Tag Archives: makeup reviews

Item in drawers: a tale of husbandly betrayal, vanity progress, and the Anastasia Contour Kit-ish.

Before we got married – actually, before we moved in together – ACTUALLY, before we were even officially dating, I told Phil that I don’t move. I mean, I physically move, like my limbs and stuff, if I have to. I meant that I don’t move my belongings from place to place. I’ll pack boxes and I’ll clean the place I’m leaving behind, but I don’t lift them and I don’t load trucks and I certainly don’t lift furniture out of one door and into another door. I just don’t do it. I don’t. And it’s fine if you want to consider this a glaring character flaw on my part, we all have them, but what’s important is that I informed Phil of this flaw BEFORE WE WERE EVEN ACTUALLY TOGETHER. I laid it out there like, here it is. Your call, dude. I would like it known for the record that he didn’t start up with the puns until I was already in Arizona and had closed my only credit card, so I ask you, who is the actual asshole?

Anyway, knowing that fact, he still chose to pursue a relationship with me, and I moved (he moved my stuff) from Maryland to Arizona, and then we moved (he moved our stuff) from one place in Arizona to another, and then we moved again (he hired some guys for most of it) to another place in Arizona, and then we had to move to New Mexico courtesy of the military. He decided to take advantage of the full benefits of a military move and arranged to have the whole deal where people come in and not only load everything onto a truck, but also pack it all up as well. I wonder why.

The day the packers came, I took Penelope to the indoor park one more time, because there’s not really anything like that around the new place, not nearly as convenient, at least, and of course to keep her out of the hair of the guys packing up all of our possessions. The night before, we’d gone grocery shopping for enough convenience food, snacks, paper plates, and cups for the rest of the week, as well as put all of the clothes, toiletries, medications and whatnot that we’d need in the spare bedroom. Since the packers will pack everything that isn’t nailed down, what you have to do is mark off a room that basically won’t be touched at all and put everything you’re going to need in there and you best not forget anything. We took the mattress off of our spare bed and left that in the room as well, since we decided to get rid of it. We were able to kind of eke out a little extra comfort in this way by sleeping on the mattress for a couple of nights before we arranged for a bulk trash pick up to come and get it, then we had to sleep on the floor.

Pen and I left the house just shortly before the movers were supposed to arrive, but they ended up being hours late, so when her energy for playing started to flag, we had to kill time at the mall. Twist my arm. I stopped by Sephora and did kind of a double take when I saw that they had a whole pile of Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour kits which, at the time, had been selling out as soon as they came available online, so it was a surprise to see so many piled up right in the store. I went back and forth about grabbing one, because I’m pretty fair skinned and there are six colors in the kit, so the chances of being able to use all of them are pretty slim. One of my initial reluctancies (I see you, red squiggle) to pick up the contour kit was that I’d use up two or three colors and be left with three useless ones. Plus, uh, I actually don’t know how to contour well at all. However, there’d been a lot of talk about Anastasia coming out with refills in other colors for the kit, and I actually don’t own as much makeup as I do because I’m particularly talented. It’s because I like playing around with it. When I look at pictures of what I could do with makeup at this time last year or two years ago, there’s a world of difference, and it’s only because I’ve spent the time sitting on the bathroom counter working at it. Plus, I can be honest with myself, I’m kind of a hoarder/collector, and I just wanted to have it. So I grabbed it, and SPEAKING OF, this came up on the Anastasia Instagram two days ago.

ABHCKNC
Click through to ABH Instagram.

So these are all the refills that are going to be available for the contour kit. The six original colors, plus all of these new ones. There’s a lot of information available on the Instagram post, but to sum up: the refills/pans are going to be sold individually for $14 each, but if you buy six, it’s $40 and comes with a palette, so it’s the same cost as the original contour kit. So you can basically put together an entirely custom kit. Some of the shades can be used as correctors like for under eye circles and whatnot, which I think is pretty handy when creating a custom kit because you’ll pretty quickly figure out which couple contour shades and highlight shades you like the best and can pop a couple correctors into the other spots. It also says that these new pans will only be available on the Anastasia site for now. So that’s something.

