Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Might Be a Pretentious Bitch

I'm not really even sure when it happened. I mean I went a little crazy when I turned 40 but it was probably before that. I've always had a pretty high self image. I mean why not? I'm supposed to shit on myself because I'm a chunky chick? Just because that is what is expected, doesn't mean I have to do it.

I was sitting in Starbucks the other day with my babies. As a diabetic, I've cut out most of the fun stuff I used to be capable of enjoying but from time to time, I still have a chai tea frappachino. It's a vice. A really good vice. A really good vice covered in whipped creamy goodness and cinnamon dolche. I get a lemon pound cake and vanilla bean scones for the kids and we sit at a table and the kids drink their organic low fat vanilla milk while I drink as much of my drink as I can before River starts in with the "Momma, can I have some cream?" I always give her some but I drink as much as I can before she gets handsy.

So, we're sitting in Starbucks, eating our sweets, while I drink my frappachino and watch my kids drink their organic milk. I look down at my Uggs and with a small laugh look over to my Kate Spade purse and pick up my too expensive back up camera to take a photo of my beautiful children and I had to ask myself, who the fuck am I?

How did this happen? Five years ago $16.99 was the most I'd ever paid for a pair of shoes and I thought Starbucks was for assholes, just like Hummers. While I bought my purse second hand and my boots were a gift, still something has changed in me and I'm not really sure how it happened without my noticing it. It was first brought to my attention a couple of weeks ago when my husband said this to me, "You have a crazy expensive backup camera. What's happened to you?"

I know the value of a dollar and what it feels like to not know where your next meal is coming from so a $130 pair of boots is just asinine. I know this. Don't get me wrong, I love my boots but $130? For what? I put my fucking feet in them! Granted, when I put my feet into them it's like they're wrapped in a big Australian cloud, but not a necessity by any means. Don't even get me started on the organic vanilla milk! Why can't Starbucks carry normal milk? Wouldn't you rather drink good old 2% than that vanilla crap?

All this may have happened when one became two. At about the same time, I sold my house so when we started together, I had a cushion, I guess you could say. When I was single, I never kept a check book. I knew how much my check was and I didn't spend more than that. I know it's a very juvenile way to keep your finances but I'm not capable of much more. I would like to be but I just have some kind of shut off where numbers are concerned. If there are numbers involved, I might as well be blind. I will teach my children how to colour outside the lines, think outside the box and create wonderful, moving things. My husband will teach them that a penny saved is a penny earned, how to do their homework and understand it and that keeping a close eye on your finances is just the smart thing to do.

What I'm basically trying to say is that perhaps I've gotten off track. I always look for a deal and I buy a lot of my kids clothes 2nd hand. Not because we can't buy them new clothes, but because I like the idea of vintage. I wish there were cute vintage shops for kids, but I've never seen one. I bought my prom dress for $36 at a vintage store in Nashville and I would love to find something like that here. I just don't think they exist.

Now that River is two, I'm cutting back the whole milk and kickin it with the 2%! So, we're going to skip the stupid organic vanilla milk. We don't need Starbucks as much as we go and as a diabetic, I shouldn't be going there at all. After the crazy Birthday party I just had for my kids, it's time to cut back. We're all overfed and I hope I can make my kids see that. We really are very lucky, but I'm putting a halt to new toys and this week I am gutting this house of toys and clothes we don't need. Deadline: March 11th. I just registered for a consignment sale in Severna Park and I am unloading as much as possible at that sale. If the kids haven't touched it in a month, it will disappear in the dead of night.

I want to teach the kids that you don't need a million toys, a kick ass pair of boots, your dream purse or a really good back up camera to be happy. I'm not returning any of it, lets not get crazy, but we're trying to start anew. We'll see how well I do.

As far as being pretentious, perhaps it just appears that way to me. I should look it up to see if it even fits.

