Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011--I did stuff.

  • January: J had a birthday. I also wrote this letter to 2011. I have to say that for the most part, things went pretty well. We had weddings and babies (many announced, one arrived yesterday!). We also had funerals, fever blisters, and more cancer. So... mixed bag I guess. I did get a new fence, but no more animals.
  • February: Faire got started... well, the workshop process at least. I taught people how to talk to strangers in an engaging and memorable way. I wore a lot of layers for the various levels of weather that Texas likes to throw at us at the tail-end of winter.
  • March: My pants went missing. Not really. My careful husband had just PUT THEM AWAY, so of course I couldn't find them. It was like foreshadowing for all the pants-griping I would be doing this year. An omen of things to come--no pants to be had!!*
  • April: I was attacked by MORE SPIDERS. This still haunts me. I sang with QAL and wore blinding amounts of pink. I talked to strangers in an engaging and (hopefully) memorable way.
  • May: I did all the same things as the month before, only with less arachnid involvement. Honestly, I think I prefer it this way, thank you very much. Spiders, please kindly take note that we both are better off far, far away from each other.
  • June: I reunited with my couch. Somewhere that spring, during recovery from some version of crud, I got hooked on Doctor Who, so I spent quite a bit of time working on my ass-groove and catching up on that.
  • July: The great babysplosion of 2012! Well, things got started before July, but July was the month when I found out that 3 close friends were pregnant. And then, me too! I also hosted a clothing swap party and so did a lot of closet-purging and talking about clothes.
  • August: My blog turned 1! I was very proud of myself for keeping this up that far. A small achievement to be sure, but still one I was excited about.
  • September: J & I celebrated being married for 5 years. We made it this far, which is impressive to me, because it seems very long, and also completely unimpressive next to the marriages that surround us--my grandparents: 70 yrs on one side, 65 on the other. Both of our parents? 42 years.
  • October: I went to San Francisco to see my family & have a mini-vacation with my husband. I turned 31. My brother became a sommolier. I went Austin and met a bunch of ladies whose lives I read about on the Internet! I got dressed up like a witch and sang songs at a haunted-house theme park with my friends! It was a fabulous month. Maybe the best of the year.
  • November: I posted every day for 30 days. You found out way more about me than you ever needed to know.
  • December: I made crafts. I went to parties. I sang carols in Victorian costuming. I published my 200th post with no fan-fare because I just couldn't be bothered. I figure 500 is the next milestone that I might make a fuss over. Don't quote me on this, because I might change my mind AT ANY TIME

*I actually found a pair of maternity pants, on the internet, that--according to the size chart provided--should fit around my expanding hips and also touch my feet and cost less than $70. This is a minor miracle. I have been searching for this very thing since... well, I think since the day I found out that I would NEED maternity pants. I have looked at every possible place for pants, but the intersection of tall and wide and pregnant didn't seem to exist. Then it did, but at prices that made my budget run away screaming. Then... a Christmas miracle. JC Penny! Bless them! They added the magical ingredient! Not all-the-way plus-sized-tall pants, but just my size. Falling in the overlap between what's considered "regular" sizes and "plus" sizes isn't a fun place to be. You get funny looks no matter where you shop. Still, I'd found some places that had pants I could wear. Enter the fetus and I was S. O. L. Tall maternity pants? Sure! No problem! The two maternity stores nearest me both have tall sizes. So long as you're just extra large. And I was. Am. Extra Large. I live in the land of the XL. But somehow a maternity XL is a size smaller than my normal Target XL. 16/18 at Target is NOT THE SAME as 16/18 at Destination Maternity, or JC Penny. Which, I'm not surprised, because sizes aren't exactly standardized across the whole retail world. So I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was disappointed to find that maternity clothes run smaller than my regular clothes. Yeah, where's the logic in that?! Let's make the ladies putting on weight for TOTALLY REASONABLE REASONS feel even fatter by making the clothes they need to wear smaller. WTF and STFU to you stores! Anyway, because of that little gem of marketing, the pants that fit my rear end were 1X. Well. You can get plus sized maternity pants too! So long as your inseam is only 32". *sigh* The 1X 34" inseam pants... they were not to be had at reasonable prices. And then... like MAGIC... they were! This is the longest footnote ever, and really could be a separate post, because you all know how much I love to bitch about pants. PANTS!!! So, the whole point here is that after the Christmas miracle of JC Penny suddenly deciding to carry pants for me, ON SALE no less, I bought a pair in every color. They didn't have any in stores to try on, so this could still be a bust, but I'm trying to be hopeful here. Hope--it springs eternal for pants.


