Friday, August 27, 2010

Important accomplishments and contributions - Check. Team player - Check. Doesn't smell like a fish market - Check.

Hey ladies. Feeling under appreciated at work? Want a big, fat raise but just don't know how to go about asking for one? Then I've got one word for you -


That's right, douche. Clean the private area. Take a special shower. Steam clean the meat curtains.

Summer's Eve ran this rather unfortunate ad in a recent issue of Women's Day magazine:

According to the ad a crucial step, nay, the FIRST step in approaching your boss for a raise is making sure your special place is nice and squeaky clean before leaving for work with the help of Summer's Eve Feminine Wash. Then eating a good breakfast. It's all about priorities, people.

And then if that wasn't bad enough, ladies, if you're worried you might stink up your boss's office with your womanly smell, maybe you should bring a packet of feminine cleansing clothes with you to the office to freshen up with before sitting down for the big talk. You never know what may waft up when you cross and uncross your legs.

Summer's Eve's brand manager has since apologized for the ad stating that "... Fleet Laboratories and Summer's Eve brand have the utmost respect for women." They respect you, but they still think you're kind of stinky.

Kind of makes you long for days like this, doesn't it?

Source -

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pimp my dining room. Seriously.

Calling all design-types!

This is my dining room.

The room looks light and bright in these pictures. This is due to the flash. It's not this bright, trust me.

As you can see it's red. Very red. And on the small side. Sit in it for awhile and I guarantee you will feel like I do when I sit in it for any amount of time - like sticking your thumb in your mouth while breathing amniotic fluid. But without the floaty feeling.

We did not pick the color that is currently on the walls, it came that way when we bought the place. Friends and family come over and they first thing they say is, Wow! Love the color! And I'm all, Oh yeah? It doesn't make you feel like you're about to slide through someone's vagina?

And then they make this weird face. I can't imagine why.

Anyways, because of the red it gets really dark in there. On days when there's bright sunshine it's light enough but it doesn't get any direct sunlight due to the wrap-around farmer's porch directly outside. The farmer's porch I dreamed of owning before realizing I would need to buy special lamps to keep myself from jumping from the second story in a fit S.A.D.

So during gloomy, rainy days, like today, for instance, it's not so much womb-like. Replace the w in womb with a t and it's exactly like that.

The furniture was purchased before we owned this house and it's very nice and quite special to me (built in my hometown before the last of the factories closed up. *Pours some out for the diminishing trade industry in the north east*) but it's also red in hue. And the curtains, or "swags", as I believe they're called... Don't get me started on those. Let's just say they seemed like a good idea at the time. You know, while going through postpartum psychosis.

Another view, including the wall color of the rest of the first floor through the doorway and a picture of some crazed pig-bunny creature my kid drew.
Also, in the right bottom corner, a tiny child-sized rocking chair that was mine when I was a baby, purchased new, also built in my hometown. I believe it's technically an antique. I believe I can technically begin drinking now.

I need to do something to this room immediately. I've been looking at it for two years now and it's time. I can't stand it any more. The only thing my style is the furniture. Everything else is too... colonial? Traditional? Early American? I don't know what to call it. The wall color needs to be changed. That damn light fixture needs to go too but I don't know if that's going to happen since I don't want to spend a lot of money right now. I'd love to get rid of the rug (too small, too red) but only if I can find a decent one for cheap.

One more picture because I am in love with my dining room furniture. Also observe, if you can see them, more window swags in my kitchen. I blame Bed, Bath and Beyond.
There's another light fixture in the kitchen that needs to go sooner than the one in the dining room because it hurts my eyes to look at it but that's another post.

As for the furniture, I know it's a little big for the room but it's not going anywhere. Which is what I told my husband when we bought it. You can divorce me or kill me, but I'll still figure out a way to go to my grave with that hutch and sideboard. I'm not kidding, that was our actual conversation after buying it. I do love it so. This is not Pottery Barn, particle board furniture. This furniture is art. I'm not kidding.

But don't get me wrong. I like Pottery Barn.

(Great, now I'm the Pottery Barn snob.)

So what do you think I should I do with this room? I'm thinking of painting the walls blue but I don't want a beachy blue or another colonial/traditional blue. However, I'm up for any other color suggestions. And I'm not too keen on painting the wainscoting and trim. The rest of my home is pretty traditional but I lean toward the more homey, Anthropolgie feel. I don't like super modern but I do want to update things a bit.

Looking at these pictures I can't get over how stuffy the room feels. It's just so serious. Have you met me? Not serious. We celebrate holidays and special occasions in that room - it needs some life, dang it!

I need your help, internets. I can't spend another Thanksgiving imagining I'm sharing a uterus with my in-laws. Help me pimp my dining room.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My heart

Children have no idea of the power they hold over their parents.

It’s just as well. If they did, imagine the possibilities.