I bought my Contour Kit while the movers were packing up our stuff, but until now, it’s stayed completely untouched and unopened, because all my stuff was packed, which includes my lighted mirror and my Happiness Hippo and all of my makeup. Don’t worry – when I say all of my makeup was packed, I mean packed by hand, by me, into two enormous boxes and placed into the spare bedroom where it wouldn’t be handled by anyone but me. But still, completely packed and not really usable. And it stayed that way (well, I kind of unloaded it into sinks and a bathtub recently) while I waited for my vanity to be ready for use. I did break into my older stuff, but a lot of recent purchases, swaps, and other acquirements have sat waiting for me to get moving on getting my makeup room slash okay FINE IT’S JUST MY BEDROOM assembled and ready to go. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that last night, the final piece to my desk was finally installed and I’ve moved my stuff out of the bathtub.

mvennui

Unfortunately, I only made it so far before I was stricken with ennui.

Also, I realized that there are still a couple of boxes completely illogically missing due to some weird packing, which include my lighted mirror and my Happiness Hippo and my More Than Just a Pretty Face note that Ulta sent me, all of which can be seen in this picture here, and how am I supposed to do my makeup without any of that stuff? Why did I move everything out of the bathtub? What’s the point of it? What’s the point of anything? Oh, I’m thinking about putting a big mirror on that blank wall there, not a decorative one, but one of those big, blank, flat, bathroom slab style ones, what do you think?

SPEAKING OF ILLOGICAL PACKING, YOU GUYS, OH MY LANDS, LET ME GET BACK TO THE MALL.

So we’re at the mall and I’m wasting as much of Penelope’s time and energy as I can, okay? Look:

LASTMALLING

Blissfully unaware there are no malls where she’s going.

MISSINGBRIBE

Ineffective good behavior bribe number eight of undetermined.

When we got home, the packers still weren’t done, of course, since they’d arrived late. Penny and I went back into the guest room where there was no chance in hell of her taking any kind of nap, and Phil and I switched off sitting with her and sitting in the living room awkwardly supervising the dudes putting everything we own into boxes. Eventually, late in the afternoon, they left for the day. They weren’t done and were going to have to return the next day, Tuesday, which was a huge pain in the ass. The estimate was that the whole thing – packing and loading – would take two days, which was why, as I mentioned yesterday, our dogs were boarded Monday/Tuesday. Instead, they were going to be packing alone on Monday/Tuesday and then loading on Wednesday. Ugh. But with moving and stuff like that, all these kinds of things end up having you over a barrel. What are you even going to do about it?

They cleared out for the day and I walked over to the kitchen counter to grab a granola bar. Granola bar. Granola… bar? HUNGRY. PHIL. WHERE GRANOLA. Well. See. The thing is. You know how he had had to stay behind to supervise the packing while I hauled Penelope around all day to keep her out of the way? He actually wasn’t really watching that closely and they packed all the food. All the food we just bought the day before, the food and the paper plates and cups and such that we were going to live on for the rest of the week. All of it. That we just bought. The night before. Gone. At this point, we’d already been eating out quite a bit, and while it wasn’t exactly gourmet stuff we were talking about, it was FOOD THAT COULD BE PREPARED AND CONSUMED IN OUR HOUSE and NO, I did NOT want to order more pizza, everyone put your shoes on, WE ARE GOING TO THE GROCERY STORE. Mama has a ramen habit.

I was slightly – okay, entirely – mollified when Phil had to hike up his pants through the entire store because under his watchful eye, the movers packed his only belt.

We got home and got Penny settled down in her room on the air mattress for the rest of the evening and I came out into the kitchen for my first time to really catch up with Phil in what seemed like days. We’d known we were moving for a long time and things went really slow for a while as we were kind of jerked around by the process, but then everything went SUPER fast, and we just kind of passed each other back and forth for a bit there, with no real chance to even exchange any information, like “Hey, protect our food.”

He came in from the office area and said, “These guys are really thorough, they even packed the stuff in the drawers.”

“What do you mean.”
“You know, those white and orange cabinets in the office, they packed the stuff in the drawers.”
“Do you mean ALL THE DRAWERS?”
“I don’t know, I guess?”
“PHILLIP GENE, YOU PROMISED.”

Now, here I need to back up and tell you a little bit more about what I told you before. If you don’t want something packed, like things you’re going to need during the move – medication, clothing, phone chargers – you need to put it in a “Do Not Pack” area. The movers never came into our spare bedroom because that was our designated area. I don’t own a lot of underpants, so I also put all my underpants in there. Because, you know. My underpants. Also, I don’t own a lot of underpants. I needed them all.

