Category Archives: Bloggers who aren’t me

Yeah, but I went to the store myself.

Yesterday I answered questions no one actually cared about anymore, so today, in a tenuously connected fashion at best, here are a bunch of pictures of things I’ve bought recently, and then links to other people answering questions about them. Oh, geeze, I am so stinking clever at blogging, I can’t even stand it sometimes.

tarteThis is that full coverage foundation – Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation – I was talking about the other day, when I said I couldn’t go off on a tangent, but the whole thing actually was kind of a tangent, because I was really just going to talk about some really exciting hand soap – oh man, I’m going back to the mall tomorrow, and I’m not going to let myself check before I go what kind of sale Bath and Body Works might have going on, just to preserve the suspense and excitement that maybe it will be another GOLDEN SOAP DAY, not that I need any more soap or would even buy any more soap to make up for all the soap that Erica isn’t buying right now, but just to know that I COULD buy more soap if I wanted to – not just soap, but discounted soap – would probably put a little extra spring in my step and not make the fact that I was at the mall on a Saturday morning with some of the worst people in the whole entire world to return some defective pajamas really bring me down all that much. OH AND ALSO? When I was at the mall and I bought this? Before I went in, I was in my car, and across from me, these girls were parking in their enormous pickup truck, and the driver hit another parked car. Two of the girls got out, and another girl got in the driver’s seat, because they were up against the parked car and the original driver was panicked and didn’t want to make it worse. I stayed in my seat just in case they decided to all drive off or something, so I could leave a note or whatever, but they didn’t do that. The two girls who got out stayed there by the parked car, and just WRUNG THEIR HANDS and PACED and I could seriously FEEL THE STEAM OF PANIC SWEAT starting to radiate toward my car. They were LOSING IT. I cannot think of a time I have felt sharper empathy, ever. They were so, so scared. But I don’t know what they were scared of. The car owners actually came out mercifully quickly – not even 5 minutes had passed, which was great, and they nearly tearfully confessed, and were waiting for some kind of, it seemed to me, ACTUAL PUNISHMENT. And the male half of the car owning couple said, and I quote, “Oh, no!” and then proceeded to talk about exchanging information.

I don’t know. I guess you had to be there. I felt so OLD AND WISE, like, LADIES. CALM DOWN. THIS IS NOT A CRIME. You have not committed a crime! This was an accident! Hang in there! Tough it out! Everything is going to be JUST FINE. Except I totally did the EXACT SAME THING in the Insalaco’s parking lot when I was in high school, complete with the “I HIT YOUR CAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRR!” wail, so, you know. Who the hell am I to talk. Poor things.

Anyway, I got this foundation in Ivory. I’ve got very pale/fair/however you want to call very ghosty skin, and I also have cool undertones. Several of my favorite makeup brands have foundation shades that are light enough for me, but lean more warm or yellow. This can be really frustrating, especially with drug store brands that you can’t try until you get home, because sometimes you don’t see the undertones until you try to blend it into your skin. So I am telling you. This one is quite fair and quite pink. So if you are light and cool, this is a good bet. As for how it looks, here is a really great post from Robyn at Brightest Bulb in the Box, which is actually the very reason I walked right to the Tarte section when I decided that at the moment, my skin could use a little more hidery than I usually go with.

sephoraproairbrush55This is a brush from the Sephora Pro line of brushes. It’s the Pro Airbrush #55. When I got matched with the Tarte foundation (not with their little machine thingie, just with three different shades of the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour, because that’s pretty much what I was interested in and I had time and was pretty calm, because this was pre-soap), the store associate did a really light all over application of the foundation for me to take a look and see what I thought of the coverage. It went on so quickly, so easily, and so smoothly, I said, “I’ll take it. And what’s that brush? Give me that, too.” I have a bit of a brush problem, but it’s not really a problem. If you’re someone who is in to makeup, even a little – and by even a little, I mean if you wear a small amount to work every day, or if you like to wear it to go out, or you like to put some on for fun, or you’re interested in learning how to do it better – I really, really urge you to not use your fingers, not use the sponge applicators that come with your makeup, and buy some brushes. You don’t have to be a lunatic and buy a $34 brush to apply the $38 foundation you just bought. I don’t know what came over me. I think Bath and Body Works was pumping soap fumes into Sephora. But seriously. Better brushes will make a huge difference in how well your makeup applies and boost your skills without you having to actually get any better at doing makeup. And good brushes don’t have to cost $34 per brush. Just like good foundation doesn’t have to cost $38 a tube. There are some REALLY AWESOME lines of brushes called Real Techniques and EcoTools – I own lots of both and always pick up more on sales – that are really, really reasonably priced. AND easy to find. Both are available at Ulta. EcoTools are at Target, and I think WalMart, too. Real Techniques is starting to be sold in a lot of Kohls (along with some great makeup brands, too). And both are available on Amazon. Makeup is more fun with better tools. Better tools make inexpensive makeup apply like much more expensive makeup. Buy better tools before you buy better makeup, if you have a choice between the two. Better tools will help you develop better skills, which can make even crappy stuff look great. Not that you wear crappy makeup. You look fabulous. What is that? It smells nice. Nice smelling face.

This is a link to a video of a review of the Sephora Pro Airbrush #55, and she gets awesome results with it, but I feel like she makes it looks like it takes one million times longer than it actually needs to take. Maybe her face is fancier than mine. More likely, she’s just way better at makeup than me and has a higher standard for results than I do. Regardless – the results are good. The brush is good. I spent a lot of money on it. I know I spent a lot of money on it – make no mistake, I don’t think it wasn’t a lot of money. But I wanted it and I like it and I spent it on something I really like to do and I don’t know why I’m justifying it still, I feel like when my hobby or something I really like is something people consider frivolous, I need to say a lot of words about how I know so you don’t need to tell me. If I spent $34 in a book store or on clothes I certainly wouldn’t say so many words about it at all, and I’ll definitely use this as long as a book or as long as clothes, probably even more, since I’ll wash it more lovingly.

I was going to link a bunch more things, but actually, I haven’t bought a bunch more things recently. It feels like I have, because I’ve been ordering a lot of Christmas gifts and storing them away, trying to get that all sorted before the end of November so we can spend all of December actually doing things with Penelope, since she’s finally AWARE, being one of those midyear babies that took her time to getting to this point. We had some gifts stolen off the front porch already, so THINGS ARE GETTING FESTIVE.

Oh, also, I was going to write about that thing I talked about yesterday, that thing I said that a bunch of people would probably take personally, but then a bunch of people did THAT VERY THING today, so I have to wait a couple of days for the heat to die down. I mean, make no mistake, I’m going to do it anyway, and they’re all cool people, so they’ll totally get it and also get the extra IRONIC LAYER, but I don’t need other, not cool, easily het up for no reason other than the enjoyment of being het up and busting bloggers balls people to get all het up on their behalf.

Het het het.

HET.

These are some things: forcing this on that, ear potatoes, PJs/weeJs.

Here is a thing that I am really sick of: companies or things or industries or whatever, I don’t know, figure out what I mean here, trying to take their in store or physical or otherwise offline methods and adapt or force them into or onto the online or non-physical or otherwise e or i experience.