THEY FIT!! I have pants!! And there was much rejoicing! *yay*

Friday, December 30, 2011


I'm having an argument with my bookshelves.
Or with my books. I'm honestly not sure which.

We have some books, and pretty much no organizational system whatsoever.

A while back, I decided to move all of our series of books to one bookshelf. This thing is 6' tall and 3' wide (much like myself) and it is FULL of books that have more than one part. One and a half shelves are all Wheel of Time, and there's Tolkien, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo stuff, and on and on. In fact, it is so full that the Harry Potter series is ON TOP of the bookshelf, with our cute little Harry & Hermione bookends and everything by Piers Anthony is on another bookshelf all together, even though there are 2 different series by him over there. He's over on another bookshelf of the same size that I've decided is for "books by the same author, though not necessarily in any kind of serial format."  By that logic, I should move the 2 Dean Koontz series off the series bookshelf and move them over there, but Dean already has 2 whole shelves because I'm a sucker for his work and I can't see making it 3 shelves.

But there you have sort of the extent of my organization. Books in series are segregated (mostly) and if we have more than one book by a particular author, those go on a separate bookshelf as well. I sort of have some... thematic shelves. The "all things Ireland/Norse mythology" shelf and the "bibles and stuff about God & Jesus, including Christian fiction" shelves. There's sort of a "fantasy/sci-fi" shelf, but all J's Star Trek books are on another shelf, next to the books we kept from classes, because what I really need just now is a handbook on screenwriting and broadcast voice techniques.

Which leaves many shelves full of just... books. In no order. Not grouped by subject or genre because I can't figure out where to put a book about a woman who goes to the Amazon to find a fellow researcher and winds up sleeping with her presumed-dead co-worker, even though she spent the first half of the book telling us that she would never, ever do that because she wasn't that kind of woman. Next to the one about a woman who does nature-research-type stuff and I think there was a romance involved, and does she get pregnant? I can't remember. Those books are just sort of... out there.

I suppose I could do like stores and libraries do (not with the Dewey Decimal system or anything, unless Tara wants to come do it as a project for her grad school), but put things in alphabetical order by author.

That smacks of effort.

If you want to borrow a book that's not by an author that we have lots of books by, or part of a series, you're just going to have to look at a lot of shelves.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Skills I don't have

So, I'm not a choreographer. I'm not a dancer either. I can do some dance moves, though none with anything close to skill or proficiency. I know some of the lingo, but mostly I describe things with made-up adjectives when talking to my dancer friends. "You know the part where your back goes all archy and she does that kick with her leg all bendy and then you both sort of squiggle around until you're in matching hoopdydoodles?"

Anyway, despite these deficiencies, I still hear songs that I want people to dance to. Not just usta-usta on the dance floor, but real choreographed "pieces." I get visions of a particular shakey shoulder movement or an arching back, a kick, a roll, you know, something that my brains say "this sound should make a dancer's body do this." But one movement does not a full piece make. And I don't know enough moves to put together a whole piece. So I just sit in my car, listening to the songs that make me smile envisioning my dancer friends doing little bits here and there. Any real choreographers out there: I've got the first 15 seconds of Muse's Supermassive Black Hole down pat. Sort of. And some vague concepts for the chorus. In case you're interested.

I like to cook. No, not really. I like to eat. I like to make stuff. If I had a permanent sous chef, I think I'd like cooking a lot more. Oh, and a dishwasher. I mean, we have a dishwasher (the machine), but I'd like a person to do the loading & unloading of said machine. Right, so, I make stuff. I follow recipes pretty well. I do have my mother's tendency to substitute what I've got laying around for what the recipe calls for sometimes. I cooked my first turkey this year, and it went pretty well, if not perfectly. I learned some stuff--like not to let a turkey sit in 3" of it's own delicious juices, because it will fall apart, spraying the kitchen in stuffing in a very unappetizing looking mess when you try to transfer it to a platter. The cooking thing is one that I feel really behind the ball on. So many of my friends are amazing cooks--inventive and skilled cooks. They can tell if meat is done without thermometers or cutting it open. I do not have this skill. I barely understand the difference between baking soda and powder.