Pretentious: self-important and affected; acting as though more important or special than is warranted, or appearing to have an unrealistically high self-image

Yeah, that's me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

We Know How to Rock a Party

I'm tired. Stressed out perhaps, which makes me tired. In January, my daughter turned two and just last week we celebrated my son's 4th birthday. Instead of having a party for each of them because between you and me, that's just too much damn vacuuming, we had one BIG party.

I like to throw parties. It's all fun and games up til the day of where I always run around like a fool yelling at everyone until I get into the shower as the first car pulls into the drive. I was actually able to open the door and say "hello!" to our first guests before jumping into the shower and leaving them to my husband.

The party was at two. Our parties have always been at 11 AMish before and I will NEVER do that shit again! The extra three hours was essential to my head not exploding. I had the things I'd made on my Cricut on the wall, the slideshow DVDs on the TVs and the chocolate fountain whirring as I slipped into the literally three minute shower and prepared for my day.

With all the stuff we got to dip in the chocolate, this seemed to be the crowd pleaser:

Of course a lot happened before that, like the gutting of the shit from my dining room, my computer, all of my scrapbooking stuff, the endless supply of stuff my kid makes at school and the exploding blue cheese. I won't even get into last night when my dog ripped open two bags of powdered sugar while we were at the market and that my husband practically begged me not to beat her.

I made River this kick ass tutu dress! Why ppl pay for these is beyond me. A monkey could do it. It's tying tulle onto elastic. Some ppl pay $40 for these things. I don't get it. I suppose it's for convenience but I have a fast and steady rule of not paying someone to do something when I am capable of doing it myself. Maybe I'm cheap. Maybe I have control issues, but I know I am capable of tying tulle onto elastic. I will be making a blue one next and then on to basic black, Every girl needs a little black dress. Who am I to deny her of that? A black tutu dress with her Chucks. That's photo worthy. I see the Wicked Witch in her future Halloween plans....

Owen dressed like a train engineer. He didn't keep the hat on long but since it's the best part, I included a photo I took of him in it yesterday.

I got up early, defrosted the meatballs, set the buttercream frosting (I'd made from a friend's recipe) out to soften and started cracking the eggs for deviled eggs. I had a discussion today about how people put sweet relish and Miracle Whip in their deviled eggs. Just recalling that memory made me gag. I'm from the south and I don't remember anyone ever defiling a deviled egg in that manner. I'm sure a lot of people use Miracle Whip but I don't know too many of them. Actually, this guy may be the only one. For some reason Miracle Whip makes me think of a trailer park. I'm sure there is some big stupid reason for that like maybe there was a trailer in a Miracle Whip commercial when I was 6 or I saw someone eating Miracle Whip in a trailer as a kid. I have no idea why that image comes to mind but even if I wasn't repulsed by the taste of Miracle Whip, I still would be incapable of eating it. I like my deviled eggs with Guldens and scallion, thank you very much!

Anyhoo, I made Owen a Thomas cake and Pinkalicious cupcakes for River. The Thomas cake was a giganto pain in the ass and will never be attempted again but even though it wasn't perfect, Owen loved it! My friend Sherry helped me cut and stack the cake and put on the Thomas coloured icing. HUGE help. Cutting was the most stressful part. His ass was sagging by go time but Owen didn't seem to notice.

I'd like to tell you how good the cake or cupcakes with the homemade frosting were, but I never tasted either. I'm sure they were fine. The kids didn't complain.

Since they shared their party, they each got their own cake/cupcakes and their own "Happy Birthday" song. Owen was first, since he is the oldest. He gets so shy when he's singled out so Thomas sat there on the table, candle burning while we sang and then Owen stepped up and blew out the candle. River didn't blow out her candle but got super giggly and shy when it was her turn. We've been practicing the song for weeks and she can sing it well, but she still acted embarrassed.

I tried to think of what the kids would say was their favorite part of the day. For River, I think it was the chocolate on a marshmallows and for Owen, just watching the chocolate fountain.

