Victory shoes and Makeup Monday 2: The Balm Apricot Skin Renewal Lotion. And Stuff.

Note: Please save part of this post for tomorrow. Which part you save is up to you. I’m not controlling or anything.

Toward the end of last week, I started to feel crappy, details don’t matter, but I had a rough couple of days, and Phil really stepped up in taking care of things around here and letting me get some extra rest in order to make sure that sort of crappy didn’t take a turn for extra crappy, so on Friday, I was kind of rushing around in the afternoon to pick the place up before he got home, plus do the couple of things around the house that he usually feels like he has to do the second he comes in the door. He’s one of those types, you know, can’t relax until his things are done. So I figured I’d do all the things, and he could just kick back after really stretching for most of the week.

Except things kept happening. You know, after last Monday’s entry, I guess typical Penelope stuff. Stuff I’ve come to expect from a Penelope. I forgot to lock the dishwasher (we have to lock the dishwasher to keep her from getting in it, but that doesn’t stop her from randomly starting it up whenever she wants) and she got out some serving forks. I could hear her with them, so I approached slowly. You have to approach slowly when the Penelope has contraband, because if she knows you’re coming to take it, she’ll run. With FORKS. Or whatever she might have. And if she’s running, and you’re closing in, she’ll throw whatever she’s got, like some teenager with pot running through the woods behind the house party that just got busted, flinging the baggie off into the brush in desperate hope of not being caught but also maybe being able to find it again later. Except it’s not pot, it’s my cell phone and it’s not the brush, it’s probably the kitchen floor. Anyway, this time she didn’t run, but she did throw the forks at my face.

She threw ham at the wall.

When discussing Penelope’s behavior on Twitter the other day – which I don’t do too often, because of reasons, but I wasn’t feeling very well so was just generally totally beaten – someone suggested that I possibly might need to reevaluate what behavior I consider acceptable, because it is hard to believe that a two year old could be that bad all the time. That is, could it be that my standards of behavior for Penelope are much too high, making it seem as though she is constantly misbehaving, when in reality, it is just me, expecting too much from a toddler? Is this just a case of me not knowing that I need to pick my battles? Am I exhausting myself – and probably Penelope – with my impossibly high standards?

No. No, that’s not the case. I let the ham go, y’all. I do choose my battles. I do. If she’s not throwing something at my face, I mostly let it go, with a reminder that in this house, we pass things to each other. We don’t throw.

(Oh yeah, we’re those schmucks now. Come into our house, and you’ll get pulled aside for the little speech, like those, “Oh, we try not to say ‘No,’ we feel like it crushes her spirit,” except it’s more like, “Oh, please don’t throw anything in front of her, not even your car keys to your spouse to move the car, we feel like that’s why she keeps throwing shoes at my face, so if you could just pass things to each other and then make a huge fucking deal about what a great pass that was, that would be GREAT, thanks.” We know we sound like a couple of pass holes. We know.)

This is what’s not okay: hitting, harassing the dogs, eating out of the trash/throwing things in the trash, taking things from the fridge, throwing things at people, failing to obey reasonable requests when it’s very clear you understood and are deliberately disobeying for funsies.

Okay, I admit it, I didn’t totally let the ham thing go.

I... I can't explain this.

In my defense, I just asked her to get it.

So I don’t think I’m unreasonable in my expectations, and as you can see above, she might just be a BIT UNREASONABLE IN HER INTERPRETATIONS OF MY REQUESTS. I’m not saying she’s in any way an abnormal child, I’m just saying that normal is a range and to compose a range, you need to have children at each end. What you’re looking at here is an end child.

