Sunday, May 30, 2010

White Girl

“I don’t know Mom, I’m not sure I can pull it off,” I say as I enter the dressing room of Gap, a pile of clothes I would not have chosen a year ago stacked high in my hands, wrestling with the lock intended to keep intruders out in moments of bareness.

“Actually, I saw on TV and was reading the other day that any size can pull off white pants,” she said, her voice muffled through the thick door as I tucked the white pant option mid-pile, thinking that would be an appropriate time to try them. That way, there is a chance something more hideous and more fabulous will show up first, making it a more neutral ground to attempt the white pant trial in more than a decade.

I held my breath as I tugged them over my hips, doing the “if my calf can and quad can make it in we’re three-quarters of the way there” trick. Finding the material soft and stretchy, I fastened the steel button with minimal sucking in of the post-baby belly and prepared to my open my eyes to what the mirror may reveal.
And there she was. The gal in the white pants. Size . Pulling it off! Not rockin’ the look by any means, but feeling slightly sassy for venturing into tricky territory for us women of substance.

Feeling brave enough to face my second toughest critic, I gently pushed open the door and braced for Mom’s reaction. Glancing over her owl-like readers, she remained stoic, and then her eyebrows raised just enough to almost count as a look of approval. I’m not sure what words came next, but at that moment I knew the jeans were going home with me.

And that’s how I brought a little pep into my step, size XX and all. Which was a great relief, because I just had to make that dreaded “I’m getting closer to weaning and what the heck is happening to my boobs” trip to Nordstrom’s lingerie department hours before. Not good. The least I could do to make up for this time before potential pectoral improvement is bring my look up-to-date, right?

So, like Kanye says, I'm "feelin' pretty fly for a white girl."

You Know You're a Mom When...

Week of May 30
1.You rejoice that the length of your hair has returned to include a ponytail – hello extra 20 minutes of sleep!
2. A quick trip to see the relatives up North now includes three suitcases, a full chest of toys, two diaper bags, a food bag, etc. versus an iPod, pleasure read or Ok! Magazine.
3. You hyperventilate when a family member offers to watch your kiddo for the afternoon…not so much about the babysitting part but the car ride over there that doesn’t include you as a passenger.
4. Some of the funniest moments of the week consist of red faces and grunts, chimpanzee-like squeals, crazed midnight moments and a squash sneeze on Nana.
5. You can no longer make small talk because your stories only highlight mommydom, work and more mommydom. You wonder – what did I used to talk about for hours and why did people without children enjoy chatting with me???
6. You become the official thank you note scribe at baby showers due to your infinite wisdom with these crazy products.
7. Your favorite moments become those spent sharing glances, touching hands and date nights…with your wee one.
8. You fight the ridiculous urge to purchase every item that has the word “Mom” scribed on it because you love being one so much.
9.You don’t blink twice at changing a diaper in the back of your luxury SUV.
10. Your heart expands in a million places to accommodate the growing unconditional love, amazement and undying passionate you have for your little being.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Brush With Fame?

“Ok, I’ll be here…in line for 35 minutes…while you duck in and out and have time to hit the beer garden, hot dog stand and find our seats,” I say to Mike, half grumpy, half smiley. As I made my way to the women’s powder room line, I made sure to huddle close to the gal in front of me lest one of the restless females who were whining and not appropriately estimating their wine consumption ratio to that of “it’s the women’s restroom, of course you’re going to wait 30 minutes at a large venue” ratio trying to creep up on me and cut in line. Not wanting to be that girl who immediately whips out her iPhone when she finds a moment to herself, I fought the urge and instead did something even worse and began studying the gal in front of me from head to toe…conspicuously of course. As I studied her face, noticing her mischievous smile, nicely-colored hair, short build and gasp – pearl necklace, I thought to myself – this is it – Jen Lancaster, world-famous author and chic lit extraordinaire! The gal whose books I actually pre-order! The one responsible for me continuing to cuss and keep a piece of sassiness in my step! A blogger! And one sidesplitting, real, unforgettable author!

Struggling not to become Captain Obvious in trying to check her out in the fading light, I began to dream up what I might say. Of course it made sense she’d be at Chelsea Handler as she was the next biggest smart ass if not just as sassy as the gal making a name for herself with celebrity gossip and real life humor. First, I needed to ask her if she WAS indeed Jen Lancaster. If so, then what do I say? “Loved your last read?” LAME! “I see you remembered the pearls as usual.” LAMER! “How are your puppies?” TOTALLY LAME!

Deciding to bite the bullet and take the risk of hitting her up with whatever sentence might fall out of my mouth before she disappeared into the abyss that is the Starlight Theater’s stalls, I turn and mutter, “Ummmm…hiii….” and am met with a complete stranger. Not the author I’ve adored for years, her books the only ones I choose not to turn in for cash flow, but a skinny chic wrapped too-tightly in a pair of jeans and cradling a cigarette. So not JL. Not JL at all.

Sighing, I too made my way into the sopping excuse for a powder room and kicked myself for having hesitated for fear she would eat me alive with the same kind of commentary she used in her books. Pausing a bit longer than usual at the sink without soap of course, I give up and make my way out to what turns out to be another brush with hilariously inappropriate content – but amusing nonetheless.