My lack of kitchen proficiency certainly hasn't stopped me from trying new and exciting recipes. In fact, I have a recipe that's been sitting on my fridge (with a magnet) for... oh, I don't know... a year or so? It's a recipe that an old boyfriend made for me on Valentine's Day and it is, to date, the best thing I remember about him--he cooked this fabulous meal. The rest of the night was a disaster, but this dinner was AWESOME. So, I thought I would make it. My family is coming over for belated Christmas-time celebrations tomorrow. My office is closed. Seems like the perfect time to cook a completely untested recipe for the best cook I know, right? I mean, what's the worst that could happen? I fail, the dish sucks, I'm embarrassed, my family all laughs (with me, not at me--they're cool like that), and we get take-out. This is an outcome I'm mostly comfortable with. Of course, I'd love for things to go really well and not NEED take-out, but I have a safety net in place. Lite Wok totally delivers, and they have sushi, so 33% of my guests will be super excited about that. The rest of us can have other delicious food that is cooked--in a wok, presumably.

Oh, this recipe! I don't know what it's called. It's beef with mushrooms in a burgandy wine sauce. So I Googled it, to see what I was getting myself into (since my refridgerator is far from me, and I'm impatient). Google now has me TERRIFIED because it keeps throwing french recipes at me that involve stuff I've never heard of, like beef demi glace, which led me down a wikipedia rabbit hole of doom...

Tomorrow could be very exciting. If we wind up with take-out, I'll let you know. Otherwise there will be lots of bragging and pictures of food taken with my cell phone as proof that I didn't screw it all up!

Oh, but on to skills I DO have!

When it comes to crafting, I can do crafts that involve cutting and glue. Like a kindergartner. No sewing, no knitting, crochet, measuring, or feng shui. Just good old fashioned cut and paste. Decoupage? Right up my alley! Glitter? My favorite! This has allowed me to make years & years of Christmas ornaments with little to no skill.

Which I proclaim to be a skill!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Unreality, goals, and possibly some denial

So, some days ago (I cannot be bothered to find out actual facts and figures here people), I spent a lovely afternoon folding tiny things. Mostly tiny clothes, though at the end I had aquired quite a sizable pile of tiny shoes. Not pairs of shoes--just one shoe per pair. It's like Beylit got involved somehow... I don't know.

As I sat there folding, I was amazed at just how tiny infant clothes are. It makes sense, as infants are tiny, even the big ones. I remember holding my niece when she was still HOURS old and thinking--how can she be so tiny and yet seem so big at the same time? There's a sort of unreality about babies that way. They seem so small and fragile and delicate and yet... that came out of another HUMAN. The ergonomics of how babies fit inside people is pretty much a mystery. I keep going back to Temerity Jane's organ purse post* to see where the heck this Freckle has gotten to, and being amazed. Seriously amazed. She's crossed the Great Navel Trench. That is sort of weird to me. I look at that diagram and think is it even possible? She's made it this far already, why not further? Because I'm still using that space for me!!

Also, while I know that the goal of this whole project is to have a baby at the end of it--an external, not taking up the space my innards are used to occupying baby--I still can't quite wrap my brain around it. Most of the time, I can wrap my brain around being pregnant. I am carrying a baby--on the inside. Right. Check. That explains the crazy "why are my intestines playing Twister with my liver?" sensations. And yet... there are still times when I... forget? Get surprised? I'll be minding my own business, wearing my own pants, feeling generally just like myself and then I'll see something crazy in my house--like a car seat or some tiny dress and my first thought is usually, "who am I giving that to?" because I can't really fathom that this is happening. I know I'm pregnant, and that means that eventually I'll have a baby. While I know that, I find the fact strangely easy to forget, despite the fact that I'm pretty much thinking about it a lot of times per day and worry that it's the only thing I'm talking about when I see my friends, because while there is other stuff going on in my life right now (work is slowly getting less slow, I'm hosting a belated Christmas celebration at my house where I have to COOK for my MOTHER and BROTHER, which is making me a little nutty), there are also like A MILLION pregnant ladies in my life right now, so it's... all around me.

Maybe because I've had such an easy time? Things have gone remarkably well for me, and I'm very aware of how awesome that is. Between friends who actually live within driving distance of me, MBFJC, book club ladies, and some of my Internet Ladies, the current total of Babies I know getting themselves born in 2012 is... a lot. 19? 20? Something like that. Someone is having twins, so that always throws my count off. Well, one less than that since one of those babies got born on Dec 26th, but it's close enough to 2012 that I'm just going to go ahead and count him in the menagerie. I'm sure he won't mind. His age can still be calculated in understandable amounts of hours, so, you know, he's pretty easy-going about things that aren't his current state of comfort. I assume. I haven't actually met him yet. I think this baby-boom has added to the surreal quality of it all.