After the potato incident I mentioned last week, and the peanut butter incident – did I tell you about the peanut butter incident here? Brinkley ate half a jar of peanut butter, and then Penelope got the jar of peanut butter from the trash, and she had some. That happened. So after the peanut butter incident and the potato incident, we had some deliveries last week. We got some more child locks, and some more Door Monkeys, and a ridiculously priced Simple Human trash can with a pedal and a lock. Of course, after her nap, I turned my back for what I swear was the space of a super human speed bathroom visit and came back to this:

This is just a normal day, though, so no big. I mean, she gets into things, I pick them up. It’s just particularly ridiculous because that day was one thing after another, and, well, okay, she’s sitting in a pile of child locks. The point is, though, that I keep Phil updated on her doings throughout the day, and while he doesn’t ever come out and say it, I do kind of get a “… really?” vibe from him pretty frequently. It can kind of seem like, if he were home, this sort of thing wouldn’t be happening. Aren’t I even watching? How can stuff like this happen so frequently? He’s here every night and all weekend, and he doesn’t see this much stuff happen…

It doesn’t help that, a short time later – and, okay, I admit it, this is all on me – I had put her in her room for sneaking into the locked side of the linen closet (DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON HER HIDING IN THERE AND NOT MAKING A SOUND WHILE I RAN THROUGH THE HOUSE YELLING HER NAME OH MY GOD) and retrieving soda cans in order to fling them onto the kitchen floor, and I forgot that when I had to chase her out of her room earlier, I had left a tub of body butter on the floor. Okay. That was no good. That was no good at all. Especially because the body butter I have been using on her lately is one of mine (it works), so it is especially stinky and greasy. And it was so quiet in her room, and I went in there, and she was rubbing greasy, stinky body butter all over herself. And her hair. And the carpet. And everything ever.


I slept in a little bit on Saturday, and when I woke up, Phil and Penny weren’t in the living room, or the kitchen, and I wandered into the playroom and didn’t find them. But I smelled some really strong cleaning smell, and I found them both in the guest bathroom. Phil was standing at the sink, with the water running, and my new sneakers that I had just gotten, just the day before, scrubbing at the toes with a magic eraser. Penny had colored all over the toes with a ball point pen.





It is Monday again, which means it is time for Makeup Monday, which is the second part of my post, because maybe you are not into makeup, which means you can abandon ship here, but I may not always be so solicitous as to write a whole other thousand words not about makeup, so don’t go getting used to it or anything. Thought I guess you’re totally SOL if you don’t like makeup OR my kid. Are you just hanging around waiting for me to start writing about World of Warcraft again? I mean, it could happen. My account is open. If you are, I mean… I probably should. Just to reward you. Because that is some dedication.

In the spirit of the No Buy, No No Blog, I have actually gone and USED SOMETHING UP from the pile in the picture in the original post detailing all of my restrictions and rules and plans for the whole project. Here is that picture.

So, while this isn’t my entire makeup collection, for my No Buy, No No Blog, this is what I’m working with. I’ll deal with everything in the picture in one of the ways described in the original post before the no buy ends. Well, everything in the picture, plus some things that hadn’t arrived yet at the time the picture was taken.

Today, I’m talking about the product indicated with the arrow – Apricot Skin Renewal Cream by The Balm – as well as some eye makeup remover wipes that came in the Allure Summer Beauty box, and the two facial moisturizers I currently use, and why they can go right to hell.

I am currently using the two facial moisturizers pictured. I’ve got pretty normal skin, I think. It’s not particularly prone to oiliness or greasiness, and I have what I think are pretty standard hormonal breakouts – probably one or two actual pimples once a month, maybe a threatened pimple here and there the rest of the month. Pretty lucky, I think, but I suffered for it mightily when I was younger. I’ve got really irritating patches of dryness, though, on my forehead between my eyes, next to my nose, and sometimes on my chin and next to my mouth depending on how hot my shower was, so I have to moisturize every day and heavily before makeup or my makeup will look flaky and horrible.

The two moisturizers pictured – Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 and Up & Up Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15, oil free – can go right the hell to hell, each for separate reasons. I use them in a pretty standard fashion – after the shower and/or before makeup, I put on a pretty thick layer and let it soak in. I put it on my face. My face, where the FACIAL MOISTURIZER is intended to go. My FACE, where I keep both my EYES and my MOUTH, most days.