But on top of that, Phil told me that when they move dressers and stuff, they just wrap the whole thing, wholesale, in plastic. Just the whole thing, drawers and contents and all, and move it just like that. So I took something of mine – something of mine – and I put it in Phil’s sock drawer. You know. His sock drawer. Where there were already some other things any way. Some other things.

I took something of mine.

And I put it in the sock drawer. The sock drawer.

With the other things.

Back to our screaming at Phil program.

HE PROMISED ME.

I went running into the bedroom which was FILLED with packed and sealed boxes.

I flung open the sock drawer.

EMPTY.

I looked at the boxes.

ITEM. IT SAYS ITEM. WHY.

ITEM.

You guys. I took my turn sitting on the couch while a man packed up our bedroom. I sat on the couch and smiled at him whenever he walked by.

I was told there would be plastic wrap.

And? AND? The same guy, the bedroom packing one, was the one who came back alone to finish up the next day.

You know what, though? By the time we got to New Mexico, we’d been through so much other stuff with the car rental saga, and our dog, and the ridiculous unpackers on the other end that it all seemed kind of faded. Maybe it wasn’t so bad. How bad could it be, right? I mean, sock drawer. There were socks. How meticulous are strangers with other people’s stuff, anyway? You just dump a dresser drawer and then move on to the next one. End of the day, getting tired and hungry, want to go home. I mean, he didn’t even have time to add an “s” on to “item in drawers.” Clearly not detail oriented. It’s fine. It’s fine.

wemeetagain

We meet again.

Item hand wrapped in packing paper. That’s all I have to say about that.

Temerity Jane, slightly to the right.

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

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

splashpad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

brinkleybi

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

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

doubledog

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

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

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

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

eyeprotection

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

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

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

HELTER SKELTER

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

I NEED THIS SPACE

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

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

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

150 WHATS?

150 what?

150 days since I last posted? No! You might think so, but I actually posted on Monday!

150 days until the next time I post after this time? That’s possible!

150 words in this post? That’s unlikely.

IMG_20140312_165238

150 lipsticks in these MUJI drawers that finally arrived that I will tell you all about in definitely less than 150 days because I’m in love with them and I’m convinced they’re the solution to my makeup being all over my Safety Bathroom counter (I had had it all nicely organized in the two ridiculously pathetic teeny tiny not actually even drawer-drawers in the counter itself, but I can’t work like that, I need to see everything, so within a couple of days of getting it all nicely stuffed away, it was all everywhere all over again, but now it WON’T BE because it’s in CLEAR DRAWERS, which are definitely the trend in the moderately-sized-makeup-collection world (with IKEA ALEX drawers obviously being the top choice in the mega-collection sector), but it’s a trend for a reason, because people with collections need to SEE THEIR STUFF, I am SAYING)? Anyway, no. There aren’t 150 of anything in there.

NO! None of that stuff.

ACTUALLY, Penelope is 150 weeks old today. I didn’t calculate that. You sign up for all these things when you’re first pregnant and they follow you forever.

So Penny is getting really close to three years old now, that’s next month, but I haven’t been updating too much recently, and I figured if I just suddenly sprang that on you, “HEY, PENELOPE IS THREE!,” you might be shocked at the passing of time or maybe might even have forgotten that I had a daughter in the glow of my MUJI drawers or maybe these new Sigma brushes I was finally pestilence-free enough to touch, but not yet enough to use, it seems the age of approaching-three carries with it deadly accuracy for coughing directly into my eyeballs and up my nostrils and also licking Cheetos before offering them to me as a snack:

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Have not yet worked out a brush storage solution.

You can tell which brushes are my new ones because they’re the ones that look like I actually practice what I screech about regular brush washing. It’s okay. I’m excited about all the things I totally promised you I was going to post about, too. (I didn’t forget any of them: the skincare stuff I use, the foundation hunt I went on, the new brushes, the Hourglass powder, the Makeup Geek shadows, and some other stuff I’ve picked up here and there.) It’s totally understandable if you forgot all about Penny in the whirlwind of the entirely too much shopping I did in the start of the year. I left her in an elevator in my rush to Sephora once. That is not true. That’s why I’m easing you up to her birthday with this update on Penelope at 150 weeks old!