I don’t want that. I don’t want that at all. And you don’t want that. I assume you don’t want that. You must not want that. Because there’s a choice. There’s online and there’s offline. There’s in store and… on… store. And books and ebooks, and, you know, the like. And one existed first and the other came along, and since I was having Amazon deliver things to my college dorm room and now I’m a thousand, I assume we’re all relatively comfortable with our choice between the two, taking shopping for example, and we all have our preferences for when we choose one over the other, setting aside the times we’re forced to choose one over another.

There are REASONS a person chooses one over another, right? Sometimes I want to go to a store because I want to SEE something. I want to touch it or see how big it is or see what color it is, or, you know what? Sometimes I like to go to Target and I like to carry things around the store for a while and then put them back because it turns out all I really needed to do was carry them around, not actually own them. Carrying them around was enough of an experience, don’t need to actually buy. It’s a great savings, really. If I picked things up and went straight to the counter with them, we would be very broke.

Other times, I want to sit at home and add 85 items to my online cart. I want $55,000 worth of merchandise in my cart. I want to read reviews. I want to compare minute details. I want to zoom in VERY, VERY CLOSELY. And then I want to come back to the site and do it again tomorrow. And I want to do it all in my underpants and a Cookie Monster t-shirt.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING LATELY? So, I’m doing one of my favorite things, reading reviews of something I already bought while eating a giant bowl of rice – actually, that’s two of my favorite things – when up pops this little box with a FACE IN IT, with text asking, “HEY CAN I HELP YOU JUST LET ME KNOW OK I’M RIGHT HERE IF I CAN HELP YOU JUST TEXT SOME WORDS I’M RIGHT HERE WITH MY FACE LOOKING AT YOU AND WHAT YOU’RE DOING HOVERING AROUND AND WAITING FOR YOU TO NEED ME TO ASSIST YOU WITH THE VERY BASIC TASK OF LOOKING AT ITEMS AND CHOOSING ONE YOU MIGHT LIKE!”

In the words of that little cleaning robot guy in Wall-E, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA.”

Look, I’m not even going to finish making my point because you can make my point, right? Why is the hovering sales associate of the IN store shopping experience hovering all over my rice-and-underpants shopping experience? Just because it works IN store doesn’t mean – wait, DOES it work in store? Are there people who like that? Anyway, just because it MAY work in store doesn’t mean it needs to be applied online, where you in THEORY have a contact link or a help link somewhere on every page. I don’t need some dude’s FACE popping up hovery sales girl style. It puts me off my rice.

And what’s weird is that now that we’re all – I assume everyone is basically me – of an age of some sort where we have jobs and we are the people at companies, making choices – you, not me, I’m at home in underpants with rice – it’s hard to imagine that these calls are being made by old men in rooms order things by catalog or have personal shoppers or I don’t know, have never seen an Internet. I assume the people who make these choices are the same people who are either annoyed by hovery sales people when they shop in store, or who choose to UNDERPANTS-RICE at home to avoid such a thing. Yet the in store experience is being all crammed into my underpants and rice moments. Why? WHY?

Or, or WORSE, when an old model is trying to be crammed on to new technology, and it’s somehow my problem to either deal, or come up with something new. Like the whole ebook thing, that’s been hard to figure out. I’m not going to look up research or links or whatever, because I’m lazy and I’m not a responsible blogger and this isn’t news media and I don’t in any way feel obligated to do so, but I read this stuff at one point, so the information is out there. So libraries start lending ebooks, right, and there was this one publisher – and may be still, I’m not fact checking because I can only use the text editor in WordPress right now and it’s really giving me the red ass – who wanted the ebook licenses to expire after a certain number of lendings, because that’s when a regular book would “wear out,” requiring the library to buy a new copy, so it was only fair that they should have to buy a new ebook after the same amount of uses. Which is just… it’s mindblowing, really.

Because a digital book is not a paper book. It’s not. It’s not the same thing. It doesn’t work the same way. You need to work with it in a new way because it’s a new thing. It’s not okay to just apply the old process onto the new thing, because it’s a new thing. New. You come up with a new way, even if the new way means less money. Unless you come up with a new way that means the same amount of money in a sensical way. Or something.

Anyway, I was discussing this with someone, and they said to me, “Well, then, what do you suggest?,” kind of confrontationally, a little, but still conversationally, but who cares how, because I don’t fucking KNOW. It’s not my JOB to know. And I don’t have to just quietly not mention that your “expiring ebook” method is shitty and nonsensical because I don’t have a better idea. I am not a Professional Ebookist. It is not in any way my responsibility to come up with a solution for the whole ebook/paper book shenaniganfoolery. Not liking something or the way something is done doesn’t make coming up with a better way MY burden.

WHICH REMINDS ME OF ANOTHER THING!

So a couple of years ago, some website I’ve never read before published this big long super heartfelt post about how they had to have ads in order to pay the writers, but they especially had to have really annoying ads. See, don’t you understand – video ads and popups actually pay the most money. The more annoying the ad, the more money the site publisher makes. So when you complain about ads, or when you view through a feed reader, or when you stop visiting the site because of annoying ads, what you don’t understand is that THOSE VERY ADS!!! are the ones making the site owner the most money to pay the writers. And —

And nothing. That was the whole thing. Just this long, supposedly meant to be super revealing “behind the ads” piece on why you kind of actually owe it to the site owner to keep visiting despite these fucking annoying as hell ads, because that’s how they make MONEY.

Uh, no shit? Really? Ads on your site are how you make money?

Anyway, I came across this post because someone, I don’t remember who (I’m lying, I remember exactly who), linked on Twitter with some kind of (and I need Lara’s handjob gif here) bullshit like “slow clap” or something like that, how everyone needed to read it to UNDERSTAND or something. The whole point of the post – and I actually would find this one for you if I even could begin to remember how to, it was such a joke – was to make people UNDERSTAND. To understand that big, annoying, flashy ads are where the most money comes from for site owners, and complaining about it is kind of a douchey thing to do, and you really should visit the site and not use ad block and not read through a feed reader and not stop coming to the site just because you don’t like BIG FLASHY VIDEO ADS and POP UPS. Because site owners NEED TO DO THAT to MAKE MONEY.

And just… no. No. I get that a lot of people make their money online. A LOT of people do. But once your living in ANY WAY becomes MY obligation, you’ve absolutely crossed the line into insanity and entitlement. If you don’t like the ads on a site, you really, really don’t need to go there. Really. If that’s how the site owner makes money, and it stops working because the readers aren’t having it, that site owner needs to find a new way to make some money, not start bitching about how the READERS just DON’T UNDERSTAND how MAKING MONEY WORKS and how they just aren’t keeping up THEIR END OF THE DEAL.

That was years ago, and I’m still mad.

You can’t just… FORCE THINGS onto OTHER THINGS because you think the thing you have on one thing should just go onto the other thing.

Things I applied that to above: in store shopping and online shopping, ebook and paper books, site owners’ responsibility for their own income and readers. IT ALL CAME TOGETHER IN THE END.

*****

A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to get Penelope to let me look at her ears, because she never lets me get close to them in the tub, and they looked grungy. I finally got a hold of her, and I said, “Penelope, your ears are so dirty, you could grow potatoes in here.” I thought something caught her attention on television, she stood still, and she let me clean her ears.

