Category Archives: the blogging thing

Temerity Jane, slightly to the right.

Here are seven things from one timezone and 450 miles to the right.

1. We are settled here in New Mexico, or mostly settled, or kind of settled, or we have a house and we are in it with our stuff. We are in the house and our stuff is in the house, and the doors of the house are closed around us and our stuff. That is a more accurate description than settled, I think. I am, as I am typing to you, literally surrounded by boxes, and you know that I don’t fuck around with the word literally, and also, I’ve moved to New Mexico now, and I’m done pretending like I’m going to make a solid effort to clean up my language because, you guys, I was not prepared for this situation, and we’re all doing our best here and I’m not saying anyone is going to be miserable here and I truly don’t think we are going to be miserable here, but shit. Shit. Shit.

splashpad

There’s a splash pad two houses down.
Someone weawwy wuvs this house.

2. One of the first steps of “settling in,” which we agree to mean “closing the doors around the boxes,” was finding a vet for Brinkley immediately. You guys. Brinkley. Do you follow me on Twitter? You should be following me on Twitter. I mean, you don’t have to, but I’ve been somewhat more active on Twitter lately than here, though I’ve been more active everywhere than here. I’ve been more active in local politics than I have been here. Anyway, you might remember than Brinkley hurt his leg on Christmas. That was the start. THE START. Then a few months later we noticed that his ear was swollen up like a giant balloon. A skin balloon. A hot, hairy skin balloon. That turned out to be an aural hematoma which you can just look up. It was caused by a massive ear infection that made him shake his head around so much that he busted up his ear. There are a couple of different treatments for that, but for reasons named Sheldon, the best one for Brinkley was $$$urgery. That was in, I don’t know, February, maybe? I feel like the last time my American Express card didn’t have flames shooting out of it was probably February.

When we took him to get his stitches out for his ear, I mentioned to the vet that Phil had noticed something stuck in his eye, and could they please take a look at it while they were removing all his ear stitches (something like 20 or 30, if I had the patience to do some “click this harmless image to be taken to a more graphic one” business, I’d put some here, because it was QUILTED and it looked pretty… interesting). The door had not swung all the way shut before the vet was coming back through to say it was a growth, and they’re common in Goldens, and they just get bigger, and you know, it was up to us, but since his blood work was so good from his recent surgery and he did so well in his recent surgery… anyway, Brinkley had more surgery just a few weeks after the ear one.

That surgery went just as well and he only ended up with a single stitch, and like the vet had said, he was in really good health for his age and size – he’s almost 10 and even though Goldens are considered a large breed, we actually have an extra large guy on our hands, and generally, the bigger the dog, the shorter the life expectancy (THAT’S NOT THE LAW, SO YOU DON’T NEED TO TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DOG WHO LIVED TO BE A THOUSAND AND GIVE ME FALSE HOPES BECAUSE I WILL FIND YOU AND YOUR THOUSAND YEAR OLD DOG IF MINE DOESN’T LIVE TO BE AT LEAST NINE HUNDRED NINETY NINE AND FIFTY ONE WEEKS), so despite the cost, we felt good about going ahead with the surgery right then, rather than waiting to see if the growth, you know, grew, because with a 10 year old dog, there’s just no guarantee that good health is everlasting. I mean, Brinkley’s is. I don’t know about your dog.

So we’re waiting on his one stitch to heal and Brinkley started to cough. I mean this hideous, gagging, choking cough. He would actually get up and find one of us wherever we were in the house, even coming to stand next to the side of the bed, because the cough scared him. We let it go for maybe a day or so, but he was due to have his stitch out, so back to the vet we went. Turns out his stitch had already come out on its own, but the cough was pretty concerning, and we had to do some tests. Some. While we are very responsible dog owners and we will do almost anything for our dogs, I okayed blood work and took home a prescription to get started in case it was a respiratory infection, which seemed most likely. If it didn’t start working pretty quickly, then we could go back and do the skrillion dollar x-rays, right? I wasn’t a terrible person for hedging my bets in favor of finances at this point, just a little bit, right? I WASN’T.

It actually turned out to be the right choice, though, because while it wasn’t the expected respiratory infection, (useless prescription down the toilet), it also wasn’t something that could be seen on an x-ray. Turns out Brinkley has Valley Fever, something local to the area that both dogs and people can catch. It’s an inhaled fungus. So we had to order him anti-fungals from a compounding pharmacy. The plan was that he’d take them for three months and then re-test. Some dogs are cured completely, some need to be on the medication forever, and unfortunately, as we’ve since learned, some die.

Brinkley took to his new medication really well and the cough cleared up pretty quickly. We proceeded with our moving plans, including sending both dogs to Camp Bow Wow to play and sleep for the Monday/Tuesday that the packers and loaders were at the house. We picked them up on Tuesday afternoon, and as we went to get Brinkley out of the car, I noticed a deep cut on his ankle. I was debating with Phil whether or not it would need to be looked at/possibly stitched when we realized his foot was THREE TIMES THE SIZE of the other one. Phil took Sheldon in the house and I immediately called our vet and turned right around without even unloading Brinkley. When we arrived, he collapsed in the parking lot. I almost couldn’t even get him inside. The vets found that his temperature was a frighteningly high 107° and quickly brought in wet towels and fans for him. Now, obviously, a lot of stuff has happened to Brinkley recently, but this was by far the worst.