There's also the strange fact of... how do you connect the internal baby to the external baby? I know there will be witnesses to assure me that the baby they hand me is the same one I've been poking and talking to, but... how does your brain even compute that? Not that pregnant women aren't AWARE that the baby comes out. We get it. But... I mean... it's weird. I saw all the picture of my friend going from stunningly slender to very, very pregnant and it still wasn't really real until I saw her in person. Even then, it was sort of strange. Hard to connect the fact that this belly sticking out of her was actually HER and there was a PERSON inside. A very tiny person. Well, not too tiny. 8lbs 5 oz on the day of the reveal, so, a baby-sized baby. Still. A person! Inside! And there's one inside me? I have a hard time with that concept, despite the fact that this is EXACTLY what I wanted and what I tried very hard to achieve.

I'm also in denial about my pants at the moment. I know if there is anything about which I have become a sad, bitter, broken record it is pants. I just can't bring myself to pay $70 (plus tax and shipping) for a pair of pants to wear for 3 months that I'd still have to have hemmed once they arrived. I know--me having to have pants hemmed is quite a novelty, but not one I'm interested in experiencing. At 6 months I'm finally starting to feel uncomfortable in my last 4 pairs of wearable pants. I've got Bella Bands. I've got hair-ties. I'm doing my best to extend the life of these pants for as long as possible, because... it's coldish here, and I don't want to wear skirts all the time just yet. Soon enough that will be my only option, and I will suck it up and soldier on. For now, I'm hanging on to my pants with every shred of willpwoer I posses.

I spend a lot of time with my friends who have kids just watching, trying to absorb it all. Seeing what things happen and how they deal with it. I look at the baby pictures my Internet Ladies post and think--someday I'll be posting picture of a baby, not 14,000 pictures of my cats. (Probably only 1000 pictures of my cats.) It just all still seems so far away and unreal. I have a drawer full of cloth diapers. That should make things a little realer, right? Nope. A drawer full of tiny 0-3 month clothes, another of 3-6? 2 baby baths, a car seat, a pack-n-play, a co-sleeper, changing pads, pop-up crib, bag full of toys? Nope. Just stuff. Baby stuff, but... anyone can have stuff. Connecting that stuff with the reality of a tiny person to put in that stuff, that's a little bit harder.

Still, the goal is baby. Full steam ahead! Furniture rearranging has already happened and shall continue until the disaster that is the Sunshine room begins to look like something vaguly nursery like. That's a goal too.

*Yes, I'm using TJ as my go-to for information. I haven't seen that diagram anywhere else, and it's less disturbing than the full-color animated-looking pictures from some of the baby sites.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Getting sucked into the archives

Sometimes I stumble upon a blog by clicking links in my friend's sidebars and then I just keep reading...

Today, I'm stuck in the achives of "Inferior Monologue."

For paragraphs like these:
"So I went toward Century 21 assuring myself (without believing) that if I were to avoid the clothes racks and stay in the basement with the home goods, I could make it back to work without spending. Which is completely inane because my favorite thing to decorate, after my feet, is my apartment. So I got downstairs and it was like WHIZ BANG cranberry curtains, like how in the world did I make it this long without cranberry curtains in my bedroom, like with these things hanging I would not even have a bedroom anymore but a boudoir, gentlemen, like my whole life would change and my heart would be full and the shininess of my hair would improve by 86%. Cranberry curtains. Hot damn." --Kaitlyn, Inferior Monologue.

When these things hit, if they stick, and I'm in a position to do so (slow work, a stuck-at-home illness), I just keep reading, backwards, until I've reached the end... which is the beginning.* It's sort of a compulsion. It's like a novel, only not at all. I still want to feel like I've read it all, as though there were some sort of badge for blog-reading. If there were, I would totally apply.

*That is much more Zen and important sounding that I meant it to be

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Very Pinterest Christmas

So, I got sucked into browsing Pinterest aimlessly looking for crafting ideas. Here's what I found and what I came up with.

Their picture:
Reindeer Rootbeer
My picture: 

Kinda look like Beaker, eh?
So then I took this idea:
Glittery Ornaments

And this idea:
Santa Ornament

And made these:
Glitter ornaments, with... ribbon belts...and jiggaflern

Then I took this idea:

Braided Ribbon Headband
And turned it into this gift for my niece:

Modeled by me
I didn't have enough ribbon do to a whole headband, so I slipped the headband through a loop on the braid

Then I put a little bow on the end
Then I made a mess in my kitchen with these:
Hot Chocolate Truffles
I did make them with the extra sugar as suggested, and on my second batch added a dash of cayenne pepper and nutmeg... because why the heck not, right? They are definitely... softer than I anticipated. Tasty as all get-out when put in milk, but I was thinking more traditional truffle consistency not... smooshy. They are quite smooshy. No pictures of this one sadly as I've given them all away.