After that, I think they liked the gifts. I never remember the gifts when I'm planning a party and am almost always shocked when I see the first one. It happened again this year. During my three minute shower I remember thinking, "Shit, where am I going to put the gifts!?"

I'm not sure which is funnier, that we made the kids pose with their gifts or that Owen seems to be praising the gift fairy.

Lesson learned: Next year, sheet cake. Someone PLEASE remind me I said that when I pull out the chocolate fountain and order the brie.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Camera is Better Than Me

I can't remember my life when there wasn't a camera in it. Even before I cracked my first roll of film in the 5th grade, we had a 110. Remember those? I even had a disc camera in junior high. Disc camera was Kodak for "piece of shit", but what did I know? I was 13.

Check out this piece of shit:

Apparently you can still buy one of these on Amazon for $70. WTF? That's like going out of your way to buy a HUGE cell phone while wearing parachute pants. It makes no sense.

Even now I'm still annoyed with the fact that I remember all the drama I went through to sneak that tiny piece of shit into the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Nashville to steal images of Powerstation in April of 1985. I tucked the camera into my pants and ran into the general admission crowd every time a burly bouncer pointed at me. It was worse than standing room only in that at one point my feet weren't touching the ground and I was being held up by elbows in my rib cage. I almost passed out and I remember my last thought being, "Please let me see John Taylor so I can take an "illegal" photo of him!" Even funnier all these years later since I've met all the members of Duran Duran through my many stalking techniques and have seen Duran 30 times or so. How was I to know that that stupid camera would be obsolete just a few years later? However even though I have no photos to show for it, I'm glad I went since half the people in this photo are dead now. One of them has a phony "light sensitivity" that necessitates wearing sunglasses 24/7. The other is still hot.

My first camera, well, my first good camera, the one I used in high school and the one that got me into college was a Minolta X700. I still have it. It was a good camera for it's time. I went to school in 1990 and my camera came out in 1981 so I got it after it's time had begun, which was fine. My commercial art teacher spotted it in a thrift store in Nashville and it came with a huge bag and lots of lenses and filters. Momma paid $100 for it and I had to pay her back but it was worth it. Besides a small light leak that I was able to trick the camera into forgetting, it worked great. Looking at it now it looks like something my Grandfather would have used. It just looks so vintage.

I had a Ricoh for a while as I was preparing for a digital and once I moved onto that, I couldn't look back. I went through a few Cannon Point & Shoot cameras and they all sucked. I think it's what made me drink the Cannon hateraide. I've never forgiven them for making such shitty point and shoots. I have a Nikon P & S now and it is better than any of those Cannons I had before. Hell, my waterproof Fuji is better than those things!

About three years ago I bought a Nikon D60 and it's been great! I might even say that I've worked magic with that thing! I had to live without it for two weeks once and it was like I lost an arm. I bitched about it the whole time and even called to check on it, more than once. It is certainly the best camera I have ever owned, until now.

I've wanted a new camera for a while. One thing that annoyed me about it was the auto focus lenses. When I am shooting things that don't move, I will manual focus, but I have a hard time using manual focus with a running child. My eyesight is just not that good. So, I haven't been able to get much use out of my 50 mm lens because of it, and a lot of other lenses, aren't auto focus compatible with a D60 or bellow. So, since I was seeing limitations, I upgraded to a D90. I don't deserve it. It is frivilous and the only thing Ican say to make me feel better about spending the money is that I can say with certainty that it will get a great deal of use. It is the camera I should have held out for three years ago. This thing is like butter! You know how you can hold something in your hand and immediately know it's right? This camera feel right in my hand it is heavy. The kind of heavy when you know it's just made better. It also came with a kick ass lens! The lens by itself is like $300! I didn't expect it to come with such a great lens. It also comes with a good lens hood and I'm happy I don't have to buy one. What I DO have to buy in a new UV filter because this lens is 67mm when my other lenses are 52mm. A small price to pay for a great lens and I would have gotten a new one anyway.