After shaving his foot and getting a good look at everything, the vet found that there was an abscess under the callus on his ankle and infection had, by then, travelled all the way down into his foot. It was full of fluid and general nastiness. And he was obviously very ill. He’d been boarded at a play/stay camp since Monday morning, but since he’s so furry and these things can actually develop very fast, there’s no way to know when it started. At that point (June 17), even, because of the swelling, they couldn’t tell if there was something in it, like a cactus spine or something that could have caused the initial irritation. It was really bad, though. I don’t even know how I can describe this to you except to say that seeing how concerned the vets were… well, you’ll just have to imagine.

brinkleybi

He came home that night with tons of antibiotics and still running a lot of fever. We kept fans and towels on him for two more days. We squeezed in another vet visit (BETWEEN AN AWFUL RENTAL CAR NIGHTMARE, WHICH, YOU GUYS, I WILL TELL YOU) the day before we left and they took off his bandage and left his wound open – and open wound is the only way to describe what was going on. I have pictures again, but they’re the stuff of the kind of Discovery Health programs you only watch with your eyes squeezed half shut. We got Brinkley in to see a vet here within just a few days of our arrival and his opinion was… not good. NOT GOOD. He was actually a substitute vet since the actual vet was on vacation the week of our arrival, and he was of the farm vet, super gruff, super blunt kind of variety. He didn’t seem optimistic that Brinkley was going to recover at all, and to be honest, looking at what he was seeing, I could agree with him at that point. He even reached over at one point and — YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO READ THIS NEXT PART — pulled a huge piece of dead skin right off. Just enormous. I almost cried. OKAY YOU CAN READ AGAIN NOW. I think that, seeing the state of the wound, he didn’t think too highly of us as owners, either, but once we just laid out there that we were doing what we were told, we were going to continue to do what we were told, we were willing to do whatever was necessary, and that the dog’s comfort was TOP priority, he loosened up. And he also eventually saw that both we and our other vets were just dealing with a really rough situation.

This doctor had some suspicions about the origin of the injury and also didn’t agree with our AZ vets’ method of letting it heal in the open air. They decided to run more bloodwork and on top of that, the doctor said that what he really needed to do was take Brinkley in the back, sedate him, and debride the wound completely and have us pick him up later. Listen. Anytime someone tells you that they’re going to need you to come back and pick your dog up later, just pull out your credit card and don’t look. So we went and ate and Phil took Penny and I home and went back for Brinkley. They asked us to return in a week. When we came back, the tech told us that the super gruff doctor had been excited all day wondering when Brinkley was coming, just dying to get a look at how the wound was doing. I had to admit, so was I. And it was looking much better! Still classified as an entirely open wound, though, just… a healthy looking one. So they rebandaged it, and asked us to come back in a week.

doubledog

The next week, we met with the actual doctor of the practice, who finally got a look at the wound he’d been hearing about. After some discussion, it was agreed what the cause is – VALLEY FEVER. If you live in the Southwest, especially the Phoenix valley area, LOOK IT UP. DO NOT MESS AROUND. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms and if you suspect your dog is showing them, ASK FOR THE TEST. If you get a positive test and start antiviral treatment and then the vet says that he thinks your dog can stop treatment, ASK FOR A RETEST. Many dogs need to be treated forever, but that’s FINE, because you MUST stay ahead of this infection in order to remain successful in keeping your pet healthy. A lot of healthy pets have inhaled the spores and are fine. You can’t predict which animals will react and get sick, and once they do get sick, unless a test shows that they’re COMPLETELY CLEAR you CAN’T know if they’ll ever relapse. The cost of the treatment has gotten REALLY expensive since awareness of the disease has gone up, which is ridiculous and unfair, but like I said, VALLEY FEVER IS NO JOKE.

We’ve been back to the vet yet again for a bandage change and have yet another coming up. It looks like Brinkley is going to heal up fine – but slowly. And we’ll continue his Valley Fever treatment indefinitely. We were going to retest 3 months after the initial infection and see if we were going to continue, but at this point, we’re just keeping him on the medication. Poor Brinkley has been walking around with an open wound since June 17th. And he’s not done yet.

Valley Fever! LOOK IT UP! I could link you but I want you to actually, physically LOOK IT UP if you have pets that have spent time in the southwestern states.

3. Like I said above, I’m trying to be more active on Twitter and also on Instagram. Maybe it will prevent screeds like those above. Maybe not, since I also said all of that on Twitter. But anyway, both of them are just TemerityJane, and you can follow them, especially if you like makeup, because it turns out that that’s all I want to talk about.

eyeprotection

There are lots of dust storms here, so I ordered protection.