So there you have it. Christmas crafts via Pinterest.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The slow hippification of me

Hippification actually has nothing to do with becoming more hippo-like. That would be Hippofication. No, I'm talking about this thing that seems to be happening in my head. This thing where I gradually start looking at things differently. Where I start to consider things that never would have even crossed my pea brain because I didn't know they were possible until I met people on the internet.

Things like cloth diapering, which I've already decided to try. I have 18 tiny diapers of multiple brands, kinds and styles all ready to go. I'm prepared to try.

Things like washing my face with oil. Which, as an oily-type person I never thought I would do, but it turns out my skin isn't as oily as I thought, and there's some chemistry involved that makes oil ok even for oily skin and I'm doing it, and liking it. I just tweaked my recipe to include more olive oil, so we'll see how that works out. So far, I'm really pleased. I can put powder on without seeing little flakes of dead/dry skin on my nose and forehead. I don't have any tea tree oil in my mix, but I have noticed fewer breakouts since I started--which could be due to a change in hormones or something, but I'm going to go ahead and take credit for switching my face care and call it good.

Things like not using shampoo.

I know, it sounds crazy. It really does. Especially since my scalp is a very oily place. I tried one of those Argon/Moroccan/Fancy Oil (not V05) treatment things a while ago. I got a sample from Sephora, so it seemed pretty harmless to try out. Oh, it was bad. My hair was oily for DAYS. The stuff just wouldn't wash out. Icky.

So, please know that when I say that I'm considering not using shampoo, I don't mean that I will become an unwashed person.

Why would I even consider something like this? People who know me (and really, that should be you by now) know that I am a girl who likes her creature comforts. I like fuzzy socks, being an appropriate temperature and only venture into the out-of-doors when I have to. I don't commune with nature. I send nature post cards and plead for her to leave me alone with the bugs and the biting. So, I don't really feel like a good candidate for becoming a hippy. 

So, even though I don't like to be outside IN the environment, that doesn't mean that I don't care about it. And I like saving money. I probably like convenience and saving money a little more than the environment, which is why I can't every really see myself as "green" or "crunchy." I like trying new stuff, so when I see stuff that is new and could potentially save me money, I'm interested. If it helps the environment as a bonus, then hooray. These things combined have led me to this thought:

When my current bottle of conditioner runs out, I will switch to rinsing my hair with apple cider vinegar. Diluted, of course. If I stink like the wrong side of an orchard, you will be my friend and tell me to get myself back to the grocery store for some conditioner in a hurry, right? Thanks.

Then, when my shampoo runs out* I will start using baking soda to clean my head.

I know what some of you sciency-type people are thinking. Baking soda and vinegar?! I promise I won't be making a volcano on my head--both products are diluted in water and used separately. Although, volcano on my head would be a pretty cool trick, and possibly even an incentive to give up my nice smelling shampoo and conditioner.

Still, both are significantly cheaper than even the cheap shampoo, and with a tiny person on the way, I'm all about saving money.

I'm not so set on this that if it doesn't work after 2 weeks I won't march my happy non-hippy butt right back to the store and come back to the shampoo & conditioner fold just like the rest of the world, but it seemed worth a try, right?

Then I can try making my own laundry detergent! I'm already cleaning my face with EVOO, so you know... in for a penny, in for a pound, right?

*And as we all know, this will be quite some time after my conditioner does, because I don't know a single soul in the history of EVER who uses the same amount of shampoo & conditioner. It's totally not just me!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A good day

It's no surprise to anyone who knows me that I've been a bit... nervous about this whole pregnancy thing. Even though I got a clean bill of health at my last physical, things didn't go exactly according to my ultimate and perfect plan. You can go ahead and laugh at that. It is funny. But I had a plan. Or at least... strong wishes.

Gaining 30lbs when I stopped taking birth control certainly wasn't on my list. That fact pushed me into a whole new category as far as the evil BMI is concerned, and if there is any time in the history of ever that you want to be at your absolute best physical condition, I'm pretty sure it's when you're trying to grow another human inside you. Or run a marathon, or lift things twice your weight for fun. Those seem like good times to have all your fecal matter aggregated.

