my purse, the ones that I paused to look for on the kitchen table before running out the door, the ones I didn't see there. Those same keys I used momentarily to distract the babes. Why would I hand my daughter a bacteria covered choking hazard to chew on? I had to pee (within sight line of course and with the door wide open) and tie my shoes.

We were on a quick run to the store for milk and the little lady's baby crack (or what I like to call cantaloupe). Oh, did I mention I didn't bring the diaper bag? Why would I need it? I just changed her and we would be home in a half hour--plenty of time to get her her bottle.


Now a few questions might come to mind. One, why are your car keys and house keys separate? Well my big fat VW key does not fit on my monogrammed Tiffany key ring. So there. Question number two might be, don't you have an extra house key somewhere? A hide a key under a fake rock, one taped to the underside of your welcome mat? Indeed we do have an extra key, which we keep on a very nice key chain in the garage and the one time I actually need it, it was in the house. Question three begs to be asked. Why was it inside? Because, my husband used it to get into the house after spending the evening in the City and never returned it to its proper place.

Was it my fault I forgot the keys? Yes. Was it my fault I forgot my phone and now couldn't even call anyone? Yes. But really, couldn't he have just put it back in the garage? A loud resounding YES!

Damn you mommy melt. Damn you.

Now, both my brother and sister live within 10-15 minutes of me, both have keys to my house. My brother was at the Yankee game, my sister was out on Long Island with my mom. My husband, the one who left me high and dry in the driveway, he was in the City (again) watching the Notre Dame game. None of my immediate neighbors were home, so I decided to go find a pay phone, make a few calls and then finish out my errand to the store (at least I could buy diapers and formula if I needed to).

Do you know how hard it is to find a pay phone? I did see one at the end of our street as I was making a turn into oncoming traffic and was unable to stop. I decided to move ahead, perhaps the train station would have one. I did a quick drive-by. There were none that I could see and since I wasn't willing to get the babes out and really look, I turned around and headed home. Would you believe that someone was actually on the pay phone when I got back? I decided to forgo the wait and knock on some doors of people I didn't actually know. Luckily as I was grabbing the babes out of the car, my immediate neighbor came home. Thank you Leena! She let me borrow her phone and offered us shelter.

I called the hubby first. He could sense my despair. It was a quick call. I then spoke to my sister, she was on her way home but had just left. It would be another hour and a half before she got back. Luckily, she does have a hide-a-key and it was right where she left it. It was also lucky that I didn't wait for the guy on the pay phone. As I drove back down the road I spotted the guy still yammering away. Jeez, that must have been a lot of quarters spent.

If I had been locked out on my own I probably would have driven to Target and spent an easy 75 bucks on face creams and new hand towels. Now that I have the babes my whole mindset has changed. Would I be willing to spend the afternoon at a strangers waiting for someone with a key? How would I be able to meet all of her needs? Thankfully, she had a clean diaper and thankfully I had the car. When I think of the awesome responsibility wrapped up in that cute face, it never ceases to amaze me, even if I am only thinking about it with a muddled, melted mind.

Oh, and the keys? Not on the table where I thought I left them, but sitting on the counter where I threw them after forceable removing them from my little lady's mouth.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Little Lady

So here she is, my little lady ricotta cheese face. Just thought I would make an introduction since I will be talking a lot about her on this blog. For her own privacy, and because there are a lot of crazies out there, I have decided to refer to her as The Lady or a variety of other names such as monkey pants, poops, the babes, Bruce Screamsteen or whatever suits my fancy that day.

Today she is Snotstia Liukin, because she has won the Olympic Gold Medal in snot production. I never in my life thought that I would be okay with someone just wiping their nose on my shirt. Or in Snotstia's case, literally blowing her nose into my chest yesterday. But why change the shirt? It was definitely going to happen again. . . thank goodness for wipes. It is amazing, I have never been used as a tissue, a toilet, a band aid or a chew toy in my life, and it is frightening how easily I have adjusted. I actually did the wet your finger and wipe the face today.

Her big first birthday is coming up next week and I have decided on a simple party with a Sesame Street theme. Check back on Saturday when I am freaking out trying to make the cupcakes with all the characters faces!
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Getting Moving

I have been desperately trying to find some balance in my life. I am also looking for a job. The job hunt hasn't been going that great but part of the reason is because I don't really want one. I would love to stay home with my little lady full-time. The problem is that doesn't pay the bills. I will admit to also feeling a bit isolated and wanting to find some time outside of the house to pursue my own goals. Having said that, my best friend and I have decided to take our eye for photography and our love for kids and start up a little side business. I like the whole planning aspect of it. Actually thinking creatively in reference to something besides making up my own songs for the lady. You can check out our blog at and follow our progress. I will keep you updated here as well.