4. Age three. Hm. I don’t have a lot to say, other than shit. Shit. Sometimes Penelope is mostly fine for a long period of time, then out of nowhere, she’ll burst into this absolutely crazed laughter and start running from thing to thing, faster than I can grab her, just fucking shit up. Like she’ll grab the mail off the counter and just try to rip it for no discernible reason, and as I’m saying, what the hell, no, and taking it from her and placing it back on the counter, she’s bounding away, arms waving in the air like Furious George, THAT LAUGH coming out of her, I can’t even describe it, it’s all gravelly and sounds like it’s coming from the Penelope on the other side of the mirror in a darkened bathroom, and she rushes over to SHAKE THE TELEVISION, so of course I run over there, because yelling from near the counter is all well and good, but that’s not going to save the television from hitting the ground, and I’m halfway across the room by the time she’s at the laundry basket, laugh-gurgling away as she just Carrot Top-prop trunk flings underpants all the shit all over the place, by which time Sheldon is bounding around like some kind of coked up deer just looking for a windshield ripe for flinging himself through and IF I CAN EVEN CATCH HER, she’ll kick and slap me the whole way up the stairs to her room, LAUGHING HER DEMON-LAUGH THE WHOLE SIXTEEN MILE TREK.

AND TODAY SHE THREW A LITTLE TIKES BUS AT ME WHAT EVEN.

HELTER SKELTER

5. I had a makeup bathroom to myself in the old house (I miss my old house for 600 reasons, and this accounts for probably 150 of them), and even though there are 3 bathrooms in this house, it’s just not going to work out here. We’ve decided that the third bedroom is going to be the office-slash-Phil’s area, meaning he can keep his retro gaming collection in here, which is pretty nice since he wasn’t able to display it in the last couple of places we’ve lived and it’s been in boxes and bins for too long. This way, also, I’ll take the master bedroom as “my” room, decorating it how I want and putting a makeup vanity in there, since Phil doesn’t care too much what I do with it (though he did balk at the bright pink sheets for some reason), and there’s good light. The vanity was missing a piece, though, so it’s taking some time to get set up, meaning that the whole creation of my room as I’d like it to be is entirely held up, and also that no one is able to use the master bathroom at all.

I NEED THIS SPACE

6. You know what’s great about moving and also spending a lot of money on your dog? When you also get an opportunity to buy a new washing machine.

7. Information about PJs at TJ’s 2015 is coming soon!

8. I have therapied some really awesome stuff lately like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, along with some of the other powders in Mood, Diffused, and Ethereal. I also really added to my Sigma brush collection once I focused in on what kinds of brushes I tend to prefer, AND I recently managed to snag a limited edition Sigma eyeshadow palette that I’m absolutely doing-the-running-man-in-ill-advised-leggings excited about. There were some unbelievably tense moments on Twitter when my offer wasn’t accepted 45 seconds after I made it and I almost chewed through my own wrist waiting. As you can see in my bathtub of storage, I’ve also got the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit still in the box, waiting for my makeup vanity to be finished and my mirror and Happiness Hippo to be unearthed (I ALSO HAVE SOME WORDS TO SAY ABOUT SOME INCIDENTS THAT WENT ON WITH PACKING UP OUR HOUSE).  OH AND I have some Inglot Freedom system eyeshadow palettes on the way. And the LORAC Pro 2 is here. IT’S HEEEEEERE. I mean it this time, guys. I’m totally making this bonus item into more posts. Here. (Okay, and Instagram and Twitter.) I mean it. I have to tell you about how bad Hertz sucks and Item in Box. At least.

No Buy, No No Blog.

Something completely and totally unique about me – if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’re aware that I find myself to be a unique and varying snowflake, different from everyone ever, a special case, an exception to all of the rules, don’t try to compare yourself, you’ll only annoy me, please, don’t embarass yourself looking for common ground between us – is that I am irritated by paying for things and not using them. You know, like when the fridge is crammed full of food, and you need to put new food in, so you start rearranging, and realize that a lot of the food is overflow from your husband’s CHEESE DRAWER and it’s got mold on it and why do we need an entire drawer of cheese if it’s not even possible for you to eat cheese in an amount measured by DRAWER before it goes bad? I don’t like purchasing cheese by the drawer if you cannot hold a drawer-sized amount of cheese before it’s a drawer-sized amount of mold. I don’t want to pay for mold. I want to pay for a reasonable amount of cheese. An edible amount of cheese. I want to pay for the exact amount of cheese that is going to be eaten in the exact pre-mold cheese window. And I am telling you from experience and experimenting – FAILED experimenting – it’s not a drawer-sized amount.

And the problem with a giant cheese drawer is that you’re never entirely sure what you have. I usually have two half full bags of shredded colby jack at any given time, because CHEESE DRAWER. Something’s always lost in the back of the drawer, causing me to repurchase the same things over and over again. And then you have two bags of moldy cheese.

I have a point. I have two points, actually, the first being that a family of three does not need a cheese drawer. Okay, special exception on your way to the comments, your family needs a cheese drawer. I concede. My family does not need the mold colony that is our cheese drawer. Read above. I’m a special case. My other point is that for a guy who likes cheese so much, Phil is really not pulling his cheese weight in this house. That wasn’t really my other point, but more of an organic cheese-based epiphany I just had. PHIL, ARE YOU READING THIS? I’M NOT SUPPORTING THIS CHEESE-FARCE ANY LONGER.

I like makeup. I think I’ve discussed that enough. I like wearing it, I like reading about it, I like knowing about new things that are coming out, I like having new things that have come out. I like buying it. But having a makeup drawer is a lot like having a cheese drawer. If you just keep buying things, a lot of it ends up in the back, and soon you’ve got two bags of the same cheese. Or, to separate the threads as I intended to do when I inserted a paragraph break with the purpose of leaving cheese behind, you find yourself buying the same color of lipstick over and over and over.