I considered waiting until I could more perfectly get my poop in said scoop before trying. As you can tell, I decided against that plan. I went with the "do what you can while you try" plan. There were lots of vitamins and an increase in my WiiDR time and more fresh veggies and less french fries. You know, those kinds of good things. Then, there was Freckle, and oh did I find 100 new things to worry about. I worried that my body wouldn't do what I wanted it to (grow a healthy baby) or there would be complications. Now, I realize that I am by no means out of the woods yet, so I don't mean to toot my own horn as though everything from now on is smooth sailing and fine and all my worries will be gone. No. Not true.

However, there is something so incredibly satisfying about hearing your doctor say, "You've been taking really good care of yourself! I'm so proud of you." Yeah, she said that. I may have gotten a little misty-eyes because you guys? Being "healthy" isn't really something that I excel at. I excel at indulgence, not self-control. So, I was worried about taking the glucose tolerance test today.

I was worried that the drink was going to be so gross I would get sick (it wasn't, I didn't). I worried that I would fail miserably (I didn't). In fact, the drink was... bearable and I passed. Not just passed, but my numbers were "awesome." My doctor called me a superstar. No anemia either, so hooray for that. Freckle continues to grow right on schedule--she's 1lb 12oz now.

Which totally blows my mind because I have friends whose little girl was born at 25 weeks, 1lb 4 oz, 11.3" long--and is HOME NOW. 4 months old, barely a month past her original due date, and growing, thriving and generally kicking butt with pink bows upon her head. I can truly say that I just can't imagine. I mean, when it happened, I knew it was early. Really early. Scary early. Now... now I have just the littlest glimpse at just how early that really is, how blessed that family is, how wonderful a gift little Sarah is.

I'm going to stop talking about THAT now, because I've had enough of the weepy. Really, the past few days have been full of a lot of... whining! No other word for it. I got a cold, I was tired, etc., etc., etc. But today... today is a good day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The elusive perfect

There are certain things that I'm still searching for "the perfect" of. Red lipstick was one of those, until I found it at MAC, but of course, it's a limited edition color so some day I will be wailing and moaning the loss of my perfect red, but let's hope that day is many, many years in the future--because I don't follow those guidelines that say you have to throw away all your makeup after a year and buy new stuff. I'll buy new stuff and keep the old, thank you very much. Like that Girl Scout song... Buy new makeup, but keep the old! One is silver and the other gold! Except mascara. That stuff gets cakey and ugly way too soon. But I digress. I don't have a signature scent or that one recipe that I'm famous for yet. I haven't found a little black dress that makes me feel pretty and elegant and can be dressed up and down for multiple occasions. I haven't found the perfect face cleaner, though I am pretty happy with my "clean your face with oil" routine so far. I've got a smidge too much Castor oil in it at the moment, so I need to tweak that recipe. Maybe then it will be perfect. I'll keep you posted.

I'm still searching for the perfect daily moisturizer. Here are my criteria that will make it perfect:
  • Has sunscreen in it (SPF 15-30 is plenty), but doesn't smell like sunscreen
  • Doesn't make my face break out into a million pieces of red, splotchy, pimply agony

That's it! I'm not really all that picky. Just those two things. I've found plenty of lotions that meet 1.5 of those criteria, but the perfect lotion has yet to be found. I keep trying. I have hope. Someday I will settle down with my perfect lotion and I will live happily ever after in sun-protected, acne-free, non-stinky bliss.

My lament for pants is both long and well documented, but recently I figured out how to sum it up. You know the old saying that you've got 3 options:
  • fast
  • good
  • cheap
You can pick any 2 of those you want? Well, that's how pants-shopping is for me. My options are pants that fit my:
  • waist
  • hips
  • legs (length).
I can have any 2 of those I want. Obviously, I usually choose legs & hips since pants that don't button/zip aren't as practical. Also, in case you were wondering, you can be any 2 of the following:
  • fat 
  • tall
  • pregnant
 Don't try to do all 3.

I have found a few perfect things in my life though.

  • My perfect cardigan is from the Cabi 2010 Spring Line, so I'll never be able to buy another one. It's thin enough to be able to put it on & still get a jacket on over it, but warm enough that it's not just decoration. The sleeves are truly 3/4 length, even on my long arms. It ties in front, so does great things for showing off my best feature, and hits at just the right spot on my ribs to not draw attention to my hudge & not make me look pregnant when I'm not. If I could travel back in time and buy 10 of them I would, to last me the rest of my life. And also to stock up on my MAC lipstick.