The verdict is still out on if this indeed was Ms. Lancaster, the self-proclaimed “condescending, egomaniacal, self-centered smart ass” that has also been labeled “scathingly witty.” At least there is some comfort in that her latest read, “Pretty in Plaid” awaits me on my nightstand when I return home. In the meantime, join me in giggling at these knee-crossing excerpts, will you? And these are only in the first 20 pages:

Oh her eighth birthday: “Suddenly, I’m enclosed by a wall of flames and smocks and aprons and everyone begins to shout at me at once. I look around and I can’t see any of my loved ones. Where are they? What’s happening to me? The noise! The fire! The beehives! The humanity! The…oh wait. They’re not screaming. They’re singing what sounds like Happy Birthday. They’re trying to celebrate me, not assassinate me. And yet this still is singly the most terrifying moment of my entire f*#$&ng life.”

“I may not have been able to tie my shoes or spell my last name, but I knew one thing for sure – I was not what I ate. I was what I wore.”

On her Brownie Troop days: “And while we’re on the topic of crafts, who thought it was a good idea to make Christmas decorations out of the brown paper roll from inside toilet tissue? What am I supposed to say? ‘Hey Jesus! Here’s an ornament from me and the Charmin Corporation. Enjoy your birthday!’ We haven’t actually covered the definition of sacrilegious in Sunday school yet, but I’m pretty sure worshipping our savior with ass wipe would qualify.

Adore you Jen Lancaster. Adore you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Seeds of Love

With the dawn of May and June comes the season of showers…not the rainy kind that can put a damper on a planned park outing, but the kind filled with love, laughter and honoring the Mommy or bride-to-be. It’s been said that a key group of we girls could easily be hired out to put on the kind of soiree to never forget, thinking of all the little things from a menu that requires passing along the secrets later, to fine china engraved and passed along for generations, to party favors and perfectly coifed d├ęcor and themes that the honored should not soon forget. Though I run with this fabulous crowd and have even thrown an event or two with them, you can imagine I am not responsible for the food. Or the fine serving ware. Heck, even the invite! But one thing this gal can do – favors. Check out this little ensemble that’s been a hit for the last few baby showers I’ve thrown:

Seeds. In an itty bitty pot. That grows with food, water and nurturing. Like a kiddo. Get it? With a quote that applies to baby and flower seeds: “From small beginnings come great things.”

Having luck with one I received at a recent work event, I latched onto the idea and spread the word. Affordable, fun and easy enough for even the most non-green thumb, these little numbers are meaningful, applicable and a way to celebrate the guests who go the extra mile to dress up, prepare a gift and show their love. Customize your own quote, mix up the colors and put smiles on faces in less than an hour.

So here’s to spreading the love…one seed at a time. Cheers!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

You Know You're a Mom When...

Week of May 15

1. Your favorite post on the site "Stuff Kids Ruin" reads: "I didn't think it would be appropriate to post a pic of my sagging chest." Amen sister, amen.
2. Your umbrella drinks are limited at girls' night out because you're a) nursing b) out a designated driver b/c he's home with the wee one c) you're just too Mommyish and old now.
3. Your trial at modeling a swimsuit at your child's first pool experience leads to nightmares. For multiple nights in a row. And a slot in the Dave Ramsey plan for plastic surgery.
4. Your confusion over what to feed your child mounts. As well as does his face when you try to feed him scrambled eggs. Yikes. Let's not go into detail here, shall we?
5. You find endless amounts of joy in each new milestone achieved this week, yet shed a few tears into your pillow because it's all happening so suddenly, leading him to need you just a little bit less.
6. You secretly love how clingy your little one is at this stage. Stranger danger? Yes, sign me up for a bit of that unconditional love!
7.You are a nasty grumpy pants for two nights in a row because you only saw your child for approximately 10 minutes that day due to a new nap schedule. See 8 minutes below for details.
8. You're attempt to play volleyball for Corporate Challenge quickly humbles you, reminding you you're a "M'am," a 30-year old with a post-body baby, averaging four hours of sleep a night (interrupted) and the most exercise you get is lifting 20 pounds back and forth between feedings and bedtimes...which has not improved the arm flab I might add.
9. On the weekends, you too move to a two-day nap schedule. After all, it still leads to brain development in your 30s, right?
10. Your heart expands in a million places to accommodate the growing unconditional love, amazement and undying passionate you have for your little being.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not So Betty Crocker...or Giada

Recall from my previous post that I was mouthing off to Ms. Giada? Yeeaahhh - I take that back. The girl’s got one up on me. Ok, she’s got many up on me, but who’s counting? Giada – I recall my statement that you can put it in your skillet and cook it as a passive aggressive attempt to shame your effortless beauty and immaculate cooking skills. Please come spare my family and me and unveil that I’m really an unfit mother and wife, will you? Puhleeezzeee?