I’ve been on a bit of a buying streak lately. Not in any kind of obsessive or worrying way. I haven’t been running up the credit cards or selling plasma to fund my makeup problem. Hell, I haven’t even been selling my cloth diapers to fund it, and Penny has been out of them for a while now. When I mentioned to Phil that I was considering doing a “no buy” for a while, he was surprised, because like I said, there’s no specific financial issue. We both have our hobbies and we both spend on them responsibly. But then, how responsible is it, really, when I’m buying more than I’ve had the time, lately, to really put to much use? If I’m buying things and they’re just sitting there, it’s like CHEESE. In our CHEESE drawer. Just sitting there with no purpose. Is it even CHEESE if it’s not being eaten? Er, MAKEUP, if it’s not being WORN? It’s just piles of money. It’s owning it just to own it. I’ll start forgetting what I have, buying duplicates of things I already own, things will start going bad. I’m not spending irresponsibly right now, but if things start going to waste completely, then it doesn’t matter how much or how little I actually spent. A waste is a waste. And that just really chaps my ass.

So that’s what brought me to my no buy. Laura is doing one, too, and just posted her rules the other day. I’ve spent some time thinking about my rules, and they’re a little bit different. First, I’m only limiting myself to cosmetic products, because that’s really what I’ve been “collecting” kind of mindlessly. Second, I don’t have a specific time limit on mine, like for a month or two months. Here is the other issue. Another thing that I pay for and don’t use is this site. It really gives me the red ass to pay my hosting bill and then let the site sit here. Like some of Phil’s cheese. I am not concerned about lost audience, or lost revenue opportunities, or the – okay, stop me right here before I go off on a tangent about the false cries about blogging being dead and your inability to look outside your own dying circle does not translate to the actual medium being dead and holy shit, you do not own nor did you create the Internet and a whole new generation is coming behind you so just MOVE OVER if you can’t handle the new developments and STOP WHIN — it just irritates me to PAY for it and not DO anything with it, you know? And like last year, since PJs, I’ve been kind of loafing.

So I got this bucket, and I went over to the former snack door, now makeup door:

SPACE SAVER!

And I grabbed just about everything that I’ve purchased since PJs. I think. Pretty much everything. That covers the last few months.

Now, I am not a beauty blogger and I never intend to be. I don’t have any makeup application skills, I don’t take good pictures, and I honestly have zero interest in doing any videos. But I can tell you what I think. Some of this stuff I bought specifically intending to at least provide swatches of the colors – those little baggies on the left side of the picture are all samples from indie cosmetic companies, and I know a lot of people are interested in hearing about them. And some things in the picture, I mentioned buying them on Twitter and when asked, said, “Oh, I am totally going to do a post about that.” And then didn’t. Some of these things I’ve been using for a little bit now, and like them. Some of these things I’ve tried and am not sure about. Some of these things are unopened, waiting for me to get a chance to sit down and swatch the colors and take some pictures like I really did intend to. Some I just haven’t gotten around to at all.

And, okay, I admit that this isn’t everything. There’s another ten eye shadows coming from another indie company, along with some blush samples (lilac!), plus a Tarte brow mousse I ordered from HauteLook before I started my no buy, and my Allure beauty box should be arriving today – you can see Laura’s unboxing here for what-all is in it.

So my OWN No Buy, No No Blog rules – my personal no buy applies to all cosmetic products (excluding body wash and face wash, because when I run out of what I have, I’m buying more). On top of that, I also have to get around to writing about the indie companies that I intended to write about when I bought the samples. On top of that, any products that I also considered writing about when I bought them (one of those makeup brushes is actually a paint brush, for example). Also, any product that anyone comments on today’s post that they are interested in hearing about. Lastly, everything else in the picture has to be dealt with in one of three ways – mentioned here, used until it’s gone, or given/thrown away if it’s not for me. After all of those things are satisfied, I can buy stuff again.

ONE BIG NOTE: I don’t actually have any intention of turning this into a beauty blog, though. This isn’t a post saying, okay, until I get through all of this, all my posts are going to be makeup posts. Because I don’t actually have that much to say about makeup, contrary to these 1500 words, because let’s be fair, a lot of them were about cheese. The No Buy, No No Blog is only intended to spur me into opening the new post screen, and to hopefully tack on a couple of words about eyeliner as well.

Okay. Who else is doing a No Buy? Or a No No Blog? Or wants to know about something in the picture? I should have made the picture blurrier, in retrospect.

The 2013 Top Blog Number 1 Best Comprehensive Super List Of Besty Bests Ever

Okay, it’s that time of year again, guys, when the Top Blog Number 1 Best Comprehensive Super List of Besty Bests Ever comes out for you to breathlessly scan, fingers crossed, hope-hope-hoping that this might finally be THE YEAR, ignoring the obvious fact that this is the first year, for the sake of the post.

The Top Blog Number 1 Best Comprehensive Super List of Besty Bests Ever! A list of blogs put together by a panel of who the fuck knows, based on a criteria of you don’t know what, but you have your suspicions! It comes out every year (go with it) and never seems to actually change or be based on anything that actually matters to the people it’s written for, but who cares! IT MEANS SOMETHING!