So, I start anew. Learning this camera and how to take HD video clips, which I'm excited about. This camera was the first DSLR to have HD video capabilities when it came out in 08. It's a different animal and for the first time I have a camera that is better than me, which means I will spend ages learning to use it. I love new cameras like some people love new homes. I like to sit and look at it while imagining the possibilities. Ahhhhhh...Nikon......

Blue Cupcakes

Guess who's 4???

Seems like just yesterday that little angel was cut from my womb. Now he's such a big boy! I know he was a bigger kid at 8lbs 12 oz but he looks so tiny in my husband's arms.

This was our first family portrait. I'd spent the last 30 minutes throwing up so that is why I'm not smiling. Also, I was probably scared shitless of that tiny little gestational diabetes inducing troublemaker.

Owen's first Drs appointment on February 28th, 2007, my due date. Also, the day we moved...nightmare.

When I brought my first baby home from the hospital I had no idea what I was doing, in fact I'd even say I was petrified. I'm pretty sure it was the fist time I'd ever held a newborn and I was clueless. I take that back, I may have held my niece and nephews but I was so young that I didn't retain that memory.

I brought home a brand new tiny 8 lbs. 12 oz baby boy and today I have 55 pound 4 year old! I've been going through a lot of old photos this week and even I am stupefied by this giganto kid I have! However as big as he is, he's the sweetest thing. After reading books that he loves and kissing his sister goodnight, we tucked him in and walked down the hall to the sound of his music playing and him farting. He's so goofy that we don't even acknowledge it any more. I can't help but wonder if he does that at school.

My son has always been the big kid. The only thing that is bigger than he is, is his heart. He is the sweetest kid I have ever come in contact with. I'm not sure how that happened because he didn't get that from me. I make sure to tell my kids every day how special and beautiful they are and I try to instill in them the way of thinking that has always worked for me. It hasn't been easy translating the "my shit doesn't stink" attitude to toddlers but I still try daily. Owen is way more gentle than me and even his sister. With River I find I will need to pull it back a bit to assure she doesn't leave my house thinking the sun rises and sets in her asshole but with Owen, telling him all day long that he's special seems to boost his self esteem, which I love! That can never be a bad thing.

I made cupcakes for Owen to take into both schools this week to celebrate his birthday and we're doing the train museum, again. As I sit here I am praying that it doesn't snow like it is supposed to and cancel school. I'd hate to be stuck in the house on his Birthday when I had such good things planned. We go to the train museum often but he loves it just as much every time we go. I know he'd also like to share these yummy cupcakes with his friends at school. I guess they'll hold for a day or two but still, that sucks to miss your birthday! If he does miss school, we'll just spend the day doing other things like playing in the snow. I know he loves that.

This is the first year that Owen really understands my "all day is about you" rule and I think he's going to have fun with it. He seems to know that cake and presents are involved, and that he's having a party on Saturday. If the snow turns out to be nothing (which I'm hoping) we'll go to dinner for his birthday. I told him about that so I hope we can make it happen.

Anyhoo, I'm so excited that my baby is 4! I'm so proud of the sweet kid that he is and how good he is to his sister. I'm not saying he doesn't run her over with the shopping cart when no one is looking. I'm not saying he doesn't have more of her dolls in his bed than she does. I'm not saying that he doesn't demand milk just because River has a cup of her own. What I AM saying is that when Owen wakes up, the first thing he wants to do is "go get River." I'm saying that if I leave her in her car seat while I bring groceries in the house, he screams "Momma, you forgot River!" I'm saying that when I give him a cheese stick in the afternoon, he looks at me and says, "One for River too?"