My attempt to bake for my friend Mo’s birthday last week failed miserably. Not that you’re really surprised as most of you dear readers are my closest friends and you already know my girls’ night assignment consists only of alcoholic beverages, but this was particularly lame. And when I say lame I mean I now get to change my phrase to “I can even screw up macaroni!” to “I can mess up cookies that have exactly two ingredients in them. TWO!”

Hence comes the tale of the Oreo Truffles. Ingredients: Oreos and cream cheese. That’s it. And no, I’m not kidding. It goes a little something like this:

Task one: visit store, get two ingredients along with that for Puppy Chow and trail mix to complete the cowgirl theme that so well fits friend Mo for her birthday celebration. After all, what says cow piles other than a few Oreo truffles? Completed with little harm to all involved. Check. (B-plus)

Task two: put the five or so things away for preparation the next afternoon. Fail. And this is where it begins. Between a baby to feed, an iPhone to answer, a husband and two furry friends underfoot, the Philly cream cheese was left out. Discovered the next morning, it promptly visited the trash lest I poison the 20 women I work with. Did I mention also they all bake immaculate, mouth-watering items on a weekly basis? (F)

Task three: begin mashing of Oreos while attempting to listen in on a conference call, tear open the door for the UPS man who is avoiding the 100 pound dog’s jaws. Go from soup can to pizza cutter to spatula to baby toys in attempt to dice cookies because of course we don’t have a rolling pin in the house. Decide that the whipped Philly cream cheese that we spread on bagels will be close enough to complete my chocolaty concoction. I didn’t know it yet, but…fail. (D)

Task four: give up on cookies smashing as finely as they could without the help of a food processor and decide the guests will like the extra crunch. Go to mix in the cream cheese with the blender and delight that the texture seems to at least look right at this point. Still failing. (D-minus)

Task five: on conference call number two, attempt to roll concoction into little balls, only to find the dough won’t even leave my hands with its stickiness disaster. After several attempts of different tools, hand wetting, involving spouse, etc., no dice. Disaster. Fail. (F)

Task six: make faux balls anyway and argue with husband who claims they are “not even appropriate to take to work. You can’t bring those to work – how embarrassing!” Success – I do it anyway. (C for creativity)

Task seven: send a warning email to team that starts with: “I’m the type of gal that even when my attempt at preparing food fails, I bring it anyway…” causing a stir among the cubes and a whole lot of laughter for the day. Many Moms themselves, they get that the two hours spent trying to finagle this debacle was 120 minutes I could have been with my son. (B for transparency)

Task eight: post-party, chuckle to myself as I toss out all but one of the Oreo Truffles off the paisley plate. At least the birthday girl tried. What a sport! All the more reason to celebrate her. After all, how bad can the wrong cream cheese mixed with Oreos be? ©

Yeah – I try to hold the title “undomestic goddess,” but let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? I’m not so Betty Crocker. Or Giada for that matter. Or really even a female that should be allowed to prep any kind of food at all. But, I’m me. Will you take that served?

Eight Minutes

If you pause to think about it, it’s amazing what one can accomplish in eight minutes. Send three emails. Run a mile. Practically cook a lasagna (in the microwave mind you). Write a thank you card. Give a speech. Watch half of a DVRed show. Call a friend. Perform a minor, outpatient surgery. Amazing what eight minutes can do.

What’s not so marvelous about the number eight is when it’s associated with the number of minutes you spent with your child that day. Yes, you read that right. Eight. Minutes. That’s the total time I spent gazing into my son’s eyes today, frantically dressing, diapering and packing him to spend a delicious eight hours in someone else’s arms. It’s going to be more than eight days that this sinking, guilt-ridden, sad feeling leaves the pit of my stomach regarding these numerical facts.

I know I’m a girl lucky in love, blessed with flexible scheduling, friends, family and colleagues who understand…I’m beyond thankful for it everyday. But if I could just take these eight seconds to whine about my eight minutes, I’d be ever so indebted to you.

I miss you Monkey and love you more than anything. Sweet dreams.

Interesting, associated article regarding Moms and part-time work – are they really getting their extra eight minutes???

Sunday, May 2, 2010

You Know You're a Mom When...

Week of May 2
1. You are the gal getting the death stares as you attempt to maneuver the extra wide stroller through the city art fair. But you try anyway in an attempt to feel like your old, cultural self.
2. Your only hair product is called “saliva de la bebe.”
3. The songs you once blared to catch the eye of the cute guy in the car lane next to you are now turned off or to the lowest volume as to avoid scarring your kiddo for life.
4. Even one of your best friends is flabbergasted at the state of your master bedroom.
5. Your greatest accomplishment of the week is keeping your child out for eight hours, dragging him here and there with no nap, yet he is still all smiles.
6. You stay up all night listening to your son’s breath patterns and your hand on 911 because you administered recalled Tylenol literally three minutes before the new broke. Augh.
7. You brag to your family that you got to sleep in until 7:30 a.m.
8. You never, ever, ever get tired of that gleeful belly laugh.
9. You kill yourself trying to get teacher appreciation and birthday goodies in because you want to show your gratitude for their work in caring for your most prized possession…even if you do look like a brown-noser.
10. Your heart expands in a million places to accommodate the growing unconditional love, amazement and undying passionate you have for your little being.