I have been diligent about the food journal and yesterday the lady and I took a long walk. I was hoping to combine the dual benefits of exercise with a nap. I exercised, she didn't nap. I think what bothers me the most about how I look and feel now is that I have fallen so far from what I once was. I know a babe reeks havoc on the body, but a lot of people bounce back. I know it takes a little effort but I am not doomed to be out of shape just because I have a kid. I think changing my mindset is essential in trying to take this step forward.

What do you do to keep active/healthy/sane? Share in the comments section and inspire others.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Best Show Ever

Two hours of pure heaven. Did you see the amount of weight those people lost in the first week? If I could just drop 17lbs this week, I think I would be pretty set. Anyway, the newest season of the Biggest Loser kicked off last night and I love the family aspect. It is amazing to see how easy it is to enable each other. I have a soft spot for Jerry and Coleen (the yellow team) and I am routing for them. I was super glad to see them get the immunity. I also have a soft spot for all teams from Boston. I think it is the accent. Even though I hate the Red Sox and the Patriots, I like the city of Boston and have had plenty memorable (and total blackout) experiences there. I just admire the work ethic (case in point the black team last season) and that inspires me. Plus, the Grey team has a ton of weight to lose.

There were a few whiners last night. Vicky on the Brown Team kind of got on my nerves as did Ed from Orange. That guy is only 31. Yikes. Very frighting to see the internal age of some of those contestants. Tom Jr. from the grey team is like 23 years old on the inside he is like 49. The worst part had to be when Heba on Orange puked into the bucket. (See my reference to a quick gag reflex in the previous post).

I have only two complaints about the show. One, is that they always recap the last 30 seconds or so when they get back from commercial break. I am a devoted viewer, I have already seen that--get on with it please! Tivo comes in handy at these times. Two, is the fact that they make the female contestants march into the weigh-in wearing only their sports bras. It is disconcerting to say the least. Why can't they wear their t-shirt and then just take it off when they get on the scale like the guys do? I won't even walk around my house with just a sports bra on, let alone march in front of a television audience with the outline of my nipples exposed and my stretch marks hanging out. I know that they have to leave all modesty at the door but come on can someone toss those ladies a tank top or something?

Green Team was my pick for the most motivated but since I have no real favorites yet, it could have been any team and I would have been fine with it. They do look like they are working towards their goals, it will be interesting to see them on the final show. Looking forward to week two. It is notorious for low numbers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poo Foot and Other Daily Disasters

Got the poo foot this morning. You know when you are trying to change a squirming baby as quickly as possible and they put their foot right into the poo? Yeah, one of those mornings. What happened to my content little daughter, whose favorite place in the world was stretched out on the changing table. Things are changing and changing fast. Now, my husband and I have to double team her, one of us distracts while the other one tries to do a quick diaper change. We have tried the stand up version, but it doesn't work well. The diaper becomes crazed and mismanaged. She walks out of there with half her butt showing and the diaper so high up on her hips we are in camel toe territory.

When I am alone with her I hand her everything and anything to prevent her from sitting up bare bottomed, reaching over the side of the dresser and pulling out every bit of clothing from the top drawer. I will admit I give her a tube of A&D ointment to play with. My husband reminds me that this is actually poison. It isn't like she is ingesting it, she is just playing with it near and in and around her mouth. I did hear the little click of the top opening between her teeth yesterday, so maybe we will move onto less dangerous territory. Hand cream maybe?

Baby bulimia? My daughter has also started shoving her hand down the back of her throat after a meal. I am a pretty good cook so I am thinking maybe I am piling on too many carbs. Has this happened to anyone else? I am just waiting for the inevitable throw up all over her tray and me inevitably puking as well because my gag reflex is quick to kick in. Now, I know eating disorders aren't funny and I am continuing to wrestle with my own food demons, but seriously I haven't seen that much commitment to sticking your fingers down your throat since college. Also, my daughter thinks it's hilarious. She laughs, chokes, laughs and chokes, until I have to physically remove her hand from her mouth. Good times.