It would all be puppies and ponies and chocolate for dinner.

But procuring small, fuzzy animals aside, children, from day one, hold us in the palm of their hands never realizing at any moment they can, and do, crush us. Oftentimes several times a day.

A fever will have us up all night with worry. A tantrum can send us into a fit of our own. A hug and a kiss melts our heart. The very heart they hold in their tiny fists.

It takes a hard heart to not be melted by a child’s hands, a child’s tears, a skinned knee, a hopeful look. We write about it, in baby books, in blogs. We tell our friends and our family anecdotes. Share life’s small moments. Show them the latest pictures whether they want to see them or not. We have to.

And as they grow older their power changes. They become manipulative but they’re still our babies. Still unable to comprehend what they can do to us. They have the power to wound us. Cut us to the core. Demolish us with a word. Make us bleed with an action. We grapple with our feelings for them. Love, hate, resentment, need. How crazy that all those emotions and more can be evoked all at once and by one small person. How insane we can feel this way because of...


Love at its purest as well at its most complicated.

We created them. They can end us. Give, take. Push, pull.

Power without supremacy. Surrender without frailty. Nurturing. Giving. Love.

My heart is their heart. They can do with it what they will.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Feral Woodland Monkey Child of Awesome

See this kid?

She’s awesome.

She’s almost always filthy, half naked, with her hair in her face, climbing something incredibly dangerous and sticking sharp things toward her face on purpose. While wearing a cowboy hat.

Like I said, she’s awesome.

I don’t know where she came from - probably from that whacked-out, crazy part of my family, which if I’m being honest is most of them so the odds were good I’d get at least one child who was just this side of cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs - but she’s mine and despite her penchant for scaling walls and laying on top of the wood stove while watching SpongeBob and eating stolen carbohydrates, I love her madly.

Because she’s made of awesome it makes up for all the sleepless nights/gray hairs/added trips to my therapist. Mostly.

Look at her. If you didn't know her you’d think from her diminutive size she’d be the quiet, retiring type. You’d think because she’s a female child she wouldn’t have the ability to make the other little boys her age run away in terror, crying real tears to their mothers. You’d think from the dresses and sparkly necklaces she wears she’d be a feminine, girly girl. But you’d be wrong. She's just herself - which is awesome.

She plays in the toilet, destroys books, sits on top of upright pianos, dumps the contents of full cereal boxes onto the floor and then sits next to the 90 pound dog to share the reward, uses both hands to eat her food even though she can, oh yes she can, use a fork and spoon. She’s not going to preschool for another year but her future teachers have been warned she’s coming. They are ready because they have seen her and I do believe they understand the awesome headed their way.

You have to love her, because she is awesome.

She’s not afraid to stand up for herself, hold her ground and protect what she believes to be hers. She will tell you about her day in great detail and you’d be lucky to understand five words - because frankly, they’d be awesome words - but she doesn’t care because darnit, she’s got something to say. She will hold your face to hers to make sure you’re listening intently. And you will, because her stories are... You know.

But at the end of the day when she’s exhausted from being awesome she’ll curl up on my chest like she did when she was even tinier and demand I sing Itsy Bitsy Spider while tickling the actions on her back.

And she sighs.

And she snuggles.

And I’ll do it some more.

Not because she asked but because being with her like that, quiet and still with that perfect little creature, even after she tried to ride the dog like a horse and dumped a bottle of soap all over the bathroom floor and drew in red crayon up the stairs and after a day when even her grandparents couldn’t take her and her antics for another minute... that time with my baby girl is awesome.

Because for a moment OMG SHE'S NOT MOVING. AWESOME!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

An un-recap of BlogHer '10

(I tried really hard to add some pictures to this post but Blogger is being a complete douche canoe so for now think of this as one of those old school, photo-less posts.)

I sat down to write my BlogHer recap post, I put aside time, put the kids down for a nap and everything, but I found that I... can’t. I can’t write about it. I tried, I really did. But... no.

I want to write in depth about the love and community and sisterhood (okay, there were some brothers there too) I felt at the conference this year. And the lack of drama! Hooray!

I wanted to write about getting my groove back, at least for a few days. About high heels and pretty dresses and statement necklaces (!) (some of those sparkly gems deserve extra exclamation points) and getting my hair done up in rollers while in the midst of a hundred people and the stylist’s shock at how well my hair took a curl. (*brush, brush, brush some more, now brush it that way and back again, flat iron, brush brush brush*. Damn.)

I wanted to write about how I had planned to hang it up once I got back - give up blogging, no more conferences, maybe even shutting down my Twitter account (*cue collective gasps*) - but how being surrounded by so many influential women who have created so much from “just” a blog... Well, at least I’m inspired to get off my couch more, if not fully bitten by the writing bug yet.