  • My perfect heels sadly bit the dust back in July, 2008. They were black mary-janeish in style, but with a wide, comfy rubberish heel that made it possible to wear them for 8 hours and not want to kill anyone. I wore them for 10 years and loved them until the final bitter end--at MBFJC's wedding rehearsal where they finally bit the dust. Wide heels aren't really in style anymore, so I have yet to find another pair of shoes that had the versatility (black mary janes! Where them with everything!) and comfort of those shoes. But I keep trying. That might explain why I have 4 pairs of black mary jane style shoes at the moment...

  • My perfect eyeliner is Makeup Forever's Aqua Eyes, in black. It's creamy and glides on smoothly, even when my eyes are being all crepe-paper-y. You can smudge it if you're quick, then it sets pretty well, and it's not rub-proof, but it is water-proof. Like, in the pool swimming about water-proof. Of course, then I wipe my hands all down my face and maybe smear it a bit, but that's my own fault for wearing eyeliner in the pool, right? Right.
My perfect things are all black. I'm not sure what that says other than I like the versatility of the color. So, now you tell me about your perfects. Perfect go-to party recipe? Perfect bakery where they understand how to make real sourdough bread? Perfect mascara that makes your lashes look real, but even awesomer than nature actually gave you? Perfect rainy-day pick me up treat? You know... those things. Share! Share!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Better run, better run, Faster than my mullet!

Ok, so there's this song, by Foster the People, and the actual lyric is "faster than my bullet" (and this is going to be a bulleted post, so there's the connection, ok?) but someone on Twitter said "mullet" and now I only sing those words. Mullets are better than bullets anyway.

  • Have you ever had a brilliant idea for a mix-tape*, only to realize that what you really had was a couple of great songs that go well together, but not a real... theme or motif or reason to built a playlist? Yeah, I have one of those right now. 2 songs that are just killer together, and then a bunch of vauge ideas. The whole thing is full of songs that I like by bands that I think I should like and might like if I investigated any of their other music, but haven't gotten that far yet. As a theme for a mix-tape, that isn't the best I've ever come up with, though probably not the worst either. "Chelsea Danger" by The Fratellis followed by "Flourescent Adolescent" by Arctic Monkeys. Then maybe "The Polite Song" by The Bird and The Bee... I don't know, I kind of get lost after that. Do I want to put some Temper Trap on there to transition to The XX? Santagold? Metric? Do I want to try to figure out what goes well with that one Vampire Weekend song I like? I don't know. It's percolating. Oh, I should put that Jerk It Out song on there too. That song makes me happy.
  • I have identified my main pregnancy symptom as "increased whininess." I'm not sure there is a cure, but I'm trying a healthy dose of STFU. We'll see if that leads to implosion and unnecessary blow-ups.
  • There was a water-main break under our street this weekend, and they shut our water off on Sunday to fix it. They shut it off after I'd taken a very long bubble bath, and for a few, very-scary minutes I was convinced I'd somehow drained all the water out of the world. Or it was all frozen in the pipes, except it wasn't anywhere near cold enough for that to happen. Thankfully we had a pitcher of filtered water in the fridge, so we could still have Mac & Cheese for lunch.
  • I bought a bag of roasted & salted (un-shelled) pistachios on a whim at the grocery store... a lot of days ago. They got stuck on a shelf in the pantry and I forgot about them--which is why I need someone to come organize my pantry for me, because it's just a mess. The point here however is that these nuts are the best things ever. Pistachios, I love them!
  • My living room in still in mid-craftsplosion, but my last holiday function before actual family Christmas is Thursday, so I'm hoping to reclaim my living room for living sometime soon. 

*I will continue to call them mix-tapes because it's the only thing that sounds right in my head.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And another thing!

Yesterday, J said to me, "Well now you have something to blog about." Only problem is I have NO IDEA what he said before that. I've completely forgotten.

Last night, I dreamed I was babysitting Penny. Freckle was there too, only on the outside, sitting in a Bumbo, smiling. Penny was smiling too, but she kept wandering off. I'd look away and she'd crawl somewhere and I was getting frantic about trying to find her. I had to change her diaper, but I only had a cover, no insert and it was getting messy. No analysis needed--I'm a little freaked out about this whole "having to be entirely repsonsible for the well being of a tiny human" thing. Why was it an Internet baby, not MY baby? No idea. Maybe because Penny is just so damn cute, and I can more easily identify with her than the kid in my womb? I dunno.