Well, THIS YEAR, The Top Blog Number 1 Best Comprehensive Super List of Besty Bests Ever is under new, transparent management. For the first time!  In fact, it’s like it’s a brand new thing, even!

So! Here we go! The 2013 Top Blog Number 1 Best Comprehensive Super List of Besty Bests Ever!

Are you ready?

Dry your hands on your pants a little!

This is it!

This is the list of the blogs!

The blogs that are doing it very right!

The blogs that are doing it exactly the way you wish you were doing it!

The blogs that make you think!

The blogs that make you go buy a thing!

The blogs that you always read FIRST!

The blogs that make you feel better about things!

The blogs that sound like an actual PERSON is in there!

The blogs that make you go, “OH MAN, ME, TOO!

The blogs that have an ACTUAL ORIGINAL THOUGHT ON THINGS!

The blogs that people who exist for real REALLY LIKE!

THE 2013 TOP BLOG NUMBER 1 BEST COMPREHENSIVE SUPER LIST OF BESTY BESTS EVER!

1. SWISTLE.

Because, come the hell ON, every “best of blogs,” or “best mommy bloggers,” or EVERY LIST OF BLOGS THAT WAS EVER WRITTEN EVER.

BECAUSE COME THE HELL ON ALREADY.

That deer is a sweater eater. He is on WOOL. -M.H.

Let’s do something completely nuts, and I’ll just tell you what’s been going on.

1. Penny. I’ve covered the whole 20 months old is hard and frustrating thing, right? Okay, forget all that. She’s also hilarious and delightful. She learns at least a new word a day, most days it’s two or three. And she learns them. I hand her a carrot, and I say, “This is a carrot.” And she’s like, okay, carrot. And she’ll hold it up several times and show it to me, and be like, “Yo, here’s a carrot,” to show off to me that she now knows that the hard orange thing that she has FUCK ALL intentions of actually eating is a carrot. And she smiles proudly. And now she knows – that’s a carrot. She knows it forever.

Words learned in the past two or so days: bird, pretty, thank you (on top of the previous “thanks!), carrot, apple (to actually refer to clementines, which we just bought for the first time EVER – how about THOSE THINGS, AM I RIGHT? PEELING RIGHT OPEN!), taco, pop (for ice pop), and, I don’t know, world peace.

She’s also started calling her collection of blankets “naps.” It’s wrong, but it’s adorable.

I want to tell you all of the words she says, but I’m not going to, mostly because I didn’t write them down, but also because there’s got to be over a hundred at this point. She said her first sentence I don’t know how many months ago, and has been asking questions and holding simple conversations for a while now, too. Sometimes I forget that I’m the only one who hears her so perfectly clearly, but a good percentage of her words are easy for just about anyone to decipher.

HAIR.
 

Oh, and she also made up this song, which is no big thing, kids do that, but the same little tune and nonsense words were repeated so often over the next few days that we actually all sing it now.

(there’s a video here)

Try not to be intimidated by my perfectly staged, perfectly lovely, perfectly perfect mommyblogger home and life.

Zap-oh-dee, zap-oh-dee, hey, Penny, do you want to sing zap-oh-dee? Zap-oh-dee in the shower, zap-oh-dee while I’m cooking dinner, zap-oh-dee while we were doing annoyingly cliche adorable family walking through the little local wildlife zoo together over the weekend.

Phil & Penelope
 

The membership to the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium was Penny’s “big” Christmas gift from Phil and I. Since she is young enough to still fall under “free,” the membership technically only covers me. It came with a one time free adult admission, which we used for the family visit pictured above to get Phil in, so we only need to go once more before it’s nearly paid for itself. It’s close to the base – only 5 miles – and parking is free, so it’s hardly a huge loss if we head over and she loses her baby mind and I have to haul her back home. Or, to go over and just visit her current favorite things. The zoo has a petting zoo and playground, carousel, kangaroo walkabout, four aquarium buildings which she liked quite a bit (and which I imagine we’ll visit quite a bit in the Arizona armpit months), a baby animal nursery, a train, and, I don’t know, animals.

When we were in the petting zoo, I was taking pictures of Penny while Phil let her feed some of the pushy goats and deer some pellets, and an older couple was talking to each other, saying, “Look at that deer, eating that lady’s sweater! Look! That deer is just eating the lady’s sweater!”

Eventually, I heard them and was able to rescue the pocket of my FAVORITE FRUMPY OLD MAN CARDIGAN from the mouth of the world’s pushiest deer EVER, but geeze, people, THE LADY was standing right there and clearly distracted by her adorable child’s first face to face encounter with stinky tame wildlife. A little “Excuse me, ma’am, I don’t mean to be rude, but I wasn’t sure if you were aware that there’s an animal eating your clothing” wouldn’t have been amiss.

Honestly, I’m not as mad about the deer backwash all over the pocket of my sweater as I am about the opening left for my husband to say later, “They didn’t have to fawn over you, but a little head’s up would have been bucking nice.”

Don’t worry, I killed him, and it was painful.