Before I had kids, I thought all kids were selfish. I still think being selfish is a stage that most kids go through, but Owen really hasn't. He has entered the phase where he understands some things are his but for the most part, he generally wants to share. He's hit one person in his life and it was his friend Ayden who got a little too close to one of his trains. I dropped the hammer on that behavior and he hasn't done it since. I think it has less to do with my reaction and more to do with the fact that that really just isn't him. He just wants to share and to be friends with everyone. It's nice, really.

So tomorrow I will make sure I tell him how proud I am of him. I know not everyone gets this from their parents, so I make sure my kids do. I will tell him he's beautiful. I will tell him he can do anything he wants to do in life because he's capable and that I will always be his #1 fan, even if he votes Republican, bashes the arts and wears purple or yellow or orange or teal.......

There are many special things about Owen. He's a really good kid. Very gentle with his sister and he loves everyone. I always want him to know how special he is and that he can do anything he wants. I make sure to tell him certain things over and over, rules if you will, to help him get there.
Always be kind to your sister, even when she doesn't deserve it.
Tell people how to treat you, don't let them decide for you.
Don't be afraid to stand alone.
Never apologize for what you believe.
Don't let anyone tell you what to do. Live your life by YOUR terms.
Never let someone else define who you are.
Be on time. People hate it when you're late.
Try not to be so sensitive. Not everything is life shattering.
Step out of your comfort zone. It can be fun.
Things I love about Owen:

Owen is the only family member who looks good in orange

Avocado, where?

Drool is the new black

When Owen is tired, he just stops

My baby can work a hat

One of my favorite photos of Owen

My goal as his mother is to keep him this excited about everything he does in his life!

Yay!!! My baby is 4!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fawk You Friday

I don't have time every week to bitch about all the things that happen to us during our travels so I haven't done Fawk You Friday in a while. The kids and I have been hitting it hard! We've been to the park, the train museum, shopping for Birthday party items and just basically getting shit done.

I thought today was a good day to rejoin Fawk You Friday so that I could make myself feel better about not slapping a bitch at Michael's. I only have one Fawk You but it was a practice in self control.

I loaded the kids up much earlier than usual. I wanted to be able to work on Birthday things today so I needed to get the supplies before I put Owen on the school bus so that I could work on them while River naps. We're standing in Michael's (minding our own business as one should) when an older lady says to me, "You have such beautiful girls!" I almost NEVER correct someone when they say that. All I really hear is how beautiful my kids are. I don't really give two shits that some people are incapable of seeing anything but my son's hair when saying these things. I find it's easier to just let it go.

So, I did just that. I smiled, thanked her and turned away, but we were both in the paper isle and she kept talking to the kids. At some point she did what I was hoping she wouldn't. She asked their names. I wasn't against telling her that Owen is a boy who has never had a haircut, I'm just not the type to talk to strangers. I'm not afraid, as much as not interested. I like to keep to myself. I certainly don't want an in depth conversation about how long a boys hair should be. Old people slay me with their nosiness.

However I took a deep sigh and introduced him while Owen yelled, That's River! She's my sister!" The obligatory questions followed. "Oh, he's a boy? I had no idea! Such long hair! I've never seen such long hair on a boy!" Oh God, here it comes...."Are you going to get him a haircut?" Ugggghhh, "At some point, I'm sure I will."

"I've never seen a boy with so much hair before." Yeah, you already said that.

"I would get him a haircut. Kids can be so mean." Mean, like nosey bitches at Michael's? Kids are assholes cause they have assholes like you raising them.

"Well, I'm his mother and I'll make that decision." What I wanted to say had my angels had their earmuffs on is "Can you mind your own fucking business and crawl back into your mothball of a house and let me do my own shit?" This is why people annoy me. Am I supposed to A/ care what she thinks or B/ Act like I care what she thinks?

Thankfully I had my paper counted out and instead of rolling it up into a tight tube and shoving it up her ass, we paid and left. I took the kids to Starbucks to wash my hostility down with a chai tea frap and then we went home to catch Owen's school bus where I'm pretty sure he's yet to be made fun of.