The next day, she was taking a nap, and about halfway through her normal nap length, she stood up in the middle of her bed and started yelling for Phil.

“DADDY! DADDY! HELP! HELP! TATO IN EAR! TATO! TATO EAR!”

So he had to go in there and check and reassure her that there were no potatoes growing in her ears. So… that was a slight miscalculation on my part.

On the upside, her ears are now pretty consistently clean, though I do have to submit to regular examinations for rogue potatoes myself.

*****

If you look into the sidebar, you can see that the date for next year’s PJs at TJ’s has been set! That’s all the planning that has been done/information that has been released so far, but it’s something!

Here’s what I can tell you!

– Still in Phoenix.
– Ish.
– Still in February.
– Despite what appears to be increased interest, the attendee cap will not be raised. (See this post for info!)
– Registration will be opened probably around the same time as last year, late September/early October, if that changes I will let you know.
– There is a Facebook group that you can join for information as it’s available, by searching PJs at TJ’s 2014.

I said this in a comment last year, re: throwing a small event that is both very small but also open.

It is tough. But I have decided, I will just not go about anything sneakily, and it will be clear and obvious that there is nothing to gain in the sense that maybe some other types of Internet gatherings may have something to offer in the way of… gains. And that I will be very clear that I plan to turn THE VERY INCREDIBLY HUGELY VAST MAJORITY OF THE WORLD away, but I have no plans to turn anyone specific at all away.

And that in the end, I am not owing anything to anyone, and I am not turning myself inside out with the kind of generosity people will talk about for years, about how selfless I was, year after year, becoming ever more gracious and giving to the thankless and faceless crowds that grow greater and greater each year – no, that’s not it at all. In the end, it can only be what it is, what I will allow it to be, and that is my party, and every year for as long as I want to, I will hold my party, and when it becomes unfair, or when it fails to meet someone’s expectations, or when it becomes a subject of some kind of scrutiny, I will just have to shrug my shoulders and say, well, it’s just my party.

And that’s how I look at it, and that’s how I hope people will look at it, with that kind of understanding, both in terms of what I can accommodate and what they can expect from this kind of gathering. Because the answer to both is the same – not much.

And eventually I will probably just take my ball and go home, and that will be okay, because everyone is going to clue in eventually that just like I am struggling to figure out the rules in a landscape where there aren’t rules, this is a whole wide open THING and it’s not just for SPECIAL PEOPLE, because I am the most average of the average, and last year we had the most average of the average times, and it was SO GREAT, and all I did was decide to do it.

This really should have been a whole other thing because I don’t think I’m even remotely related to your comment.

BUT ISN’T IT INTERESTING? How it seems like there are things like… BlogHer and EVO and Bloggy Boot Camp and all kinds of things, and it’s like you have to wait for them to come along at a time that you have A) the time and B) the money and C) the nerve and D) the desire to go to one of them that even remotely begins to match up with something you even WANT to attend, and then suddenly it hits you that these are not MAGIC PEOPLE that came up with these gatherings, they are just PEOPLE.

And you (or me) are ALSO PEOPLE. And so you can pick a time and a place that is affordable and convenient and talk to the people that bolster your nerve and say, HEY, come over, let’s do this specific thing or things or NO THINGS that line up with our specific interests or NON-INTERESTS, in my particular case, and everyone jumps on it, because everyone kind of WANTS to go, but A, B, C, D, never quite line up and it never occurs to us that we just don’t have to WAIT for a magic person to set it up and for ABCD to land on us, we can BE the magic person and we can jigger things around so that ABCD are WORKABLE AND REASONABLE for everyone.

I’M NOT EVEN MAGIC! I DID IT! I’M DOING IT! I FEEL SO GOOD! AGAIN!

*****

Oh, yeah, we also had to go to the emergency room because I pulled a thumbtack out of Penelope’s mouth and she told me she ate one (liar) and then she did eat some Icy Hot, but we only had to call Poison Control for that, and you’d think I’d dedicate a lot more words to those incidents, but, alas.

A lot of thoughts about a lot of things that are mostly my kid and makeup and the HOA. You’ll need a juice break.

Hi. Before you commit to this post, I should warn you, it’s a double. Not a double blog post, but a double me blog post. So maybe scan for some words you like, or skim, or whatever. Or get some snacks, maybe a stool or ottoman for your feet. Stretch out. Settle in. I’ve been lonely. Let’s not be apart again.

We’ve been in our new place for about two weeks now. Or a year. It feels like forever, because a forever amount of things have gone on. On maybe our first or second night staying here, our neighbors started pounding on the door. It seems that in our attempt to figure out why we had next to NO water pressure in the house (delightful), we had turned a valve on OUR house that THEY had previously turned off, reactivating OUR sprinkler system that apparently had a GIGANTIC leak, flooding out their yard where they had just laid down a whole bunch of weed killer. They let us know that they had let several people who had been in and out of the house know (maintenance, property management employees, former resident) about the problem, and obviously, no one had passed the message to us. After heavily hinting they’d like us to pay for their expensive weed killer that had been washed away while at the same time assuring us that they understood it couldn’t possibly be our fault, we went inside, where I did not sleep AT ALL all night, knowing I had to call the property management company in the morning, totally prepared to have to argue about who was going to pay for it, and when we could get someone out there, and fretting about the water bill and tons of water leaking into the ground, and just prepared to do BATTLE, after what hell our LAST property management company was.

Yeah. 45 second phone call, someone was at our house within hours. He fixed the sprinkler system, then ALSO fixed a shower inside the house that – okay, you don’t need the details, but it was stupid. And broken. And THEN he relit the pilot light of the water heater which had – okay, you don’t need the details, but again. Stupid. And all of this was exciting because the water pressure appeared! And we had hot water! Because until THAT point, we’d been going back to our old place to shower, because we had the electric and water switched to our name, but since the place didn’t have a gas stove, we neglected to get gas turned on… not realizing there was a gas water heater. Oh, and gas heat. We were cold. And dirty. But just for a couple of days. And it’s warm in Arizona now. So now we’re just warm and dirty. And it’s just Pen and I who are dirty. And it’s by choice.

EXCEPT NO, IT’S NOT TOTALLY BY CHOICE. BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED THE NEXT WEEKEND? Both the toilets got blocked. One even in that way where it’s all clear water and you give it a cautious flush and then the water comes up and you have to RESCUE YOUR CHILD DRAMATICALLY from the oncoming flood [of a quarter inch of water] rushing toward her. I shut the bathroom door and left the house, because it seemed like a problem for future Phil. When he came home from work, both toilets were working fine, except making bubbly sounds? And then we noticed some… sediment. In the shower and tubs. And then by morning, both toilets were overflowing, and all the showers and tubs had water backing up into them. And this was a Saturday. Phil put in a call to the landlord, who put in a call to the property management handyman, who works a regular M-F schedule, so rightfully told us he could come on Monday. Because he doesn’t get paid to come from an hour away on the weekends. Phil called the property management woman back, and she was QUITE reluctant to send anyone else. Because it would cost money. It took more persuasion that was understandable to get across that no showers and no toilets from Saturday until Monday was not okay. Not. Okay. But, uh, anticlimactic ending, he did. At around 8 or 9am, she promised us a plumber between 3 and 4pm. At about 6:30pm, one arrived. Auuuggghhh.