Petting zoo

2. My head. I saw my neurologist yesterday. I like the guy. I saw him for about two seconds yesterday, seriously. He’s very quick, he’s very brusque, but I’ve never felt rushed or like he wasn’t giving me full attention, or like I wasn’t getting quality care. I saw him for the first time when I was hospitalized with my first vestibular migraine, and this past time when I saw him, yesterday, we decided I don’t have to go back for six months.

Things are good. It’s not perfect. I told him, my words exactly, “I am not completely miserable,” and he knew exactly what I meant, and he is familiar with me, and familiar with my situation – both mine and the general condition – enough to know that we’re at a good spot. I’m very pleased, compared to where I was last April, or last summer, or even last fall. If I thought everything could be perfect, I probably wouldn’t have accepted an appointment 6 months out to just check in, but then, I don’t get the feeling he would have offered that, either.

I feel like this is probably vague, like a weird update on a chapter I haven’t actually written, but whatever. Aren’t you kind of glad I haven’t made my head thing into my thing? You know what I mean. It’s been a thing in my life, and in Phil’s life, but ugh, aren’t we all glad I haven’t made it my thing.

Anyway, so this chapter I haven’t actually bothered to write is mostly closed, except that to get to this point that is good but not perfect, I take some medication at a higher level than I used to, and I liked the old level because it didn’t work too well, but didn’t have any side effects and I thought that was a good balance. But now I take the higher level that works quite well, but does have some side effects that I don’t really care for, one of the main ones being that while I have a lot to say, there’s a lot more wild hand gesturing and frustrated face pinching-upping to get my point across, and things like calling the oven “the onion” and saying what I almost mean, which works pretty fine when you’re talking to someone near you, or to your husband who isn’t particularly big on nuance anyway, but not particularly great for blogging.

So, like I said. It’s good, but not perfect. There’s not really a way around that.

And to be clear, I’m not offering that as an excuse for not blogging as much. I’m not saying, “Oh, I haven’t been blogging as much because I take a medication that makes it harder for me to blog.” I do take a medication that does make it harder, but I’m not making excuses because I don’t feel I owe anyone any. It’s a small distinction, but it is one, because I hate when people apologize for not blogging, because, come on. Do it or don’t, it’s okay. It is. You can stop for as long as you want to or need to, and then you can start again, and it’s always okay, okay? You don’t need to apologize to anyone, ever for letting one or two or twelve or a hundred days go by without writing a blog post. You can have reasons, you can say where you were, but you never have to apologize.  I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT PART IS CLEAR.

3. PJs! Oh, gosh, you guys, PJs is coming. I’m equal parts excited and exhausted already. I’ve got plans in place already this year to make it easier on me and less stressful than it was last year, and I’ve already got my eyes toward next year with tiny tweaks to prevent things that are tiny wrinkles in my plans this year. Last year, I thought I was doing a one time thing until right afterward. This year, I’m already thinking about next year before anyone even gets here.

The thing about PJs that makes it fun for me is that it’s my party. Whenever I find myself getting stressed out and a little freaked out about what if people hate this or what if people don’t like that or how will I possibly please everyone, I just remind myself that it’s my party. I’m not putting on a blog conference or facilitating a bloggy get together, I’m throwing PJs at TJ’s, which is my party, and I can be a good hostess and make sure my guests are comfortable and fed and reasonably accommodated, but when it comes down to it, I’m having friends over to come to my party. When it’s reframed like that, it suddenly shifts back to being fun to plan and I get all refreshed and enthusiastic again. I recommend everyone throw their own parties.

4. We’re MOVING. We’ve outgrown our house. I guess I don’t really have anything more to say than that. We’re not leaving Arizona, we can’t do that, we’re going to be at Luke until the end of time, probably. I don’t mind. This isn’t a bad place to live at all, and when Phil is out of the military and we eventually head back to the east coast, it will be with no small amount of bitter on my part.

We hope to be out of here as soon as March. I want to throw away everything we own and move with nothing. Not really, but I want to shed a lot of crap. Things we don’t use, things we have just because we think we’re supposed to have it, things we mean to use “someday,” things with misplaced sentimental value, BABY THINGS. I want it all to go. Anywhere. Not here. Not with us.

5. ONE LAST PENNY THING. She’s learning to dress herself. She goes into her bedroom and chooses a shirt and puts it on, but she doesn’t know how to put it on, not really. So she comes back out of her room “wearing” the shirt she’s chosen on top of whatever else she’s already wearing. She pulls the shirt over her head until her face comes through the neckhole, like a hood, or a scarf around her face, like CORNHOLIO, you know? And the sleeves just dangling down uselessly. And then she just GOES ABOUT HER BUSINESS with her toys and stuff. Completely seriously. I have no pictures, because if I get the camera, it tips her off that something isn’t right. You have to imagine it. IMAGINE IT.

 

Please don't act as though you don't have pellets, lady.

Surely you can force down just one more.

PHIL CLEANED UP THE DESK AND I CAN’T FIND THE COSMO I BOUGHT AND THAT’S WHY YOU HAD AN UNFULFILLING CHRISTMAS.

Let’s just do this.

2010
2011, a pretty rough year.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

I invited the entire Internet over to my house and threw a big weekend long party. I flew across the country with my baby by myself. I went to an aerobics class and also ran out of that aerobics class for reasons I will never, ever discuss (again, because I eventually very briefly discussed it on Twitter).