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At 150 weeks old, Penelope is pretty average size. She’s not very big or very small. We think she’s huge, of course, but she’s not. Since she’s a former “failure to thrive” baby, though, she is always going to look like a giantess to me. I remember after we got her out of the hospital after that first time with the failure to thrive diagnosis (which was actually due to a whole other thing) and she was creeping up on 11 lbs as a 4.5 month old baby, I proudly said to her pediatrician who I really liked at the time, “Isn’t she HUGE?,” and the doctor says to me, “Oh, honey… no.”

ASIDE: When I’m King, probably the ninth or tenth order of business is going to be RENAMING THAT AWFUL “failure to thrive” PHRASE FOR THE LOVE OF SHIT, maybe to something like, “Parents Trying Their Very Very Hardest But Baby Not Making With Growth” or “Parents Obviously Working Asses Off at Trying to Be Parents, Child Already Showing Propensity for Not Going Along with Plans” or “PARENTS VERY CLEARLY GOOD PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING NO WRONG AND REALLY TRYING VERY HARD AND SOMEONE GET THE MOTHER A TISSUE AND A CHAIR AND EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE FINE WE WILL HANDLE THIS TOGETHER” syndrome.

Anyway, I don’t know exactly how big she is, but she’s almost three and she comfortably wears 3T clothing, so I guess about average. That seems about right to me. At her last well check, she was hovering right in the 40th percentiles for height and weight, but setting that aside, she looks good. All her bendy parts bend and her straight parts are straight. She does all the running and jumping with both feet, stacks things and kicks them, and does everything well enough that I haven’t even thought to glance at a milestone chart since she was just turning two, probably. No reason to even think about it. That’s been nice, considering Early Intervention was at our house at this point a couple of years ago. No need to even save that paperwork anymore.

I realize that none of what happened leading up to Penelope’s birth or what happened while I was in labor or right after her birth or her own health issues for her first two years are going to have any affect on her life going forward. Rationally, I know that. We completely closed the books on her kidney issues back in September – we don’t even have to go to the emergency room for a high fever anymore. Well, of course we do for a spectacularly high fever like anyone else would, but we used to have to – anyway, it was a thing. The last thing, and now we don’t have to do that, and I think now I for real really realize that EVERYTHING is done. Technically before now, but right now, at 150 weeks, done DONE. She’s here, full size, no heart issues, no breathing issues, no kidney issues, and just a scar left from surgery that even almost already totally faded away. And everything happened and resolved in just 150 weeks! That’s hardly any time at all (yes it is, it’s forever).

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If you meet Penelope at 150 weeks, the first thing she will say to you, almost definitely, is “Wanna see my cool trick?” The cool trick is almost always putting her head on the ground and one leg in the air. Unless you’ve seen that one. If you’ve seen that one, the cool trick is totally improvised on the spot. I don’t know what it might be. She might throw something at you. Definitely ask her to show you the one with her leg in the air again, it’s the safest.

She really likes Toy Story (the first one and the second one, she might like the third one but I’ve banned it when I’m in the playroom because I think it’s dumb and it doesn’t make sense) and Monsters Inc. She also likes Handy Manny and Trotro. But her absolute favorite thing to do is to stream the iPad to the television (Phil and I don’t actually know how she does this – we know it can be done, it’s just that she takes the iPad and does it herself, we’ve never arranged this for her) and watch video after video of this woman unboxing and playing with various PlayDoh and Barbie toys. She somehow locates a playlist from the suggested videos on YouTube, sets it to go on the television, and then goes about her own normal playing in the playroom accompanied by videos of an adult playing on the television. Phil likes video games. I only watch Korean television. We’ve all got our things.

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One of my very favorite things about Penelope right now is the way she talks. She’s a pretty decent talker, as I’ve mentioned before, but she has her mispronunciations like any toddler. And like any parent, I’m pretty attached to them and I’ll be sad to see them go. It’s not things like “emergery” for “emergency” that are my very favorite, though. No, these are the ones I’m working my hardest to mimic in order to preserve:

  • pooth taste
  • poilet taper
  • beep death

Of course when I go to write them down, I can’t think of more, but those are some of Pen’s most common types of mispronunciation. Other kinds don’t really stick around too long. She gets very frustrated when she doesn’t say a word correctly and will specifically request help, “I can’t say word, help me say word.” It’s kind of shitty, adorable toddler-speak is supposed to be part of the deal, but I’m hanging on to poilet taper as long as possible.