So in the midst of all this, we’re unpacking at this house, and overlapping at the other place – finishing packing there and cleaning it, etc. Before we moved in, as part of the lease/promises of the property management company, they were to send gardeners over to restore the backyard and overall landscaping to a manageable point, and from there, it would be our responsibility. It wasn’t maintained before we moved in, and while maintaining it is part of the lease, and also part of the HOA covenant we signed, it was at a point that professionals are kind of needed – we can’t really handle the dead tree in the back or the palm tree maintenance on our own at this point. Well, though our landlord keeps checking in, the gardeners haven’t shown up, and we got a letter in our mailbox from the HOA saying it was the second notice and we need to weed/edge the front yard.

Since we just moved in, it was the first notice we received, but still. We signed the HOA covenant. We’re fine with the HOA. We know we need to take care of the yard. We feel like dicks that it isn’t done. I hate special snowflake situations. I know that I’m kind of claiming one for myself here. I’m asking you, Internet, to look at the totality of the circumstances here. We’ve been here for two weeks, we’ve had disaster after disaster, and our promised gardeners haven’t shown up. We are very aware we are not keeping up with the HOA rules that we agreed to when we moved into the community, and we know that we need to at least weed the front yard if the gardeners are not going to show up as promised, especially considering we got yet another notice from the HOA. Which is weird. Because… you’ll see.

Yesterday, Phil was outside trying to take down some of the weeds the best he could, just trying to be a good neighbor, because WE KNOW IT’S THE RULES. We’ve just had some PRESSING SITUATIONS. I know how I sound. You don’t have to tell me. I’m aware. I’m trying to get that across. Is it coming across? That I fully understand that we’re in breach of the HOA rules, and that I don’t really excuse us, but that it got away from us, and reasons, okay? There. Phil is outside taking down some of the weeds, and the “I kind of expect you to pay for this” neighbor wife sidles up to him and starts hinting around about how SHE would have expected the gardener would have come by now and how it’s just INSANE that the property management has let it go on SO LONG and SHE would be withholding rent by now.

We know now who finds the weeds to be such a pressing issue.

Here’s what’s strange. There’s not a whole ton of bylaws in the HOA covenant. Keep the lawns nice. Don’t leave the trash cans out. Don’t be loud and disturbing. No visible basketball hoops – yet, they’re all over the place. Okay. And no vehicle mechanics to be performed in driveways at all, absolutely none – but there are plenty of weekend mechanics doing their thing outside. And on street parking is prohibited. Well, people park all up and down the streets – including said neighbor, who use the cul de sac as their personal parking spot for their second pick up truck.

I’m fine with it if we live in a community where the HOA is lax. I’m totally fine with it. I’m even fine with it if we live in a community where the only bylaw they care about is the lawn. I just want to know, you know? I don’t want to be the only schmuck making my guests carpool because my driveway only fits one car, even though the people next door aren’t even using their driveway. So. Which plan do you like better?

  1. An apology to the HOA people, explaining that we just moved in, but also asking for clarification – you know, “we’ll get right on the lawn maintenance, but just for future reference, which of these rules we agreed to actually matter? Just so I’m clear.”
  2. Waiting until the next time neighbor lady strikes up a conversation, mentioning – a little embarrassed, of course – how we got tagged by the HOA for our lawn and how it got away from us with all of the plumbing emergencies we kept having during our move in, but how weird it is. “It’s so strange, though – they’re right on top of us about our lawn, but we read the rules really carefully when we moved in, and they don’t seem to care about the basketball hoops all over the place – which is great, obviously, because where else can you put them that isn’t visible? – and of course they don’t seem to mind the all the on street parking. MEANINGFUL GLANCE AT THEIR TRUCK.”

Seriously. I will follow HOA rules. I will. They’re there for a reason. And the neighbor lady can report me up one side of her frustrated life and down the other when I’m out of line. BUT TO DO IT WHEN SHE HERSELF is breaking the same bylaws just REALLY GIVES ME THE RED ASS. I just need to know. Which laws can I ignore?

Pep puts her butt on the dogs.
I don’t know.

Pep is having some kind of sleep regression. I don’t know why. I’m not going to give you the details because even with the details, you can’t fix it. No one can fix it, not at this age. It’s not a matter of teaching her how to sleep. She knows how to sleep. In fact, she’s an excellent sleeper. Except for the fact that she’s never been one of those twelve hour a night sleepers I was promised in the brochure, she’s the kind of sleeper one might envy. She puts herself to sleep for naps at the same time every day in seconds. She goes to bed at bedtime, again in moments, without complaint. Usually. Sometimes, lately. She generally sleeps right through the night, occasionally requiring a parental visit to retuck a blanket or locate a pacifier, something I’ve suspected for a while we should just stop doing, because she’s perfectly capable of doing both of those things herself. But we’ve done them, because it’s hardly anything, especially in the previous house, where our bedroom doors were so close, they were practically touching. I almost didn’t have to open my eyes to dip into her room for a second, I was practically still asleep when I got back into my own bed.

But now, the house has a split floor plan, and the trek over to her room is not as easy. And now, starting a couple of days ago with a cold that disrupted her sleep with sad cries of “Nosey! Nooosey!,” we’re ending up over there a lot. A lot. For long periods of time. In the hours that should REMAIN UNSEEN BY DECENT LADIES SUCH AS MYSELF. Is she scared? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think she doesn’t actually know how to put herself to sleep, because she usually just falls asleep. I think that side of the house is too quiet. I think she’s aware of how far away we are in this house. I think she might be scared of the sound monitor we added to her room. She calls it the “hello,” because we can talk to her through it, and we say, “Hello, Penelope, it’s Mama/Daddy.” I don’t think she knows it’s us on the other side. I think she’s a manipulator and knows if she just cries LONG ENOUGH, we’ll show up. She sleeps straight through the night some nights. She falls asleep despite her distress if she’s exhausted other nights. She won’t calm down without parental presence and repeatedly walks to her bedroom door to beg for Phil to come over no matter how many times she’s replaced in her bed on the bad nights.

It’s a phase, obviously, and it’s either attached to the cold we’re still just coming out of, or attached to moving to the new house, or it’s attached to some magic combination of circumstances that we haven’t quite put together yet, because some nights are absolutely perfect, not a peep heard the whole night through. It’s a stupid phase, and I hate it, because I already don’t get as much sleep as I require (one million hours) during the week. It’s frustrating because of course it tries our patience and we’re not our best selves with her when she’s dragging us from bed at two in the morning, but she’s crying, “Please, Daddy! Please, Daddy! Please, Daddy!” And who doesn’t feel like a buns hole stomping angrily away from that? Answer? Me. I don’t. I don’t, until the next morning. Because I’m tired.

I guess I did give you the details. But seriously, don’t try to fix it. Come on. It’s a phase. I know the whole “lead her back to bed without saying a word” thing. There’s not anything else. You can’t force someone to sleep. I can’t teach her to sleep, she knows how to sleep. We’ve introduced her to all the stuff in her new room, and the thing is, she needs to suck it up and deal, because we live here. So. Life’s tough. Get a helmet. AND GO TO SLEEP. AH’M TAHRED.