A side question to other parents, do crazy old women hang out at all Target, Michael's, Chick Fil As? Cause I feel like those bitches take root in those places. Also, why am I supposed to be tolerant of an old asshole? A bitch is a bitch at any age. Would it be OK if I asked her why her hair is blue and why it's OK to let her tits hang around her knees? Is that socially acceptable? If Dolly can keep those bitches up, so can you!

Probably the most annoying thing about today is that when my husband first walks in the door after work, he'll stand over me and look down while lightly rubbing my back and say, "Honey, I think it's time to get his hair cut." Uuugggghhhhh, I should have just fucking hit her.

BWS tips button

Shit Kickers

I've made a life out of colouring outside of the lines. Sometimes I do it just to piss people off, I can't deny that but usually I don't need to give it much thought. Odd things just come to me naturally. However, I am a creature of habit. I like what is familiar. You could say that I am not a friend of change. However, some things are certain. I floss daily. I always wear the same coloured undies everyday, I generally eat the same thing every time I go to a restaurant and I haven't worn a shoe that wasn't black in over 20 years, until today.

I'm not sure what came over me. I was at the mall with a friend for lunch and I decided to stop in a shoe store for a few minutes. I knew this store had some groovy stuff because I'd been there before. They sell Chucks for kids and neat off the wall stuff that you don't usually see for kids. I was looking for myself but I'm more apt to shop in your store if I think your store has balls. Not all stores do but not everyone wants their kids to wear Stride Rite forever.

Anyhoo, I've totally fallen in love with my Uggs. I'm not even sure how it happened. Such a pretentious little black boot but I have lived in them since the weather turned. So much so that I've tried not to wear them all week and have relied on my Chucks because I felt like I needed the distance. I didn't want to wake up to warm weather one day and feel out of sorts because I couldn't wear my usual chosen footwear. They've definitely taken a shit all over my other shoes. So that is why I was kinda on the hunt for a new boot, if only to give myself a choice. I was sure when I brought this up with myself weeks ago that I'd buy another (different) black boot because that's what I do. I wear black shoes. I was wearing my black Bananarama shoes today and I love those damn things too. Note to self: Buy another pair of Bananarama shoes.

Since boot season is almost over, I figured it best to look now because boots will be on sale. I was right. There were tons of boots in this store! Granted, most of them were whore boots and I swear some of them were left over from the 1984 Kiss tour. That isn't just an arbitrary statement. While I didn't go see Kiss that year (or ever actually) I remember this asshole in shop class smart mouthing me about Duran Duran and how Kiss was so much better. He went to see Kiss on that tour and said they were awesome. Although I remember thinking a part of him died because it was their first tour with out their makeup, which I'm sure what frightening. Tell me this doesn't scare the ever living shit out of you:

Also, that kids name was Link. Link, I shit you not. While I know my kids name is River so I have no room to judge, I will anyway. River conjures up beautiful strong, blue waters. What does Link bring to mind? A gnawed on baby toy or a rusty piece of broken metal? That's an odd name. I'm just sayin....

Nestled in between the "I'll blow you for $5" boots and the "I'm a nun in my spare time" boots, were some awesome boots! Most of them were black and I'll be honest, I tried on a black pair first but they didn't have my size so I moved on. It's pretty tough to find my size. I wear an 11 and if they even carry my size, most stores only get one or two pairs so I'm generally screwed. However I found an 11 in a boot that I would not normally buy. I bought a brown boot...duh, duh duuuhhhhh.......

My husband hates them!!!!

I must say that while I love these boots I'm not sure if it's because they're awesome or because they're the E.T. of boots, so ugly, they're cute. No idea but they are warm as shit! Also, if I don't get much use out of them, I can wear them to that fucking Renaissance Festival my husband drags me to every year. I'm sure these go with the Star Trek logo, right?

I'm not a complete traitor. I WILL NOT buy a brown purse to go with these boots. I will always wear black with them. Just keepin it real........