If I use the Cetaphil, I get a taste in my mouth that I am pretty sure is poison. And it just hovers in the back of my throat for most of the day, ruining things and making life miserable. And look, smartbutticus, I know I’m not supposed to eat it. I don’t eat it. It’s on my face, all smeared around on there, and some of its fuminess kind of gets into the general mouthy area. I’m not rubbing it directly into my tongue. I guess it performs its general moistness duties okay, but the fact remains that when I use it, the back of my throat feels like a little man is standing back there with a fireplace bellows, releasing puffs of TERRIBLE all day long. It’s no good. It’s just no good.

And then there’s the Up & Up. I’m a pretty big fan of Target’s store brand of products, I haven’t had too many stinkers. Well, unless you count shmazors. And for a moisturizer, this does okay. Just okay. It’s not really anything super special as far as under makeup goes, considering my especially flaky spots, but for every day (I don’t wear makeup every single day) and before bed, I don’t mind it. Except for one thing. One teeeeeny, tiny thing. It’s trying to blind me. It gets into my eyes somehow – AND NO, I AM NOT APPLYING IT DIRECTLY TO MY EYES – even hours after application, even if I don’t feel like I am sweating any especial amount. It runs into my eyes when I’m just sitting on the couch, and holy shit, does it burn. It burns to the point that shortly thereafter, I’m barely able to keep my eyes open, what with the tearing up and the flames of hell and the rubbing and the splashing of water. BUT DON’T SPLASH THE WATER. Because that just seems to reactivate all the REST of the moisturizer on the face, which then rushes to my eyes. I’ve actually texted Phil at work near the end of his day to ask how close he was to coming home, because hey, I’m blind, and I can’t afford to show any weakness to Penelope, she kind of has the upper hand as it is. But it doesn’t happen every TIME. Only sometimes. At random. Maybe when Pen-o is about to stage some kind of coup. Maybe there’s a connection. I don’t know. I’m not a Makeup Scientist.

SO AS YOU CAN SEE. My current moisturizer selections are NOT EXACTLY EXCELLENT, so the samples I received in my recent order from The Balm were pretty well timed. I got two, and decided to start with the Apricot Skin Renewal Cream for no particular reason. I actually had a reason at the time, but I don’t remember it.

The Balm website says that this lotion smooths the skin and also slows down the aging process, but a small foil packet is hardly enough product to really evaluate those claims, so what I was really looking for was how it dealt with my problem areas, did it try to poison me, and did it try to kill me and/or enter into cahoots with my daughter?

Texture: I probably should have taken a picture, but I DIDN’T. This is a pretty thick lotion. It’s less liquidy than it is creamy, and has a greasier feeling than the two lotions I’m used to using. It’s not a slap on the face kind of lotion, but more of a rub it in type. It has a higher quality feeling to it than the two I normally use, which makes sense, considering it costs several times more than they do.

It actually made my face feel kind of greasy when it was on, too. I don’t know if greasy is the word. I think makeup people prefer the word dewy. Yeah. I was dewy as shit when I put this on. I used it at night only for the first two applications, which was about all that was in the packet. I wasn’t sure if I’d actually wear it under makeup, because it felt… tacky. Not tacky like the way I usually dress, but tacky to the touch. I kept thinking about that one scene with Jordan and Ted from Scrubs, before she was in that other show that makes up for the fact that she’s not a great actress by just writing for the fact that that’s her face. You know what I mean? I WANT TO TOUCH IT BUT I DON’T.

I didn’t really time it, or do anything really professional in nature like any kind of actual reviewer of products, but normally I put on my moisturizer and let it dry down for a bit, then put some more on my trouble spots before applying my primer and foundation, or BB cream, or whatever the hell I’m going to wear that day. I didn’t really notice this stuff drying down completely for a while. I don’t know how long a while is. You’re going to have to ask someone with a clock. I probably could have gone ahead and applied primer over this, but… I don’t know. Not my style, really.