ANOTHER thing about my kid and my house? We have those handle door… handles. Like not knobs, but handles? Yeah, Pen can open those. It’s not good. She’s always bringing me shit from the pantry, which is kind of her, but my need for a box of lasagna noodles in the middle of the afternoon is low, and my need to have my window washed with a combination of her hands and the innards of a can of Coke Zero that she somehow busted open by slamming it repeatedly against the glass is slightly slimmer. Enter this thing Phil found – the Door Monkey. THE EMMER EFFING DOOR MONKEY. All hail that ridiculous piece of plastic. I love you, Door Monkey.

When Phil ordered it from Amazon and handed it to me, I did not understand what I was looking at. It makes no sense in the package, unless you’re the type who can, uh… look at things. And make sense of them. But he put it on the door in about a second and a half and my life was instantly unruined (it was ruined when I moved into a house with stupid handles for door workies, keep up).  It’s out of Pen’s reach, she can’t open the door, neither can the dogs. It can stay on the doors all the time, and you can work it from either side, so it’s not like adults are locked in if it’s on. So I can go lay in our bedroom to read with it on the door, and Phil can come in or I can go out, without removing it or having to ask to be let it/out.

It does leave the door open a crack, and the site says it’s a benefit “to allow for air circulation,” but whatever. It leaves the door open a crack. That’s either something you like, because fingers can’t get pinched, or something you deal with, like if you’re using it on bathroom doors. It comes off the door and goes back on in a hot second, so it’s not a huge deal to take it off if you are using it on a bathroom door and then put it back on when you’re done, if you don’t want someone peeping at you through the crack, but aren’t YOU fancy, using the toilet without an audience standing two inches from your knees.

DOOR MONKEY. SERIOUSLY. DOOR. MONKEY.

MONKEY ALL THE DOORS.

Benefit Cosmetics recently came out with a new concealer called Fake Up. I checked it out at Ulta, but was waiting for a couple of real reviews to come out on sites like Makeup Alley or Makeup Addiction on Reddit, or reliable beauty blogs, because all I had seen up to that point were glowing write ups from people who had attended a release party and gotten some swag bags, so not especially helpful in my eyes. Finally, though, a review came out from a blog I really like (it’s linked up in the blog crouton as well, I suggest you read the whole thing, I did), and I was especially impressed by the before and after pictures. I have an appointment this week for a free brow wax with a $50 purchase from Benefit, so I added this product to my list to buy. Maybe. But, then, I thought, I don’t really have a problem with under eye circles, so maybe not. I mean, it seemed to work well, but if I don’t have the problem it’s designed to fix, why spend the money, right?

But that thought coincided with one of the very rare days I was on the non-clicking side of the camera.

And Fake Up slinks quietly back on to the list.

Oh, are we talking about makeup? Neat! If you’re following me on Twitter, I almost always am these days, and I want to clear something up. I’ve heard quite a few people say, in response to a picture of something I bought, or me talking about some kind of makeup or tool I use or want, that due to not having/using/understanding what I’m talking about, they’re not “good at being a girl” or they “fail at girl” or something like that. I get that the sentiment is a joke, but I want to be clear that one, I don’t hold those kinds of feelings at all – I don’t think of makeup as essential to girliness/womanhood in general, or even essential to my girliness/womanhood. At all. Period. And two, I don’t know what to say when people say that to me. It makes me uncomfortable. I feel like I’m either on the defensive, or that I need to comfort. Either I’m too girly and that’s “uncool,” or I need to say, “Oh, you’re plenty good at having a vagina! Let me see it! I’m sure it’s there!”

I like having makeup. I like owning it, and collecting it, and doing things with it. I spend my extra money on it, and I disappear into the bathroom to play with it when I have free time. I’m not going to get into the whole “why women wear makeup” thing, because OH MY LANDS, not today, but for me, it’s a hobby. Lots of people have hobbies. Lots of people have things they spend their money on, and things they spend their free time doing. This is mine. Sometimes I wear lots, sometimes I wear none. Sometimes I look really nice, sometimes I look really terrible. I just… this is what I like to do with my time. I also like to play video games and watch television, I like to read books, and I hate to cook and I’m bad at art, and I cannot decorate a house to save my life, and I have zero hostessing skills. So. Let’s not get into a who has the tiniest most shriveled up vagina battle over it, okay?

In the new house, I have gotten all of my makeup into one smallish drawer, so it’s really not that bad. Well, one smallish drawer, plus a couple of things in purses here and there. One smallish drawer, the purses here and there, and then the tall bottles on the counter. The drawer, the purses, the bottles on the counter, and then like some samples and stuff I don’t use very much in an overflow drawer. Well, the drawer, the purses, the counter, the other drawer, and then the stuff that isn’t unpacked but that’s not a lot. And that doesn’t include hair stuff, lotions, or perfumes, but that stuff isn’t make up. And of course, brushes are separate in a different bag. So, really, it’s not a lot at all when you think about how I’ve been able to consolidate it together.

I’ve claimed the second bathroom as my own.

I wasn’t planning on this post taking two hours to write or being 4000 words long, so let me just tell you some quick opinions about some of the stuff I’ve picked up recently.

  • Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Palette – this isn’t pictured because it had to go back. Only a couple of the shades were really workable for me. There was a ton of fallout from a couple of them, a couple of the others were really muddy when they blended, and at first I thought that with patience, I could make it work, but… see above about this being a hobby I like to do. I realized that this palette would just NOT be any fun to play around with. Chalky shadows, muddy colors, fallout all over my face – nope. First time I EVER took advantage of the Ulta return policy allowing me to take back something that just didn’t work for me. Nope. Nope.
  • Sugarbomb – This is one of the Benefit powder boxes. As you can see, I have a bunch there lined up on the left. LOVE IT. Coralista was my first, Hervana is my every day, Bella Bamba is one I’ve stayed away from and am just inching in to using, but I loved Sugarbomb from the second I used it. It’s perfect for the summer. It’s a little bronze-y-er than Hervana, and not as soft. You can see swatches here. (That’s a good beauty blog, too.)
  • Mascaras – Clump Crusher by Cover Girl and Big Fatty by Urban Decay. I love them both. A lot. One is significantly less expensive than the other, neither makes my eyes water when I inevitably forget I’m wearing mascara and rub them. Huge bonus.
  • Naked Skin Liquid Makeup by Urban Decay – I bought this after trying the Benefit Oxygen Wow stuff that turned out to be a bad color match. I recognize that I am pale, but I always turn out to be more pale than I think I am when I’m shopping for makeup, and I turned out to be the 0.5 shade in this stuff. I liked how it went on in the store, but I’m still struggling with it at home. It’s buildable, and I like to wear it a bit more sheer, but at home, I haven’t been able to find the balance between my skin being so dry that it goes on and I get flakes between my eyes/next to my nose, and so moisturized that the makeup slides right off my nose. So I end up with a heavier layer than I’d like (it still looks fine, I’d just like to wear a more sheer layer), set with Hello, Flawless from Benefit, which defeats the whole purpose, for me, of wearing the liquid stuff, if I’m just layering on the powder stuff ANYWAY. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just only going to get the results I like from powder/kabuki instead of liquid/sponge or brush. It could be. BUT. The formulation is great – it’s super light, it feels like nothing. The range of colors is awesome, with warm and cool versions for every shade. The price is okay.
  • Brushes – My two favorites at the moment are the eyeshadow “C” brush from ELF and the Expert Face Brush from Real Techniques. If you need brushes, and you don’t want to spend a zillion dollars, these are two good places to go. On eyeslipsface.com, stick to the Studio line of brushes. They’re about $3 each, and they’re not the best thing in the world, but I like the ones I have – especially that “C” brush, the powder brush, and the small stippling brush. They won’t last you forever, but they’re better than expected for their price. The essentials line, the white handled ones, they’re not so good. The brushes are super scratchy. The foundation and concealer ones are okay because you don’t rub/blend with them as much, but that’s about it. The Real Techniques brushes are just great. If you have an Ulta near you, they often go on sale for buy one, get one 50% off, but even not on sale, they’re a great price for the quality that they are. There’s two sets that are a good deal, but I think my next purchase is going to be the travel essentials.
  • I… could say a lot more things here. I should not. You didn’t ask for this. Nobody asked for this.