My other very favorite thing about her is that she is SO into whatever Phil and I are into. She wants to be with us and around us and do what we’re doing and make us laugh and make us happy and she mimics us and acts like us and does things that she thinks we’ll like. None of that is revolutionary or unique to Penny or something that I think my super special kid does that yours doesn’t. It’s just something that’s really great. She loves to sit with Phil and press the jump button while he plays video games. She says, “Mama, can we go in your Safety Bathroom and do makeup?” and it is the genuinely VERY BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO HER EVER when I say yes and I wonder why I don’t say yes more. Ugh, why don’t I say yes more? I should.

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At 150 weeks old, Penelope does whatever the hell she wants. I mean, we tell her what to do, and she hears us, but then she doesn’t do it, or she keeps on not doing it, or keeps on doing what we told her to stop doing. Three is really soon, and Phil and I have turned to each other with slow motion horror face and realized three is not going to be any better than two, it’s actually louder and throwier and screamier and people in public can actually hear what she’s saying to us when she’s being kind of awful. And I know those of you with kids who have already gone from two to three are like, I knew it, or I told you so, or I wanted to tell you so, or I’m about to go to the comments because I actually want to tell you so some more, but look, we went through two and it was a challenge and you kind of think, it’s okay, three is coming, and it will be different, and I guess our minds didn’t really ALLOW us to think it might be different BAD, but you know what guys, I think it’s going to be different BAD.

Not bad like my CHILD is bad, because she’s not. SHE’S NOT. She’s fabulous. Look at these pictures. SAY POILET TAPER OUT LOUD. JUST ONE TIME. Penelope is fabulous. But toddlers, man. They will make your (my) shoulders curl down and then your (my) neck bend until your ears just settle right into the little shoulder cave you (I) made and just consider moving in there. Just move into the shoulder cave and live there. For a while. A long while.

Oh gosh. PENELOPE IS A HUNDRED AND FIFTY WEEKS OLD. Can you BELIEVE everything that has even happened? CAN YOU EVEN.

Here, ignore the rest of us in this picture.

IGNOREUS

 

Lip balm used to be the highlight of my day but now it’s just part of it.

Back when I was pregnant with Penelope, I was on bed rest for twelve weeks. A lot of people have jokingly admitted to me that the Butt Rust era was probably just about the best time ever for this blog, and they’re probably right. I was posting almost every day, definitely every weekday, a lot of times even twice. I had a lot of time to sit – lay – around and think about ridiculous stuff, when I wasn’t being shuttled to two or three appointments a week, or being checked in and out of labor and delivery on the regular. I also did a lot of puzzle books, and I colored, and I watched all of Battlestar Galactica and all of Wings. It was definitely an interesting time, in both the most extreme sense of interesting and the totally opposite of interesting kind of way.

When you have to stay in bed all day, there’s just no real delineation between daytime laying in bed and nighttime laying in bed. It’s all just laying in bed. So I got in this habit of putting on my lemon EOS lip balm at night. I really liked it. But I would only do it right before I settled down to sleep at night, which was different, of course, from my mid-morning nap and my afternoon nap and my predinner eyeshutting and any other sleeping-because-what-else-am-I-going-to-do. It didn’t take long before it was the highlight of my whole day. That’s kind of a pretty shitty situation to be in, one where putting on lip balm to signify the dividing line between “okay, I’m laying here because I’m medically required to lay here so as not to accidentally have a stroke on my way to the kitchen” and “now I’m laying here because it’s regular person sleeping hours.” It was a really good time for my blog, for sure, but that was a distracting shell over the whole wretchedness of the entire situation. It’s long past now, so I don’t see the need to re-explain all the medical details I don’t think I ever really explained in the first place, but I think it’s reasonable to assume that anyone reading knows that a pregnant woman confined to her bed for months on end isn’t there for fun and games and that things aren’t good. Aren’t good. At. All.