So tonight begins another season of the Biggest Loser. I am super psyched people. It is couples again, which I thought was a great idea last season and I can't wait to see the transformations to come. I love a makeover show. Give me anything from Extreme Home Makeover to What Not to Wear and I will watch it. Inspired by the new season, I vow not to watch the show while eating peanut M&M's and twizzlers and spiraling into a shame cycle towards the end because the contestants have started to weigh less then me. I have decided to get moving. Step one in my quest to find balance is a food journal and a commitment to get active.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Not my Fantasy of Football

It started again. I should have known when my husband brought home intricate excel spreadsheets color coordinated that took up a little too much of his time. At first I thought he was just getting organized for work trying to prepare accordingly for all his upcoming events. But then I realized that he never thinks more then a day or two ahead and for the past two years has left the house on the day of my birthday or our anniversary in the most obvious way to go get my gift. This had to be one thing and one thing only: Fantasy Football.

I love football. I have two teams I root for (Go Irish! Go Big Blue!) and that is it. I don't mind watching one game on Saturday and one on Sunday (or Monday night) because I root for my team. Those with the fantasy football addiction cannot comprehend a one game Sunday. My husband not only watches every game he can on TV, he follows the other games online. How does he find the time for twelve hours of football on Sundays? Doesn't he have some other things to do around the house? Doesn't he want to hang out with the fam? All good questions my careful reader, all good questions. We try to do family time on Sunday. We will go to one of our parents houses or my siblings and after a few minutes I realize that my husband is missing. He is gone. At first I thought maybe he was having some tummy trouble, then I realized he was disappearing into whatever office/computer space our hosts had and accessing his team online. I gently remind him (for like the third time) that he can't make any changes to his team. He stands hunched over the computer complaining about how he left "30 points on the bench" and pondering his faulty coaching techniques.

Can I reiterate that this is a fantasy team? Like, it doesn't really exist. I also understand that you can win this "league" and take home some money, but until fantasy football starts paying the mortgage I can't imagine how important it can really be. Now, I have an addiction to US magazine, but it takes me 20 minutes to read it each week. I also like TV shows and even if I started my own fantasy league with players from The Biggest Loser (it starts tomorrow people!!!!), Top Chef and Project Runway, I can't imagine that it would take up as much time and energy as it does for those sucked into the fantasy void. I mean my husband went to a draft for three and a half hours to pick his team and it was on a work night. He didn't get home until 1:15 in the morning. I rolled over in bed, hoping he got a cute quarterback so at least he wasn't the only one fantasizing about football that night.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Adult Acne: Or Why I Need New Hand Towels

I have never been one to have clear and pristine looking skin. I suffered an occasional breakout in high school, but nothing that left me praying for darkened rooms or that crushed my self-esteem. So I put up with the occasional breakout, relied on the pill to multitask its way through my twenties and then I got pregnant. The thick hair grew in (then coiled into an ugly looking dreadlock in my drain about 4 months after the baby came), my nails were hard and strong, but where was that glow? If I had to hear that I was having a girl one more time because she was "stealing the beauty out of my face" I could have cried (well, cried more).

I searched the aisles at Target and CVS looking for something, anything that I could put on my face. I asked my obstetrician who told me she might be able to bring something in for me. This was quickly forgotten by both of us. But how surprised was I when I went in for my yearly exam to find a display table of her new line of face and skin products for pregnant women? Why was I not the guinea pig? Please, a free sample couldn't have hurt, or possibly a mention that she was developing something, at least then I could have looked forward to using it in subsequent pregnancies, but nope, nothing. (For those of you who are interested the line is called Beaute de Maman and can be found at I haven't tried any of it yet, but will let you know once the next babes comes around.) So I was stuck with a gentle skin cleaner that did nothing but take up space in my shower. Maybe, once the baby was born things would clear up.

Not so much. I was many months postpartum and my skin started to resemble the topography of the Northwest. I am talking mountain ranges of acne that would not go away. They would lay dormant for weeks, no hope of a possible eruption. These were not mere whiteheads, taken care of with a quick pinch and few tissues, these were hard core cysts designed to suck every bit of self-confidence from my being and mock me each time I was naive enough to actually look in the mirror. Why? Why? Why? I already had stretch marks, I am still carrying the equivalent of what my one year old weighs on my body in weight, really we had to mess with the face too?