I really need to stop saying things.

Eye of the Buster

Penny and I like to listen to a variety of Pandora stations in the morning, and after settling on one and wandering around for a bit, doing some diaper changing and bra putting onning, I ended up dust busting Chex Mix cereal out of the cracks of Pendragon’s baby sofa to a background soundtrack of Eye of the Tiger. I feel this probably says a lot about the current status of my life.

The other night I was deep into a discussion with Phil – okay, more like a monologue at Phil – about why I am totally into Penny wearing nightgowns these days, as difficult as they are to locate, or, failing the nightgown situation, two piece pajama sets that are loose instead of snug, because of air flow, and I stopped, mid-logue, to ask him if I used to have different things to talk about than, you know, baby pajamas.

BUT HERE IS THE THING. It’s not that I was talking about baby pajamas because I was scrambling to find something to talk about, because I have become so boring and devoid of conversational topics that I am only LEFT with baby pajamas. I legitimately WANT to talk about the baby’s pajamas.

So there are people out there, older relatives and friends from way back or whatever, doesn’t matter who, it’s just a certain type of person, who says this type of thing in a way that’s meant to embarrass you, “Oh, what would TWENTY YEAR OLD YOU say about THAT?”

Well, good point, really, what WOULD twenty year old me have to say about the fact that I have genuine opinions – opinions I want to SHARE, even – about baby pajamas? Considering twenty year old me swore that she would never be having children?

Except, if you are the kind of person who thinks saying stuff like that is funny, you should know I put you in the same category as the guy who always said, “SMILE!” when we were in the same elevator at the office. Dick.

Hey, you know what would be a good idea? Running back to grab your 18 year old self to weigh in on your current life.  You know who I think would have valuable input on my major life decisions? Past me. She was an idiot. (And here’s where someone who thinks those kind of jokes are clever says, “Oh, but you thought you were SO SMART back then, what would you say if you could hear you NOW!” I can tell you I’d warn past me that you’re a fuckhead and we shouldn’t be friends.)

Anyway, those jokes aren’t funny.

*****

I couldn’t post for a while because I was watching all of Doctor Who. Not all all of it, but starting with the reboot in 2005. I couldn’t let you know I was watching, because I can’t enjoy something with people who have already enjoyed it until we are all at the same point. That sounds ridiculous to you and that’s fine, but I’ll tell you that it was already hard enough just watching it through with Phil in the same house. I couldn’t talk about it with him at all, and the few times I was watching an episode with him in the room, he proved my point quite handily by looking at me just a beat too soon to make sure I’d “gotten” something, tipping me off to the fact that there was something to get, or, at one point, saying “Now, did you hear the two important things?” and I killed him.

So I’m all caught up, and as you’d expect, I have a ton of feelings. And thoughts. And opinions. STRONG opinions. And I thought, okay, I’ll just write a whole blog post about it. And then I thought, well, not everyone likes Doctor Who, so a whole blog post would probably be a little too much, so I could just start an email chain with the people who were interested. And then I remembered it’s my blog and I can do what I want. I haven’t decided what I want yet.

But we’re all caught up together now, and I’ve watched it all in one big LUMP, so I’ve got all my thoughts together in one big LUMP, so what thoughts are the main ones that Who Pals tend to like to discuss with each other?

*****

There was meant to be a lot more to this post today, but Phil gave me a man cold, so guess what. It’s that time again.

I didn’t make a new card this year, but I have a whole new list of aggravations. I’ve noticed this… phenomenon lately. I’m starting to wonder if people… well, not people. If a certain kind of set of people – NOT specific people, I have NO specific people in mind – if people realize that the blog world, the INTERNET world, is way way WAY bigger than BlogHer.

Like, BlogHer as a conference does not encompass all bloggers, of course. And BlogHer as a network of blogs does not encompass but a FRACTION of bloggers. A fraction of even the TYPES of blogs that are out there. And a tiny SLICE of the kinds of communities that are out there. That a niche blog in the BlogHer type of sphere talking about “how things are” in the world of blogging is actually a kind of a laughable concept because it’s just the tiniest little bit of what’s out there.

It’s so insulated from how things are, from what things are that I can’t take it – ANYONE – seriously, especially as you see people taking themselves more and more seriously. It’s always been huge all around you, and it’s GROWING all around you, and you’re all just going more and more insular. You’re MISSING IT.

*****

OH. So, I was watching a lot of this Doctor Who on the iPad in bed, and I couldn’t figure out why I could so comfortably settle down to watch it in the evening when I went to bed, but when I wanted to watch an episode or two while Penny napped, or in the afternoon on the weekend, I couldn’t find a good position.

What the hell? Same iPad. Same bed. Same pillows. Why is this not working in the daylight?

Eventually, it clicked.

When I go to bed, I don’t wear a bra. All obstacles to iPad viewing fall neatly out of the way.

Far, far out of the way.

Lovely.

Medical apologizers, people who don’t know it’s them, fluff butts.

Situations have been such lately that I have not been entirely comfortable putting as much of my personal business on the Internet as I might once have been, but you know what? Fuck it, and right the fuck up yours. You know what I mean?

*****

-I had a lumbar puncture yesterday, and it was basically my least favorite thing to happen to me in about my last hundred years of existence. I was numbed, so it wasn’t as excruciatingly painful as I had decided it would be, but it was certainly one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life, which of course caused me to apologize through the whole thing, just like I did all the way through labor.

“Oh, I’m sorry my sheet is so damp. I think I might be a bit sweaty. I’m sorry about that.”

Except this time, it was more like,

“I’m sorry, I think I might throw up. Can I have a bucket, please? Thank you. Don’t worry, I’ll hold it until I can move. I’m sorry. Can I throw up yet? Sorry to bother you. Is it almost time to puke? Oh, ok. I can hold still, don’t worry. I’m sorry. Is it almost time? Uh oh. I might faint. Can you faint laying down? Am I talking really loud? Sorry. No, I’m sorry. I think I might throw up. I’m sorry. Ok. Ok. I’m sorry.”