If Phil and I stick to our current plan – there aren’t guarantees of anything, but it is the plan in place at the moment of this writing, which is today but not tomorrow or any other day you might read this, so this sentence doesn’t actually bind me or Phil or anyone to anything nor can it be referenced in any kind of future “GOTCHA!” way should plans change – to have just one kid, I don’t think I’ll ever really come to grips with my feelings of unfairness with regard to Garlic Bread, and the guilt attached to having feelings of unfairness related to a living, healthy child. I think the advent of the jokey “first world problems” meme has summed up the feeling in a tongue in cheek kind of way, the feeling of being unable to acknowledge something annoying (or legitimately shitty) without at the same time recognizing that some – many – people have it much worse. First world problem: no fortune cookies with my takeout. Real problem: SOME PEOPLE HAVE NO COOKIES AT ALL EVER. Effect:  I’m kind of a bad person for even giving a crap about my fortune cookie, considering all the cookieless people. Yet, I still have no cookie and I did want a cookie. I’m going down an analogy path I don’t want to take, let’s regroup below.

Right now, as the plan stands, we’ve got Penelope and that’s it. Sometimes I wish – well, wish is the wrong word, and so is wonder, which I also tried, so I’m just going to stick with wish – that things would have been different with her pregnancy. Of course I do, it was wretched. I want a do-over, I want another one. Another pregnancy, that went the way pregnancy is supposed to go. All the way to 40 weeks – or, by the way the whole Garlic Bread thing shaped up in the end, maybe more than that. All the way to the end ON TWO FEET. To have a whole maternity wardrobe, instead of not bothering – men’s  gym shorts and t-shirts are fine when you never need to be out of pajamas. All that superficial kind of stuff, minus, you know, the medical misery and discomfort and danger and all of that. I’d like the whole kid experience without the giant ball of negative attached to the front end of it all. I’ve only got the one kid and only plan to have the one. I’d like another pregnancy with the same result, the same kid. A different, better pregnancy. It’s been over two years and I still think the whole thing was unfair. But then, I’m an adult. I can’t even think the word “unfair” without feeling like an enormous brat. I can’t think about something in my life being unfair without thinking about how good I do have it compared to others. To people whose pregnancies similar to mine had much worse outcomes. To people whose children aren’t healthy. Or to people who just want to be pregnant at all. At least I was pregnant and had Penelope, and she’s here and we get to keep her. So, then, guilt. Because sure, getting her was unpleasant, but she’s here now, and not everyone gets to have a perfect everything, and the whole saga of me getting pregnant, and the labor, and the delivery, and the NICU, and the next hospitalization, and the postpartum anxiety, and the VUR, and the year of monitoring and specialists, and the subsequent surgery, and the more monitoring – anyway, that’s getting past pregnancy, a bit – all of that is done and finished and we’re here now with our healthy kid.

Anyway, I was reading Swistle’s blog the other day because SHE ALSO GOT A TURBIE TWIST FOR CHRISTMAS (actually she gave some, but she’s also enjoying one, so close enough for bonding). That’s not why I was reading it, I always read Swistle’s blog. I have a category in my feed reader that serves up my “first to read” blogs whenever I open it, and hers is in there, among the ones I read first. I would have read it whether or not she got a Turbie Twist. But I mention the Turbie Twist because I was driven by our new connection to comment, so I was on her actual blog rather than reading through my reader, which caused me to be reminded of her tagline – one of the best ones in blogging, I think, because it neatly shuts down a lot of the common complaints about bloggers/blogging, and also helps me (because, ME) feel okay about a lot of the things I have to say here, and, okay, have to say in general.

“I acknowledge my luckiness, without giving up my claim to the suckiness.”

And while I washing dishes last night and thinking about this post, I kept coming back to that line, because I guess I do. I acknowledge that we have Penelope, and we are very lucky for it, especially in light of the incredibly large range of child-related struggles of friends and acquaintances.  But at the same time, I don’t give up my (our, but honestly, Phil needs to just write his own blog) claim to how sucky certain parts of it all have been. To be clear, no one I know has ever shamed me for dwelling or struggling with my experience with Garlic Bread – sometimes the opposite, in fact. I tend to separate Garlic Bread off from Penelope and deal with them separately, or one not really at all, except for brief flashes of unfairness/regret, which is of course followed quickly by that guilt. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to really get past that Garlic Bread/Penelope separation, though, and the regrets and frustrations and stress attached to the whole thing, if every time I think back to that time, any negative thoughts are slapped down by guilt and self-shaming about how good I actually had/have it. The fact is, there was a long stretch of time where the highlight of my day was putting on lip balm, because it marked the end point of another day that I made it through without a medical emergency, without having to check into the hospital for the duration, and without having to delivery a severely premature baby.