I wanted to write about how I acted like a five year old during my first trip to NYC since I was little girl and spent most of my time outside the hotel looking around like I had never seen a tall building before, and Wow! All the people in New York are so beautiful! (“No Tania, just the ones on Park Avenue.”) And how I would totally move there if only I could take just a half acre of my land with me. I could be convinced to lower that to a third. A quarter?

I wanted to talk about dancing (except for those Amish types) and dinner at midnight with people I love and people I had just met (whom I now love) and meeting kindred spirits who are gracious when they have to let you into your hotel room at 2am because you thought you lost your I.D., credit card and room key but - Surprise! - you didn’t. It was in the lining of your bag the whole time. Oops. (I swear I was sober.)

But I just can’t. The full extent of the conference has not hit me yet. When I think of it, BlogHer ’10 is all one big pink glow and, honestly, I think I’d like to keep it that way.

So to you and you and you and definitely you (you know who you are), thank you for the conversations, the hugs, the meals out, the jokes, and for holding my hand and convincing me that everything was going to be okay even when you had no idea that’s what you were doing. I’d link to every one of you but I’m afraid the sheer magnitude of blogs I’d have to call out to would prohibit me from finishing and publishing this post. And I don’t want that to happen. It would be a disservice.

So just, thank you. I think I’ll stick around a bit longer.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Step into the heart of darkness. Or as I like to call it, vacation with my kids.

It's been a busy couple of weeks 'round these parts.

Mr. C. took two weeks off in a row for vacation - something virtually unheard of for the man who is looking into having his Blackberry, Macbook AND iPad surgically attached to him, kind of like Iron Man for geeks - so we decided to make the best of it and scheduled not one but two separate vacation trips. First up, Story Land in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Don't know about Story Land? It's an amusement park best suited for the under 10 year old set that's been in operation since the 1950's. It's quaint, it's heavy on the Mother Goose motif, the only way out is through Ye Olde Gift Shoppe of Doom. It's awesome. I went there as a kid, as did Mr. C., and by jeebus our kids were going too! So we went. Along with half of New England.

Okay I'm exaggerating. Only a third of New England was there. We went mid-week when it was slow.

The kids loved Story Land and we're planning on going again next year. Because next year, poor CC won't be stuck in a stroller most of the time. Maybe. She has a tendency to wander and a stubborn streak as big as Texas and shut up, husband of mine, she DOES NOT GET THAT ENTIRELY FROM ME. At least I only wander when there's something shiny to look at and not every time we encounter something that plugs into the wall.

CC had a good time, though. We threw her in a germ-infested pit of plastic balls and she was happy as a toddler in a germ-infested pit of plastic balls.

One of the highlights, for Chicky at least, was Cinderella's Kingdom:

A place I thought for sure would be skipped. My daughter loves pirates and beating up little boys, but she can take or leave a Princess. But on this occasion, bring on the sparkles! And I mean that almost literally.

Want to see something that strikes fear in my heart and wakes me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat?

Look into my eyes. You will buy me a $15 soft serve ice cream and there's nothing you can do about it. And I'll take that row of stuffed Humpty Dumpty's too.

Dude. Just... DUDE. When we saw the face painting stand I thought for sure she was going to ask for the SpiderMan or the one that looked like a snake was eating the wearer's face but no, she went for... that. Whatever that is.

Come to think of it, sans fake gold crown on her forehead and that was me in high school. Only I wore more blue eyeshadow.

She had to be coaxed to sit on Cinderella's lap. To be fair, I'm pretty sure she took Cinderella for what she was - an underpaid, blond teenage girl in a dress that look suspiciously like the one I wore to a prom in '87. So she just stood next to her. All the better to make a quick getaway from.

Cinderella needs more blue eyeshadow.

Later in the trip we took the girls to Santa's Village, another place I had been to as a kid, and I'm not going to get into that trip except to say there was a very large cross and a huge nativity scene there and I'm sorry but you're not going to rationalize that away enough for my heathen liking.

I'd show you pictures of my children posed on sleighs and standing next to fake penguins and elves, just as I had a wee child, but I lost most of them in the great iPhoto crash of '10. They may still be on my memory card or they may be on my hard drive or I may have been ready to start shooting tequila at that point so let's move on.

The next week after barely any rest from four days in New Hampshire we set off for my sister's house on Cape Cod. If you have a relative who lives near an ocean and happens to own an eating and drinking establishment, I highly recommend you take them up on the offer to stay with them. Especially if that relative has extra bedrooms so you don't have to spend another week with your beautiful but non-sleeping children and has a seemingly never-ending reserve of wine. I'd show you pictures but I don't have many. Much too busy sleeping and eating and drinking and laying in the sun and Story Land who?

Which leads me to today - A mountain of laundry and a house in questionable condition, I still haven't caught up on my sleep and three days until I leave for BlogHer to get it all done. And no never-ending supply of wine.