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

As usual, I didn’t really make any resolutions for 2012, aside from the usual stereotypical vague ideas of starting new and fresh and generally doing better at everything, you know, housework and diet and exercise and marriage and parenting and all of that. Phil went away for three weeks right at the start of the year, so it all went to hell pretty fast.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not anyone physically close. My cousin had another tiny baby just before Thanksgiving. He’s pretty cute, but I didn’t hold him, because I don’t want to catch baby germ. Also, tons of Internet baby!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?

Stealing last year’s answer, which I stole from the year before, as I intend to do for the foreseeable future. And by foreseeable future, I basically mean forever. And look, I don’t feel guilty about it. I’m done feeling guilty or ashamed about the fact that I don’t care to travel. I don’t. Not everyone does. There’s nothing wrong with a person who has no desire to travel. There isn’t.

None. You can also retroactively write that down as my year end wrap up answer for every year since 1981, though it isn’t really fair to count 1981, since I was born in December of that year and didn’t even have my birth certificate issued until early 1982, let alone a passport.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

We’re looking to move early in 2013. We need more space. MORE SPACE. We need more space. I need space. SPACE. Please. I need space. I need a bathroom for just girls. I need a room for toys. Or at least a room that doesn’t have as many toys as the other rooms. I need to not hear every fart that every creature in this house makes. I need to not be aware of all of the farts.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I hate that like 2011, this is hospital related again, but on July 5th, Peno had her kidney surgery, and it went perfectly, way better than expected, even, with how quickly she bounced back and was sprung from the hospital, but when we were waiting in pre-op, and they came to get her, there was this little bit of confusion about when they were taking her, and how far Phil and I were allowed to walk with her, and we had to say this quick and awkward goodbye right outside her pre-op room while she was sitting on this wheeled bed, and then they walked away with the bed, and it was so awkward and sudden that she didn’t even realize that Phil and I weren’t still beside the bed walking along with her, so she didn’t even turn and look, and we just stood there and watched the nurse roll the bed off down the hall and go around the corner, just seeing her sitting there with her back to us, and her tiny curly head not looking back, with no idea when she finally realized we weren’t there with her. UGH. WORST. WORST EVER. WORST THING. Everything went great, it was all perfect, but that was the last thing we saw and I still torture myself all the time wondering when she figured it out. When she was in the OR alone? When a stranger was holding her? When they put the anesthesia mask over her face? GAH. GAH. WORST DAY.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Even though I’m not entirely thrilled with how it came off and plan to do way better, the fact that there’s almost a 100% return rate from 2012 PJs at TJ’s to 2013 PJs at TJ’s tells me that that was a pretty good one.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Keeping this blog up this year was a pretty big failure, and I think that if I make a resolution at all for 2013, working harder at that will probably be it. If you’ve been reading along for the last year, though, you know the issue I’ve been dealing with on that front, the huge fun-sucker-outer. It’s really something I need to move past. When you put someone completely out of your life, it should be just that – complete. They shouldn’t be allowed to continue to suck the fun out of things you enjoy.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Unfortunately, another fun-suck has been some headache-slash-migraine matters I’ve been dealing with. I was hospitalized in April and I’ve been seeing a neurologist since then. I say headache-slash-migraine because it’s seemed to be both – sometimes migraines, and sometimes distinctly separate just very bad headaches. However, in the last couple of months, things have been looking quite bright – no migraines since October, no runs of terrible headaches since a particularly bad stretch in November. The dosage of medication to get to this point has made blogging and even, oddly, Twitter a bit of a struggle, but life in general just that much more pleasant. Fingers crossed.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

For our anniversary, I got Phil a custom caricature of himself drawn as the tenth doctor from Doctor Who. I was quite proud of that!

Phil as the Tenth Doctor

12. Where did most of your money go?

Penny, bills, rent, a trip to Pennsylvania.

13. What did you get really excited about?

My cousin and I dropped our babies off with grandparents and went to see Shawn Klush (link has autoplay music) while I was in Pennsylvania. Even though it left me with a terrible case of Elvis Mope (IT’S A THING) when it was over, I looked forward to it for AGES, and it RULED SO HARD.

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?

Put Down the Duckie, and anything Fresh Beats, probably.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

happier or sadder? Around the endish of 2011, I went on prescription medication for postpartum anxiety that was just ridiculous. I mean, ridiculous. Looking back now, I can’t believe I let it get as bad as it was. And the medication turned me right around within a couple of weeks. And this year, I had to go off it because of a conflict with my migraine rescue medication. And… I’m fine. Like, really fine. So, happier? I’m good.
thinner or fatter? Ok, so… this time last year, I was at my pre-pregnancy weight, but a size higher than pre-pregnancy. This year? Hey. Did I tell you guys I lost 27 lbs? I did! I lost 27 lbs! I’m also still a size bigger than pre-pregnancy. So. Whatever. I’m calling it thinner. I lost 27 lbs! 16 of it since starting the most recent round of the Biggest Blogging Loser, which I am joining up again in January.
richer or poorer? The same. Money comes in, goes back out.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Playing with Penny. I don’t know, I play with her, and then I have things to do, and then the day is over, and I think, why didn’t I play more? Why was I so annoyed?