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Vaseline Lip Therapy in Rosy Lips

EOS lip balm in the weird ball shape is probably still my favorite and most useful lip balm, but I wanted to tell you about this Best/Worst most Useful/Useless lip balm in the world. I talked a while ago about how my face was getting really bad at facing, remember? You don’t need to, this is the Internet, it’s still available for you to refer to forever, even if I start to regret saying it some day. It’s right here. My lips were not excluded from that issue. This isn’t usually a huge problem, because I tend to lean toward darker lipsticks which cover a multitude of sadnesses and crimes and tear-filled journal entries about raindrops and, I don’t know, I don’t have much beyond surface feelings, I’m trying to draw on a teenage experience I didn’t have. But I do love mattes these days, and also, I have a few lighter shades that are essential for my newer attempts at a no-makeup makeup look, in my efforts to be a little more appropriate for various occasions, see question 31 of the 2013 year end wrap up. If your lips are all dried up, matte lipsticks and light shades are going to look like a pile of hot garbage.

One of the things that you absolutely need to do if you’re going to wear lighter lipstick shades or ESPECIALLY with mattes like the Revlon Matte Balms (I really like this formula and haven’t yet picked up a color I don’t like) or NYX Matte lipsticks (I like Alabama and I think I’ve only tried one other in the line, so unless you’re looking for a deep, deep red, I can’t offer a lot on that variety, but the reviews are fantastic) (also, I was going to put Amazon affiliate links here, because someone insinuated that the fact that I haven’t used them at all in a million years of blogging was unintelligent of me, but as I suspected, I found it hasslely, so let’s cut out the middle man, and some of you get really offended that I dared, and I get offended that you got offended, and we all talk behind each other’s backs, and then move on like it never even happened), do you remember what we were talking about? I was about to tell you that aside from lip balm – I really want to type lip BLAM! – you also need to exfoliate your lips. There are a couple of ways to do this. Soft tooth brush, homemade sugar scrub, purchased lip scrub, any kind of scrub.

Personally, for exfoliation, I’ve been using the e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator. It’s from the Studio Line of e.l.f. products, and it’s $3. It’s basically a sugar scrub, formed into a lipstick. Big grains of sugar in some kind of binding material. At first, the top layer of the moisturizing, binding stuff made it feel not especially effective, but after a few uses, that wears away and the sugar does get quite abrasive. I don’t think that this is anything special, though, compared to other lip scrubs you could buy or make, so it depends on the type of person you are. If you like making this kind of stuff, do that. If you want to buy a different brand, do that. The things this one has going for it – it’s $3, it’s in a convenient form. I don’t like sticking my fingers into my makeup/products very much. It’s a holdover from when I had really, really terrible skin in middle school and just reflexively try to keep my hands off my face and keep my hands off of things that are going to go on my face. e.l.f. products are sold at most Targets, but I haven’t seen this particular one at mine, which is a pain. The site does run constant sales, though, if you sign up for the mailing list, which is of the creepy variety that emails you immediately after you visit the site to tell you it missed you. I like to wait for a sale that offers a combination of free shipping and a percentage off the Studio line to grab a few things. The brand is very hit and miss, but there are a few things I like. In general, products in black packaging (the Studio line, $3 or $6) are better than those in white (usually $1-$2). There are a couple of Studio brushes I like, along with the HD setting powder, and I’m going on and on here, but if you’re interested in the lip exfoliator and can’t find it in store, there are a few things on the site that, when on sale, make a stock-up purchase worthwhile.

When I was Christmas shopping, I spotted this Vaseline Lip Therapy in Rosy Lips among the stocking stuffers at Target. I don’t know if it was supposed to be there, because it was the only one, but since my lips were about to set out across the desert to find themselves and possibly their real family among the cacti on some kind of vision quest, I grabbed it on a whim. It has been the best/worst and most useful/useless lip balm ever.

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With an elephant, for scale.

First, I am pretty sure I grabbed this because it is adorable. It is a tub of Vaseline, except it is miniature. It is 0.25 oz. It’s Vaseline for ants. Vaseline for terrifying ants. Terrifying ants with chapped lips. It’s tiny size lends to the idea that you just pop it in your purse for on the go lip balm application. Just reach in your purse, and BLAM! Tiny Vaseline, for your lips. Except, no. You can’t use this that way at all. By you, I mean me, and probably also you. I’m really making an effort to think about this reasonably and not just in the “my way is obviously the only way” kind of way, but I’m having a hard time, because my way is obviously the only way.