Poison-ness: I don’t know what something called Apricot Skin Renewal Cream is supposed to smell like, but I’m guessing apricots. It doesn’t. But, good news! It doesn’t smell like poison, either! You know what it smells like? The Dollar Store at Christmas. Or that one store in your hometown that you go in and quickly realize it is really not for you because it’s all dolls or sun catchers or wall plaques with country ducks on them, but you’re the only person in the store in the middle of a Saturday afternoon and the lady who is clearly the owner came out from behind the counter when you came in, so you feel obligated to give a kind of courtesy wander of the store, but the longer you stay, the more it seems like she thinks you might actually be the type of person who is really into country ducks or whatever, so she starts kind of following you and maybe pointing out different things in the store that she thinks you might like, or that are on sale, and, really, if you were into that kind of thing, you’d have to admit, you’d be a FOOL to pass up the deal, but you’re NOT into that kind of thing, and now it’s awkward, and you have to walk out the door without buying anything. So that’s kind of a weird smell for a lotion, and it’s even weirder if you think that it was maybe intended to smell like apricots, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t think country duck when I think apricot. I like apricots.

Kill/Cahoots: No attempts were made on my life during the use of this lotion. This probably could have gone under texture, but it didn’t run at all, and I don’t feel like if it did run, it would have caused any pain to my eyeballs.

Effectiveness: Like I said, the foil packet really isn’t enough to judge if the Apricot Skin Renewal Cream can, you know, renew skin. I got two full applications out of it, and in the interest of the No Buy, No No Blog project and using things up, I squeezed out the last bits and applied them to my most troubley areas, and you know, I was pretty pleased. I ended up just applying makeup in the middle of the night to send ridiculous pictures to Diane and Jonna, but hell of my skin didn’t look kind of fantastic under the clown face. I could actually see using this at night, something a little lighter out of the shower, and then this again on my flakiest areas.

Rebuy: So, would I buy this again? Well, it smells funny, but that kind of wears off eventually. It’s expensive, to me, at $29 for 2.36oz, compared to, say, $7 for 4oz of my usual murder lotion. But can you really talk about price when you’re talking about murder lotion? I have three more lotions to consider in my No Buy, No No Blog project: a Nutrogena from the Allure Summer Beauty Box, a sample from VMV Hypoallergenics that’s been kicking around my tippy piles for a while, and another foil packet from TheBalm – Grapefruit Antioxidant Day Face Cream (spoiler: it smells like the locker room at the YMCA.) I know that the poison/murder lotions are out the door for sure, but I don’t know for certain what will replace them.


SPEAKING OF APPLYING THINGS DIRECTLY TO EYES: Simple brand Eye Makeup Remover Pads for sensitive eyes! Yes! Ish! I have definitely applied these directly to my eyeballs in my attempts to learn how to tightline my eyes (which I can now successfully do THANK YOU), and I was not killed, nor was my daughter allowed to launch any of the multiple plots that are surely in any of several different stages of hatchery at any given time. Excellent. EXCELLENT.


Any makeup remover pad, when confronted with waterproof makeup, or lots of makeup, or lots of waterproof makeup many times over, like when someone with ham hands is learning a new skill very close to the eyeball, is going to be rubbed over the delicate eye area lots of times. Waterproof eye makeup is tough stuff, and eye makeup remover, especially that designed for sensitive eyes, cannot just go at it with fire and chemicals and burn that shit all to the ground. So it takes some swiping. And swiping. And swiping. So any makeup pad, no matter how intended to be gentle, is going to start to feel like you’re taunting your eyelids with a fiberglass mitten. These are no real exception.

So. If you’re sensitive to actual makeup remover, as in, the formulation of the stuff hurts your actual eyeballs and skin, Simple Eye Makeup Remover Pads for sensitive eyes are an excellent choice. If you’re sensitive to having the eye area rubbed repeatedly with cotton-like pad thingers, well, maybe just rub it once or twice and call it good enough. You know what they say. Tonight’s mascara & eyeliner are tomorrow’s smoky eye.

36 thoughts on “Victory shoes and Makeup Monday 2: The Balm Apricot Skin Renewal Lotion. And Stuff.

  1. Megan

    Soooooo I laughed my ass off at your country store with country sucks description. I HATE when you go in a store because you see something in the window and realize they put the ONLY good things in the window and then you are trapped. Assholes.