I am a compulsive medical procedure apologizer. I can’t be the only one, of course, as I am one of the most average people on the entire planet, so I am interested in hearing from the rest of you and your theories on why we feel we are such an inconvenience to medical professionals who are just doing their jobs.

What’s weird is that I didn’t start my serious medical apologies until late in life. You know who I probably really owed an apology to? That nurse who did a throat culture back when I was 10 or so, the one whose hand I slapped right the hell out of my face. Reflex. I’m sorry.

No, but seriously, lumbar puncture. That sucked a fat fart. I’m sorry.

OH AND TO TOP IT OFF? I rewarded myself a s’mores pie, which I HAD SEEN on the McDonald’s drive thru menu all the times recently that I had rewarded myself a large diet soda for such feats as driving Phil to work and driving to pick Phil up from work and wandering around Target aimlessly, and when we got to the speaker, they said they didn’t HAVE ANY, even though it was on the menu, and I bellowed, “BUT I HAD A SPINAL TAP!” from the passenger seat into the speaker. They were not swayed. No pies were had that day.

LOOKIT HER HAIR.

Okay. Okay. I can’t take watching one more “Let’s all sit around and brainstorm about what outside force is making people not comment on our blogs anymore” discussion. Is it Twitter? Is it Facebooks? WHY IS OUR CHILDREN NOT COMMENTING?

Okay. Two things.

1. It’s you.
2. It’s you.

Allow me to explain.

Point 1:  It’s you. Are you commenting? I mean, seriously. Be honest with yourself. Are you commenting on blogs? Not just once in a while. I mean with the frequency you are expecting comments to show up on your own. I mean effort. Every day. You don’t have to. There’s no law. Lots of people don’t. Lots of people don’t, and still get comments on their blogs. That’s the way of things. But if you’re not seeing comments on yours and that bothers you and you’re not commenting on other blogs, then come on. Because, shut up. You’re not special.

Point 2: IT’S YOU. When I write a blog post that doesn’t get many comments, I don’t sit here and think, wow, everyone must have something else to do that is keeping them from my awesomeness today. I think, shit, must have written a stinker. Okay, and I also think that maybe you guys are kind of ignoring my brilliance a little, because the posts that you think are stinkers, I think are hilarious but in my old age I have come to realize that no one really finds me as hilarious as I find myself AND THAT IS FINE.

And if posts and posts and posts go by with hardly any comments, then I assume I am writing lots of stinkers and also that I am not engaging with the people to let them know I am still out there. I don’t sit here and wonder what jerkwad piece of asshole technology is STEALING MY FAN CLUB. I assume that I am WRITING CRAP and IGNORING PEOPLE who are trying to connect with me.

It’s not Twitter. It’s not Facebook. It’s not… anything.

Other people are still getting comments. I mean, lots of other people. And lots of comments.

When people don’t comment, it’s because YOU HAVEN’T WRITTEN ANYTHING PEOPLE WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT.

People don’t just SHOW UP because you keyboard-slapped out some words that interested YOU and leaned back in your chair to wait. If that’s what you want to do, more power to you, go ahead, but don’t sit around and look for something else to blame when no one shows up to listen raptly at your feet, damn.

*****

 Pen’s surgery is coming up fast, and I’m preparing by losing weight to provide a nice cushion for all of the chocolate cake I intend to consume while we’re waiting. I’ve read a lot about the surgery – well, as much as I could find, anyway – and no two accountings of it have been the same except for ONE THING. Every single recap of the surgery I have read has said that it was supposed to be a 90 minute surgery, but ended up taking 3 hours, or 4 or even up to 5. Every single one. I’m glad I read that in advance. Now I know to wear some stretchy pants. More room for extra anxiety cake. I know from our last stay in Phoenix Children’s Hospital that they have four varieties of chocolate cake alone.

*****

Remember when I used to talk about cloth diapers a lot? Well, HERE’S A BLAST FROM THE PAST.

I use fitted diapers almost exclusively now, with the occasional all-in-two. I have several pocket diapers still hanging around, and Phil uses them from time to time, but I plan to sort through what I have and pull those out to be sold. I might keep one or two for outings, we’ll see.

In the house, Pen wears a fitted diaper and Babylegs. No pants. Since fitted diapers aren’t waterproof, this is the easiest way. I just change her every two to two and a half hours or when she’s stinky or damp. The picture above is of all my favorite fitted diapers soaking in Rockin’ Green Funk Rock ammonia bouncer. Stinkies happen, you guys.

Here’s some stuff I know:

  • There’s really no such thing as a super trim, super absorbent diaper. More absorbent means more bulk. Your baby is going to have a big butt.
  • Also, you have to change often. That shouldn’t be a big deal. It may seem like to to those used to disposables, but when you think about it like this – how long should your baby have to wait after she has peed herself for fresh pants – it really shouldn’t be a big deal.
  • Anti-pill fleece is cheap and you can cut your own liners for babies with sensitive parts. It keeps them cozy and dry-feeling.
  • Fitteds rule.
  • Rinsing takes an extra minute but saves a lot of hassle at wash time.
  • Good diapers are expensive but used diapers aren’t gross.
  • And nothing has to be all or nothing – Pen wears disposables to bed and often out of the house.

I have a favorite diaper.

New crouton, floor beds, potential hippiery, and gift obligational awkwardness.

1. I am extremely slow with changing the link over in my sidebar blog roll – well, it’s only one link, so it’s more of a blog crouton than a blog roll – so I figured that the people who don’t read this site through a feed reader have probably stopped checking. But I just changed it! Which doesn’t mean you should stop visiting Not Bagels. It means I got off my lazy butt. Well, no. I stayed on my lazy butt while I changed the link.

2. There are still spots open for The Blathering! (This is my roommate. We’re both sadly excited to spend depressing awesome nights away from our babies. We’re looking forward to sleeping. It’s going to rule. In a bummer kind of way.) Why don’t you come to The Blathering? If you don’t want to go because you don’t do bars and karaoke and nightlife and cocktail dresses, that’s not a good reason. I’m shooting down your reason. I don’t do those things. I’ll bring Settlers of Catan for us. Looks like I’ve poked some holes in your defense. See you there.

Unless you do like to go out for drinks and dancing and ride mechanical bulls. Then guess what? That stuff will be happening, too. Looks like you’re SOL on reasons for not going to The Blathering.

3. People ask me a lot where I find all of my in law stories to read and be outraged about, and I will tell you my trick. Find a really active set of forums somewhere – any kind, but ideally some that cater to ladies, for the most part. Wedding forums, or pregnancy forums, or really, anything. Then just do a search on one of the included message boards for “MIL.”

Baby name forum?
“MY MOTHER IN LAW WANTS TO NAME MY BABY.”

Wedding forum?
“MY MOTHER IN LAW CANCELLED MY CATERER AND REPLACED IT WITH LONG SANDWICHES.”

Pregnancy forum?
“MY MOTHER IN LAW BURST INTO THE DELIVERY ROOM AND CHECKED TO SEE IF I WAS DILATED.”

Anything. Anything at all. Any kind of topic. Whatever you can think of, there’s a forum for it. And if there’s a forum for it, there’s someone talking about how their in laws RUINED IT.

A current favorite, though? Grandparents.com. It’s got parents-in-law AND children-in-law on the SAME MESSAGE BOARDS. It’s GLORIOUS.