Backing up. I got this in the “shade” Rosy Lips, because it was the only one there at the time, but I probably would have anyway. This are a bitch and a half (hi, sorry, the language, let’s talk about it tomorrow) to find online, so I’m not linking to them anywhere, because you should look for them in stores. Since I got mine before Christmas, I’ve seen them in Target with the Vaseline, not with other lip balms and lip products. They’re $1.77 at my Target, and there were other kinds – original Vaseline, cocoa butter, and maybe something else? I could look it up. I put “shade” in quotation marks up there, because while it’s clearly pink in the tub, it doesn’t make my lips especially rosy. Since my liptone is a fairly neutral pink, I swatched it on the back of my hand to check, and there was no rosiness there, either. So you wouldn’t be missing out on any flattering color if you decided to go with cocoa butter or some medicated version that might or might not exist, I don’t know, because I didn’t look it up.

I’ve been putting this on at night, after using the e.l.f. lip treatment, along with a whole pile of other stuff I’ve started using on my face in the battle against the side effects of my medication and also the fact that, FINE, I GUESS I’M ALSO SEVERAL YEARS OLDER THAN I WAS SEVERAL YEARS AGO. I don’t have anything to say about any of that yet, because lips show things much faster than faces. I may or may not report later. I’m unreliable. (HEY, POTENTIAL FUTURE BOSSES, WHAT’S UP.) And it’s good! It’s thick. It’s… Vaseline. (Tangerines.) It’s thicker than I’d use in the daytime, I think, but I also use a thicker lotion at night, so it works in that way. I’m really pleased with it as part of my nighttime routine and how it’s helping combat not only the dehydrating side effects of my medications, but also the winter air and my nighttime mouth breathing. That’s a pretty tall order, and it’s hanging in.

BUT YOU CAN’T GO ANYWHERE WITH THIS. This little tub – it’s a TUB. There’s no application method with this. You must stick your finger directly in it. And it’s Vaseline. (Magazines.) When, throughout your day, is an appropriate time for your index finger to be coated in Vaseline? That’s setting aside the long term ramifications of sticking your finger repeatedly into something goopy you apply to your mouth, back and forth, over and over again. It’s not good. You can’t apply this on the go. Maybe at the very beginning of the tub, when the surface of the goop is at the very top, you can swipe a light layer onto the pad of your index finger and then onto your lips, and that’s fine. As use continues, though, the product gets lower down in there, and the size of the tub makes the angle of… finger-sticker-innery… such that there has to be a slight scooping motion, meaning that one, there’s always going to be just a little too much goop, and two, if you have fingernails of any length, some is going to get under. So you have to clean your finger after you put this on. World-ending? No. But I think that means this is not an out of the house lip balm.

Even if you don’t mind a good finger-gooping now and then, we were all becolded over Christmas, and you know when Vaseline shines? When every part of you is rattley and wheezey and dried out and husked up. I use a Q-tip to get my Vaseline lip therapy out of the tub each time and I only dip it once, because if not, then the tub would ALSO BE BECOLDED. AND RUINED. And do you KNOW how many times I would go to Target before I remembered to pick up a new tub? Probably a THOUSAND. Which means that I would say a lot of bad things when trying to apply an appropriate shade of lipstick for church (which no one determines but me, but still), because my lips would look like HOT GARBAGE, and that’s what happens when you have a lip balm that is SUPER USEFUL in healing crappy lips, with the most USELESS format ever.

Except, you can just use a Q-tip and also not take it anywhere and just use it at home, at bedtime, and I also recommend using it in tandem with your lip exfoliating method of choice. You’ll probably want to stick with your regular purse/pocket balm for daytime needs, but I think this is a pretty solid addition to whatever nighttime routine you’ve got going on. It’s just a regular part of my day, not a significant one. You can probably find Vaseline Lip Therapy at Target, or any number of other drugstores.

 

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.

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.

BUT LET ME GET TO MY POINT, HERE IT IS, PENELOPE SCRIBBLED ALL OVER MY NEW SHOES!!

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.

“I JUST LOOKED AWAY FOR A SECOND,” he said.

ENTIRE LIFE? MADE.

Okay, I will keep you, WITH YOUR PERFECTLY-TIMED SHOE RUINING!

*****

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.

EXCEPT.

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.

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.