Baby stuff keeps randomly appearing in my house. It's totally awesome to have a sister-in-law with 3 kids, and a baby girl just outgrowing all her tiny stuff. I was getting in my car yesterday when I noticed that a car seat had magically appeared. It has little giraffes on it. How perfect. It also came with 2 boxes full of stuff--tiny baby clothes, including the dress I got my niece Alyssa to wear to our wedding. Talk about memories! There's all kinds of goodies in there as well as clothes--burb cloths and wet bags and really? It's just such a relief to know that we have not only the tangible THINGS that go on a baby, but so many good friends near by who've done this so we can call and say "halp!!" Also, it allows me to go back to my registries and cross stuff off the list. Seriously, we've got all the big stuff covered. We need, you know, the first-aid, health type stuff. And some baby bedding.

Oh, and speaking of giraffe things... I now have this:

It's the softest, squishiest, most awesome giraffe chair-thingy ever. It's from Freckle's Diva Godmother. I mean, Fairy Godmothers are cool and all, but how many kids have a DIVA godmother? Not many I imagine...

Also, tonight I looked like this:

That headband is from the fabulous Raven, who also drives a PT Cruiser, only hers has FLAMES on it. I'm jealous. Anyway, go visit her shop, she makes lots of neat stuff. Feel free to buy me anything you see there. 

I got all dressed up because I was 1) totally pissed off at a computer malfunction that stopped a 9 hr. report at 99% complete and lost all the data I'd spent all day waiting on, and 2) going to see my friend Bill at his book signing. Sounds glamorous, so I decided to wear... plaid. Yes, it was warm, so there. Here is a picture of the anthology that Bill's short story is a part of:

The book in its natural habitat--covered in cat!
We ate good food and Bill read his story and it was really nice. Then I came home and saw this: 

Yep, nothing says "Season's Greetings" to me like my trees all lit up with a kitty in the window.

Ta-da! Now I'm going to bed. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Things I did and what I will be doing soon

5 whole days of December. What have I done? Stuff. Like this:

We saw the new Muppet Movie on Friday and it was awesome. There was much laughter, especially when [insert bunch of spoilers here] and then I got all weepy when [more things you might not want to know before seeing the movie]. Amy Adams still makes me very happy.

Then, on Saturday, I went to a baby shower, where 10 of the 25 people in the house were pregnant ladies. We lined up by due date for a picture. It was... special. The guest of honor was at the front of the line and I was at the back. We played the "how big is the expectant mother's belly" game and it turns out that my butt is still bigger than her belly at nearly 37 weeks pregnant. So, that felt awesome. My own fault for using my widest point as a reference. We won't be playing THAT game at any showers for me.

The ornaments that I made on Friday, with the help of my friend Paula, whose main duty was to let candles burn an appropriate amount... wait, that sentence got away from me. Let me start over. I made some ornaments on Friday. The idea was from J, and it made me really happy once I finally found all the right ingredients to make it happen. Paula came over & was in charge of candle burning. I did the candle placing & filling of small colored ball things. The ornaments looked lovely on Friday evening. On Sunday morning, they were a disaster. (Don't worry Shannon, I didn't put LIT candles into the ornaments.) Of course, the party at which I was to GIVE said ornaments was that night, so there was much last-minute scrambling and I pretty much hate feeling rushed and running late, even though punctuality isn't really something this group is known for, and it's a PARTY after all.

The untested recipes I used as gifts did NOT go according to plan. I gave them anyway. Without instructions, because our printer broke and I didn't know it. So there was a lot of explaining about what was edible and what was for soaking in the tub, though techincally also edible.

I spent the tail-end of Saturday making more Christmas cards and decorating gift bags with some of my favorite people, and the best thing about that whole day was hearing my friend Jacob say my name. Or, you know, something vaguely like my name. He's 19 months old, so I cut him some slack.

After the crafting explosion of this weekend, I'm still trying to reclaim my living room and kitchen. I know that there will be glitter in places I can't reach until the end of time, but I'm surprised at how much powdered sugar I'm finding in places I'm sure I never went with sugar of any variety.

I have 2 holiday parties and one caroling gig this weekend. I'm both very excited and full of dread. I might have to start napping now to have enough energy to make it through. Really, any excuse to nap will be taken with glee at this point.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Why? Because it was there

One of the things I miss about Live Journal was all the silly memes.
I ran across this one today, and couldn't resist.

Your job is now your Time Lord name. The last digit of your phone number is the current regeneration you are in. The nearest clothing item to your right is now the most notable item in your current wardrobe. The last person you texted is your current companion. Your favorite word is now your catchphrase.

I am The Lease Analyst... Ana for short, in my 7th regeneration, never to be seen without knee-length pink stripped socks. My companion, The Yellow One, never gets tired of hearing all the different ways I can use the word, "dude." 
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