4. Here’s my baby:

She’ll be moving in to her own room sometime in the next few… a while. My mom is coming to visit and we’re going to work on putting together her room, both because I need something to do other than pretend to be totally into it when my mom wants to stand around and gush about Penny (not a gusher, myself) and also because Phil is not especially interested in baby bedroom creation.

We’re doing a floor bed. I think we have pretty good reasons for choosing the do a floor bed, the main one being that we won’t have to buy a crib. Second main, I guess, is all the benefits of and reasoning behind doing a floor bed make logical sense to us.  I haven’t yet decided if we’ll do a crib mattress or toddler bed mattress for the floor bed, or just go ahead with an adult twin. If you’ve done a floor bed, what did you go with? Any tips? I’m kind of nervous about where to put it in the room. I don’t want her to roll between it and the wall, but will she be heavy enough to really wedge it away from the wall with her body? I’ve never seen a picture of a room with a floor bed in any place but a corner, so I assume it works out.

Any first hand floor bed experience is greatly appreciated.

5. With all the cloth diapering and the floor bedding and the intent to skip rice cereal and purees and instead follow a baby-led weaning style of introducing solid foods, sometimes I feel like I might be turning into a hippy. I mean, if someone had told me they were doing all of those things, before I had my own kid, I’d definitely think they were kind of a hippy, in a harmless way.

But all of these things, when I’ve looked into them, have just really made logical sense for us. Note how I’ve italicized selectively so that the wild Internet understands that our choices have absolutely nothing to do with their choices in any way. Anyway, is this how people become hippies? I thought you started out hippy and made your choices based on levels of crunchiness (which, by the way, I HATE – I mean, the word crunchy used as a descriptor for these types of things, mainly because I think it’s stupid). But maybe the road to being a hippy is paved with adorable cloth diapers and floor beds.

For me, though, I think what it actually comes down to is that I hate spending money on things I don’t like or personally need. I don’t need a crib, thus, floor bed. I don’t eat baby food, therefore, Penny can eat what we eat and like it. I don’t wear diapers, so… okay, I like the diapers. So I spend money on them. THEORY HOLDS UP. Not hippy, just cheap.

6. Also my baby:

7. Your opinion requested, but not a reality, rational, or fact-based opinion. A FEEEEELING opinion.

We got two cast iron enameled casseroles as generous and lovely wedding gifts. I loved them. Okay, actually? I loved that I owned them, because they made me feel like a lady who might some day make something that would require that very specific type of cooking vessel, instead of just dragging out the biggest pan I can find and using it for everything. And one time? I used them both to make soup, because I am a lifelong container misjudger and started with the small one and moved to the big one.

But Arizona isn’t really a place where you make a lot of soup, or make anything that needs to sit in a very heavy pot in a very hot oven for a very long time. I guess other people probably do, but I don’t. So, in the time I have owned them, I really haven’t used them too much.

Reading Princess Nebraska the other day, I found out that they have been recalled, because the enamel can crack and send BURNING HOT SHARDS flying at you. So, I can take them into Macy’s for a full refund, in the form of store credit, I believe.

Since they were gifts for the wedding, I feel obligated to replace them with something similar, since the givers intended for me to have cast iron enameled pot thingies, and had chosen them off my registry, in fact, where I had CHOSEN THEM FIRST, myself. So I should take them back and replace them with other heavy pots, even though I didn’t use them too much. Because maybe someday we’ll move somewhere cold (PROBABLY NOT, WE’LL BE IN ARIZONA FOREEEEVVVEEERRRRR) and I will need them. Maybe I will grow into a lady who uses those kind of pots, just like I grew into a lady who only has 1 out of every 5 or 6 dinners turn out inedible, instead of 1 of every 4 being good, 2 being edible, and 1 going straight into the trash.

Or maybe, I could cut myself a break, and just stick to the spirit of the gift and get something kitchen-related. Sheldon did just eat our good slotted spoon.

But, like I said above, I am going to start working on Penny’s room, and I bet that Macy’s has one or two cute things that we could use. Or I could put it toward her floor bed. But the gift givers did not BUY Penny a present, they bought presents for Phil and I. They didn’t know about Penny (or that Penny was 10 weeks underway at the wedding). But Penny-room-items are what we need, though at the time of the wedding, we DID specifically request, via registry, these pots that I actually never use.

So. Internet. If you end up having to return a gift, do you feel (note – FEEL – because I KNOW I can do whatever the hell I want) obligated to replace it with something similar? Would the fact that it was a gift from a registry that YOU CREATED, thus something you SPECIFCALLY ASKED FOR, have any effect on your response?

Understand that I will absolutely do whatever the hell I want when the time comes. I just want to know if anyone else has ridiculous feelings of obligation tied into the whole gift return/exhange business, and since I am the most average girl in the world, I AM SURE YOU DO.

Should I live in fear of someone coming over and saying, “Hey, where’s that 2.5 quart casserole in cobalt blue that I got for your wedding? I’d love to SEE IT!”

Even better, do you have any stories about awkward gift returns? Have you ever gotten something so awful/tacky (my pots were neither, I’m just EXPANDING) that you had to immediately return, donate or throw it away? Has anyone ever come over and asked to SEE the gift that you returned/donated/threw away? OH GOD, WHAT DID YOU EVEN SAY?

As long as you’re not using the archives of this blog as evidence against me, my judgment is IMPECCABLE

Oh, you guys.

You guys.

Normally I would just share this in my feed reader, but you know what, it’s Friday, and I really don’t trust you guys to click on the links I put over there for your on the right.

Seriously, are any of you clicking on those at ALL? What is it? Is it that you’re lazy, or you just don’t trust my judgment about what you should read? Because I’m lazy, so I can get behind it if it’s that you’re just too lazy to click over and read the items I carefully select for you each day. I mean, I think it’s a crock of shit, but I can get behind it if that’s how you want to be. But not trusting my judgment? Come on, don’t be such ass candles.

I have something amazing to link for you today.

When I do link it for you, I want you to do me a favor and go ahead and click.

I’m linking this to you because I’m a giver. I COULD just have left it over there in the shared articles section, but I wouldn’t want you to have to STRAIN YOUR EYES by shifting them slightly to the right. And the way I phrase it! I let you FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF by doing something as simple as CLICKING, acting like you’re granting me some huge boon.

WELL, YOU’RE NOT.

I am the one who is doing YOU a favor.

ME. FAVOR. YOU.

Not the other way around.

Anyway.

Anyway.

Wind up your good clicking finger and do me a favor and click over and read this post by Steam Me Up, Kid.

If you haven’t clicked yet, if you’re still hesitant about my good judgment, if you think I would send you down some black hole of Internet suckitude (I only do that on Twitter), then here is a little taste to prove JUST HOW WRONG YOU ARE about me, Internet.

Me: Mom. The seam of your pants appears to have violently bisected your vagina. You are strangling your labia. Please, just adjust your junk. Tuck in, or shift the seam over and ride sidesaddle for a bit. I’ll even do it for you if you gimme a sec, I think I can find some sort of utensil, like tweezers or something, for discretion.

Seriously.

Steam Me Up, Kid. You want to go to there. Now.