    Also, maybe it’s time for Penny to go to a day or two of pre-school per week? Maybe you guys need some time apart. It might make her too tired to cause mayhem. I’m thinking about her like a puppy. A worn out dog doesn’t chew on couches or throw forks at you. But seriously, what do I know? I don’t have kids yet.

    I’m pretty proud of myself for making it all the way through this post with no breaks and no snacks.

    TJ Reply:

    Even I didn’t make it all the way through the post with no breaks and no snacks.

    Preschool is definitely something we’re considering!

  2. Maria

    Damn how will I ever find a non suckass moisturizer.

    Gonna order those eye makeup remover pads.

    I tried and somewhat succeeded at tightlining with my brown Stila felt tip liner but now I’m like oops did i contaminate it? No idea. I don’t want eyeball fungus though.

    Thanks for doing this!

    TJ Reply:

    I’m not throwing my makeup in the toilet and licking it all willy nilly, but I’m also not super precious about it, and I don’t feel like I’ve ever really contaminated anything, so it’s probably still safe. Probably.

  3. Alice

    If your other lotions don’t work out, you should try the “Kiss My Face” lotions after your no buy is over. It’s a thick cream that is awesome on the extra dry parts, has lots of scent options & it is only $12 for a 16oz bottle. Basically it is the only reason my face survives the Chicago winters.

    It’s available on Amazon and pretty much everywhere else on the internet, but their official website gives more info about the different versions:

    TJ Reply:

    I will definitely check that one out, thanks!

  4. Ginger

    I just can’t stop laughing at “tonight’s mascara & eyeliner are tomorrow’s smokey eye.”

    So true, so so true.

    TJ Reply:

    I actually had the PERFECT-looking liner one night after I’d been scrubbing away with remover pads for a while, right before bed. And then I had to WASTE it. On PHIL.

  5. Lawyerish

    The paragraph about the courtesy wander through the country duck/dream catcher store made me wheeze with laughter. That is what happens to me EVERY TIME I am on vacation in some small town with a quaint Main Street — that is the only kind of store those little towns ever have, and I am always THE ONLY PERSON in there, and it quickly saps my will to live, because I feel so horrible for not being a country duck/dream catcher person, and I don’t want to hurt the nice lady’s feelings, and I end up fleeing the scene to the nearest cafe where I can buy a giant muffin in peace.

    TJ Reply:

    Phil and I ALWAYS end up trapped together in stores like that. Oh. Hm. MM hm? Is that right? Oh. Really? Ah. Hm. Or I’m with my mother. Which is WORSE.

  6. Auntie G

    Oh, yes. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Yes to the end of the “range” child (I fear Boy #2 will actually be OFF the charts, at this rate); yes to the distinct and occasionally, LIFE-THREATENINGLY VOCALIZED, sense from spouse that you are making this shit up because it never happens on HIS watch; but most of all, YES to the child smearing horrible smeary substances over large areas that are difficult to clean. I still have PTSD flashbacks to the Vicks VapoRub incident…second only to the Desitin incident. That nursery wall never recovered.


    TJ Reply:

    Phil knows better than to say it out loud, but I know what he’s thinking and eye rolling about. I KNOW.

  7. Janet

    I’ve used the Cetaphil SPF15 every day for years and I love it but only for under foundation and powder. If I wear it alone it’s only a few short hours later that it’s drifting down (or up?) into my eyes and causing full on stinging and streaming tears.

    I agree with Megan – preschool, or even a playgroup might be an excellent way for Penny to get into things that aren’t at your house and would result in a well-deserved break for you from the never-ending reconstruction of your home!

    TJ Reply:

    I’m glad I’m not alone with the lotions. I was starting to feel like I was a little bit nuts, especially since the effects either lasted all day, or started up hours and hours after application.