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Right when Peno hit this stage she’s in now, which I won’t describe too much because you know it, right, she’s 20 months old and punishment is ineffective and she also has zero impulse control, I just lost my mind SO MUCH. And it just helps no one. We’re just a little way off from when she’ll start understanding, and me yelling just works ME up, and it’s not doing anything for her but putting an impression in her mind of a mean, angry mother. She doesn’t get it yet. She will. SHE WILL. But she doesn’t. She doesn’t get time out, she doesn’t get consequences. I’m not saying my kid doesn’t need discipline or that I can’t discipline her or that I won’t or that it’s pointless. I’m saying that right now, all I can do is just stop her doing what she’s doing, and that losing my mind isn’t teaching her anything and certainly isn’t making anything better for me. And I just wish I’d done less of that before I clued in to the fact that just taking a deep breath and reminding myself that better times are coming down the road after this phase is a more sane way to go.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Here, with our little family of three, and it was just perfect. Phil and I did our first “set everything up on Christmas eve like Santa came,” Pen woke up in her own house and came out to inspect all her toys, I cooked dinner, we Skyped with family.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

Doctor Who. I watched all of Doctor Who starting with the ninth doctor in 2005 this year, and this was me:

WHY did I wait so long? WHY are YOU waiting so long? Just do it. DAYUM. Just do it. Shit. Shit. Watch the show. WATCH IT.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

I had a goal of reading 130 books this year, and I failed. As of today, I’ve read 101. Here’s a link to the first batch, and I plan on doing the second batch this week. My favorites, though, were probably The Fault in Our Stars, because, come on, John Green, and The Art of Fielding. See DAYUM man above.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

I listened to a lot of Pink and Taylor Swift this year. I mixed that in with my standard Alkaline Trio, The Get Up Kids, Reel Big Fish, Dashboard Confessional, and Penny and I had about four million dance parties to Shoulder to the Wheel by Saves the Day.

Do yourself a favor and have a dance party to Shoulder to the Wheel by Saves the Day.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

I didn’t see any movies in the theater this year. I don’t think I saw any new releases at all… except maybe the Hunger Games. Was that this year? It was good.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

On my actual birthday, Peno and I met up with her cousins in PA for a very ill-fated photo shoot in which none of the actual photos came out.

Then I had Chinese food, and we all sat around and applauded for Penelope while she put a shirt on as pants.

When I got back to Arizona, Phil and I went for our traditional joint birthday celebration dinner, since we don’t really celebrate our birthdays, as they fall right in the middle of anniversary-Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday run up. It did not go well, as right after dinner, I was felled by the violent 24 hours stomach bug that had gotten both Phil and Penny before me. I thought I was going to escape it. I did not. While I was laying in bed, running to the bathroom to lose more food than I realized I’d eaten EVER, Phil ate our delicious slice of joint birthday cake. And he didn’t leave me any. And then? HE WENT TO THE STORE AND BOUGHT A BOX OF FUNFETTI CAKE MIX. SO THAT I COULD MAKE MYSELF SOME REPLACEMENT CAKE.

I was 31.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I don’t like this question. SKIP.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Forever on a quest to attractively house the c-section pooch.

26. What kept you sane?

Routine, Phil, Penelope.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Let’s go back to 2010, because if I’ve learned anything in 2012, it’s a relearning of 2010 lesson:

I never learn. Ever.

 

 

I can’t do what I was going to do, so let’s wait for one of the dogs to lactate.

I was at Ross tonight – do you have those? We didn’t have them where I lived before, but it’s like Marshalls or TJMaxx or whatever, and you can order those however you want in your mind. They are not exactly equal, but similar. Anyway, I was there, because I did not have it in me to go all the way out to TJMaxx, because even though it was only 6pm, it was already dark and I felt like I was not supposed to be out, and there was a woman who kept insisting that she needed more, more of the 18 month, she needed more selection, and she needed the poor guy tidying the shelves to go “look in the back” for her.

That’s all there is to that story, but it was enough of a story that I called my sister on my way home to tell her about it, even though I had limited phone battery left, and was potentially using up my one “I’m in a ditch on the side of this oddly desolate suburban road, probably going to die here alone!” phone call.

I also set off the car alarm from inside the car. I have no idea how I did that, or how I stopped it.

I was on the phone with my sister and somehow we got on the topic of what I was going to write about tonight, and I mentioned something about the relationship between blog posters and blog commenters, and my intent to post about that, and she said, “ha-ha, people are going to be angry at you.” So you know what, let’s save that one for tomorrow.

Instead, guess which one of these dogs ate a box of breastfeeding tea bags today:

Fat dog on a little couch.

THIS IS HIM. THIS IS THE ONE THAT ATE THE TEA.

I reject your notion of cleanliness and replace it with my own oily stink.

Time will tell, dogs. Time will tell. Three to five days of time, judging by how many tea bags were eaten by the dog in question who I am not saying is Brinkley, but I am definitely saying is probably not Sheldon. My house smells like fenugreek maple salmon dog food farts. Brinkley has settled into his old man years with gusto. He’s not even trying to hold them in anymore.

I realized last night that I miss Christopher Eccleston, which means that it’s about time to start Doctor Who all over. Who else is ready to go around again? Can we start together? I’m leaving on Friday, I’ll have the time.

I’ll do better tomorrow.