So I took some action. I called a dermatologist. Why this thought didn't occur to me earlier I am not sure, I just assumed eventually all the hormones would work themselves out and my skin would somehow flatten out. A nice even plateau, like the desert, miles of uninterrupted neutral landscape. This is actually my big problem in life. I just assume everything will eventually work out. I found that it is a lot easier if you actually initiate some sort of action. So, I found myself at this dermatology office, straight out of Private Practice. Now, I love me some Addison on Grey's Anatomy, but I am not a huge fan of the spin-off, however, I have watched it and this is what that place was like. I could just feel the healing waiting to reach out to me and settle on the large boils growing on my face. Everything was clean and fresh, high-tech but not sterile. The rooms still had paper on the chairs but they were painted a soothing palate and piped full of satellite radio. It was the kind of place that made you believe that clear skin was a right and not a privilege. That acid peels and laser hair removal, though well out of my price range, were waiting for me, arms open wide, in the near future.

Two doctors walked in. One was a young man, he looked fresh out of something. I later learned that he was 34. This only after I told him I didn't want to be 32 with adult acne. He then pointed out a small red pimple underneath his jawline, hidden quite nicely by his incoming beard and only noticeable if you stared really hard, because in fact, anyone who was even looking that closely would probably assume it was some sort of razor burn. I digress. He felt my pain. That young, smoothed skin doctor with his clipboard and dreams. The other doctor was a woman. She was young, but I couldn't determine her age because her skin was so white and translucent that it looked like the reflection off my engagement ring in the summer sun. Who are these people who do not go to the beach and get tan? Don't they know that you just look better with a little color? Anyway, they started this tag team questioning that was a little off putting. I couldn't tell who was the good cop. Were they going to fault me for my obvious sun habit? Would they ask about my relationship with peanut M&M's? Would they ---gasp---ask me to change my form of birth control? Ladies, when you find something that works, you stick with it. I found the Ring. There was absolutely no way I was switching. I looked to Dr. Clearskin for some support, clearly she would recognize the struggle to find a good match. She smiled a small smile of support and Dr. Clipboard gave a few other options. Clearly, they were in it to save my skin. According to Dr. Clipboard it was hormones that were responsible for the havoc that my skin. Hormones? Can you believe it?

They prescribed a regiment of washing my face twice a day with a special cleaner. One, Dr. Clearskin told me "looked like my skin could probably handle." Why is that Dr. Clearskin? Because it is so obviously pocked? So hideously deformed by mountains and craters that it looks like the cover to my eighth grade Earth Science textbook? Is that it Dr. Clearskin, is that it? She quickly provided a reason saying that unlike her skin that was "so sensitive," mine would be able to handle a higher dosage of the active ingredient. Perhaps if she went out in the daytime her skin would be able to handle it. Anyway, I also had to apply a cream and take a pill at night. One small side effect though for the pill, according to Dr. Clipboard, longterm use of an antibiotic could cause a yeast infection. So, and I quote, "call us if you get a yeast infection." I could only imagine the horror of going through the receptionist. "You have a what? This is a dermatology office, the gyno is down the hall." Ugh. Bad skin and a yeast infection. Could it get any better then this?

Two-hundred and twenty-two dollars later--apparently the health insurance industry doesn't recognize the long term damage, physically and emotionally that adult acne causes--I had my face clearing trio of creams and meds to take on the challenge of clear skin. Maybe I could have skipped the dynamic dermatological duo of Dr. Clearskin and Clipboard. I could have hit the local Stop and Shop and bought Proactive right out of the vending machine. Jessica's skin looks lovely, Vanessa Williams shines on Ugly Betty. For 19.99 and hundreds of cotton balls, I could have the same results and I would still have my hand towels. Apparently benzoyl peroxide dyes things. It says so right on the packaging. "Avoid contact with hair, fabrics or carpeting as benzoyl peroxide will cause bleaching" Carpeting? Who washes their face then dries it on a rug? Well, I can't avoid contact with fabrics. When I wash my face I have to dry it. I am trying to be green people, I can't use paper towels, but everyday, little by little, the color starts to fade from my face clothes. A small spot appeared on my body towel, the hand towels have started to fade, and I stare at the mirror scrutinizing the progress on my face. The mountains have flattened but you can still see where they stood, my rugs (thank God) have been spared the slow spotted infection that has infiltrated my linen closet, the receptionist at the dermatologist has yet to hear my embarrassed stammer of yeast infection explanation, and as I wash and slather my skin everyday I am finally at a place where I have hope.

Friday, September 12, 2008

And So it Begins. . .

I am a 32 year old mom in desperate need of a real job, of losing about 25 lbs (the baby weight!), overcoming my adult acne, carving out time for my US magazine addiction and tv time, all while finding some balance in my life. I am also now officially a blogger. Welcome to my world.