  8. Kara

    Oh kids. When my older two were 2.5 and 1 year old (and the 1 year old wasn’t walking yet), they found a tub of Vaseline- I blame my husband, it was on his side of the bathroom- took it into the playroom, and covered themselves, the TV, the door and part of the newly painted walls with thick, oily layer of Vaseline. It was still leeching through the wall a year later. A few months later, they topped themselves when the got into a package of Sharpies and drew all over each other, front and back, face, arms, legs, everywhere. My oldest tried to blame it all on the middle child, but couldn’t explain the parallel lines down her sister’s back.

    Make Up Stuff- I’m a Philosophy Girl. I’ve found that the oil face cleaner removes EVERYTHING. It’s pretty magical stuff, and easy on the skin.

    Laura Lou Reply:

    My childhood best friend once tried to help her mom clean the windows. Very nice, but she used vaseline. When they moved 5 years later those windows STILL had an oily film.

    TJ Reply:

    I have a Philosophy face wash, but unfortunately, it’s got the poison effect that one of the lotions has. I had to toss it aside for my sister to take away when she visits. I liked the lotion I tried with it, but it made me break out, which was weird, since I almost never do. Just one of those things, I guess.

  9. Laura Lou

    But, if you send Penny to preschool, you won’t have nearly as many stories to tell us! I guess your sanity might be worth that. Seriously though, if there’s a good option for that in your area, preschool made a world of difference for my older son who was just slightly to the more normal side of Penny’s end. I’m sure preschool has probably occurred to you though and you have very good reasons for not doing that right now. So I just send my sympathy and encouragement because, man, what else can you do?

    The country store description is priceless and now I know EXACTLY what that lotion smells like and I will never buy it. Not that I would have anyway because I am cheap. “Tonight’s mascara and eyeliner are tomorrow’s smoky eye”. HAH!

    TJ Reply:

    We’re considering a day or two of preschool sometime in the future when Phil has to go away for an extended while. Because, no. No. No no no no no. Right? No.

  10. Kimberly

    I thought I was the only freak of nature that suffered from burning eyes because of Cetaphil! I never knew why it was so random – but it’s probably on the days I don’t wear makeup! Maybe I’ll go back to Hope in a Jar. :/

    Yes to writing about World of Warcraft – I love reading ladies’ opinions on the game. My entire guild quit (again) so basically LFR is my new guild. Yay me. No kids here, so I can’t give advice but I’m waiting for someone to leave that “babies don’t keep” poem so I can chortle to myself.

    TJ Reply:

    I like Hope in a Jar, but it made me break out. Which is weird. Since I don’t break out. But otherwise, it was pretty inoffensive, for a lotion, considering all the dangers that can be present in a bottle/jar of lotion, aside from hope.

  11. Melissa

    I recently found SkinDrink by LUSH which smells a little funky but works really well. I have similar super dry flaky spots and it works really well. Sometimes it feels like its sliding a little, but I think that might be applicator error…

    Preschool sounds like a good idea. Either that or…move everything out of her reach…which kinda seems unlikely to even be possible :)

    TJ Reply:

    I miss having a LUSH at the mall nearby so I could just walk in and TOUCH things. But talk about a store with a SMELL, right?

  12. Jilliene

    TJ once your no buy is over, you should try Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer. ( I don’t know how to do links…

    but anyways, it’s great! I’ve used it for years and years, I flakies/dry spots sometimes like you too, but this stuff is like magic or something. It’s light, NON GREASY, no smell (or I don’t notice it), and it’s like $10!

    TJ Reply:

    I’ve heard really good things about that one, I’ll add it to my list to try out, thanks!

  13. Laura Diniwilk

    First off, I fully believe you about Penelope and what she is capable of. My girls are also capable of being complete pass holes 100% of the time. Just in the past few months, we have gone through the all things in the toilet all the time phase, artistic efforts using wall and crayola as media, and a hey if my hair is in my eyes i can totally just cut it!!! moment. FUNSIES.

    YES YES YES re: the cetaphil…it makes me want to claw my eyes out within two seconds of application. I am kind of wondering if the sunscreen might be going bad though, since I swear I have used it before without the searing pain. I don’t really think the simple pads work that well; my eye makeup remover of choice is the oil free neutrogena one in the blue bottle.

    Eating the ham off the wall = priceless. Cube laugh!

    TJ Reply:

    I think the Simple pads work well in that I can rub my ACTUAL EYEBALL with no burning and no tears, but you definitely lose something in terms of effectiveness when you go to a sensitive formula. You just do. So they’re definitely not perfect, but if someone is really sensitive to stuff by the eyes, they do okay. It is true that not everything came off really easily. I’m irritated with my stuff in a bottle, though, because I can’t find cotton balls/pads that are gentle enough, and my eye area fells like I’ve been scratching at it with pine cones and I’m NOT particularly sensitive. So annoyed.

  14. Sandra

    Wow, she’s mischievous! There are just THOSE kids out there. Can’t take your eyes off them for a second. We have friends with 5 kids. #3 was their mischievous one. After their last two were born (twins) the house was chaotic. Ailish, age 2 or 3, got out the front door without anyone knowing, and sat in the car in the driveway. Meanwhile the adults were freaking out looking for her. Ailish would also go into the pantry and closets to create havoc. They finally installed what they lovingly call “Ailish locks” all over the house. They’re the kind of latch at the top of the door near the door frame, where she can’t reach them. (she pulled chairs over to try!)
    Penny is definitely smart and creative. Good luck!!!

    TJ Reply:

    YES. She is one of THOSE KIDS. And sometimes I get the feeling that if someone hasn’t had the experience of HAVING one of those kids who really, truly must be watched EVERY second (every) or engaged EVERY moment (every), it’s really hard to conceptualize that EVERY (every) isn’t an exaggeration or figure of speech on my part. I do mean EVERY (every). But I get that people who have had more of a midrange toddler may think, well, you have to watch ALL kids EVERY second. But not get that I mean EVERY (every). I’m not making sense. But I KNOW WHAT I MEAN. EVERY (every).

  15. Audrey

    I saw that twitter conversation re: reasonable standards for toddler behavior, and I thought AW HELL NO. I was impressed with your response. Not sure I could have managed to be as polite as you were about it. I don’t think it’s asking too much for a toddler to refrain from throwing forks at people’s faces.

    TJ Reply:

    We do overlook a lot. A LOT. A lot of stuff that I think probably wouldn’t fly at other houses. I just subtly shook my head at Phil while Pen threw her breakfast all over the living room floor. Sigh. She throws it all over the living room floor every day. The dogs can get it. Now she doesn’t have any breakfast. I figure she’ll stop before college. NOT MY FACE, NOT MY FOOD, NOT MY PROBLEM.

  16. Doing My Best

    Even after FIVE CHILDREN, I still have to go away for a week every now and then so that Husband can fully experience reality and stop giving me that “You must be making this up; it can’t be THAT bad!” look.

    You are not crazy! I, too, have had children that had to be watched EVERY SECOND. It is a wonderful day when it suddenly occurs to you that no havoc was wreaked the day before!

  17. Sam

    I love Benefit. However, their eye cream stuff KILLS my eyes for hours and hours. I have to apply it so far away it isn’t the least bit useful for my fucking eyes. Now I use a generic all over me, the kids, etc and I don’t have burning eyes any more.

  18. A'Dell

    Oh my gosh, I am so behind on my reading but that description of Penelope and the ruining things and flinging things and getting into things? That is the PERFECT description of a two-year-old.

    One day I walked into my bathroom and found Charlotte with a giant tub of Cetaphil moisturizer, scooping it out with her hands, and EATING IT. I had left her alone for just a minute, I SWEAR.

  19. Amber

    Penny is basically the epitome of cool. My makeup collection keeps growing too but I rarely ever where it…but I keep buying it! ahhh

  20. Tempest

    Flaky skin? That sounds like my skin condition. (Sebborheic dermatitis, or dandruff that is bad and affects the face.) I use straight-up plain coconut oil. It fights the fungus that causes the flaking AND moisturizes the skin. It’s about 7 bucks for a huge freaking jar that will take you and your twenty closest friends the rest of your lives to use up. I highly recommend it.

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