Tag Archives: toddlers

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.

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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

 

Tiny body, big feelings.

I don’t remember where I left off, so let’s start from right here.

I’ve spent a lot of the last… recent amount of time – and here I should say that I haven’t been keeping track of time in any sort of real, measurable way. I actually wear a watch sometimes – I mentioned I might like a watch for Christmas, and Phil bought me three, each more exactly in line with my tastes than the last – and I was wearing one yesterday at Ulta and I had to do something for fifteen minutes, that’s a story for a whole different day that both you and I know probably won’t be tomorrow, and the woman who was involved with doing the thing with me said, “What time do you have?,” and we both peered into my watch and I said, “I don’t actually know, I just like the way it looks.” And it’s been kind of like that recently, in that time has been going by and I have had the ability right at hand to measure how much of it has passed, but not really the desire or oomph of effort required to really do it. So it’s been some amount of time that I have spent, recently, in preparation for PJs at TJ’s, which starts, officially, three weeks from today. Are you coming? I’m so excited to see you. Are you not coming? I’m so bummed you can’t make it this year. I’m really looking forward to seeing you next year, especially if it’s our triumphant reunion/first meeting ever. Both of those would be equally exciting for me. If next year is going to be your fourth visit, I’ll point you to the trash bags and dip bowls. You know what to do.

To be honest, though, at this point, most of the planning for PJs is shopping, and a few years in, I have gotten slightly wiser and more of the shopping is done from a chair than in previous years, so that leaves… all the rest of the time, however much that has been. A lot, I assume. It feels like it’s been a lot. What, a year or two, at least? I’ve (well, we, in case anyone thinks I’m not giving my husband credit for his share of parenting, I totally do, but as I’ve said many times before, a person who would like his side of the story fairly represented is a person who maybe should stop registering domain names and then not actually writing his own blog, maybe) been dealing with Penelope and her big feelings in her tiny body.

I know you didn’t think the title was about me – my feelings are small and more than adequately housed in what we’ll call luxury accommodations. They’re in there, they’re comfortable way down in there. I think they’re the same size as when I got them. I think I was probably born with the same size feelings I was going to have for my entire life. I think that makes sense, because I think Penelope has got the same size feelings now as I’ve probably got. Maybe bigger, but it’s hard to tell, since she’s so much smaller.

So she’s got these feelings – happy or sad or whatever, a whole range, really, almost definitely as nuanced as yours or mine but much easier for her to explain or for me to explain to her in broader categories like happy, sad, angry, ascribing to her about four or six feelings in total when in reality, there’s probably about 75 million or so – and they’re very big and she’s very small. Eventually, her body will be in line, size-wise, with her feelings, but for now, she’s got the full set in one size fits all, and that is almost never true, but that’s how they come, so that’s how she’s got to deal. Or how we’ve all got to deal, rather, because she’s having them all, but her small casing is not enough to hold them.

But that’s not really the problem, right, because we don’t expect people to hold their feelings. Well, some people do. I don’t know, if that’s your way, that’s fine, I guess, if that’s how you want to do things, I say, using the most judgmental sentence form possible in order to demonstrate without actually saying that I totally don’t agree with your way of doing things and think it’s kind of weird. No, instead, in general, we expect people to release them or work them out or handle them in some way, and everyone has their ways (except, I guess, if you don’t, which is fine, I GUESS), except for toddlers. Who have feelings, big ones, and tiny bodies, with no little release valves on them. They haven’t developed their ways.

Not, for example, like me, with my small feelings in their luxury accommodations, that are not only totally comfortable, but have beaten a well worn feelings-path out (hint: it’s through my mouth – “YOU ARE A SHIT, YOU ARE A TOTAL SHIT, YOU ARE THE REASON I CAN’T STOP SAYING SHIT.” (Someone won’t stop turning on the air conditioning in the house at night.)) and also a well worn feelings-path back in (hint: it’s also through my mouth).

No, she has got big feelings on the inside and there are no preferred feelings-paths beaten down yet for her. She wakes up from her nap sometimes so weepy. Just can’t stop crying. I ask her, “Are you having sad feelings?” and she wails, “YES!” and I ask her, “What do you think will help?” and she doesn’t know. So I offer her this or that and some things make her cry even more and some things sometimes help and sometimes don’t. Sometimes a hug will help, sometimes it’s the WORST THING EVER. Sometimes she needs to be left alone to gather herself, sometimes I’VE ABANDONED HER and NO ONE LOVES HER. Seriously, she will lay there and rattle off a list of who doesn’t love her, from me right down to our dogs, by name. No one she has ever met has ever suggested for half a second that they don’t love her, just for the record. Anyway, sometimes she just wakes up very sad, and while that happens to everyone, the thing about it that makes it so tough is that she’s just as confused by it as she is sad. And of course we eventually work her out of it and cheer her up and life goes on.

Other times, though, she’s angry. Or excited or worked up. Or upset for some reason. And those less calm big feelings have gotten to be very tough for us. And you should understand that I’m not saying any of this like I think it’s unique to Penelope. No, instead, I often remind myself – and Phil – that this is the age, not our child. I mean, of course she’s our kid, but this is not the entirety of Penelope, this isn’t who she is and who she’s going to be. She’s two and a half and this is what two and a half is (and please, this is not the type of post where you tell me in the comments the horrors of three and four and teenagers, that’s not helpful or kind), and it’s beneficial for us to remember that when we’re coping with this stuff – that what we’re dealing with definitely is not unique to her or to us. That big feelings, tiny body is happening in mini-explosions all around our neighborhood right this second. And with all the parents we know. So I’m not writing this in a “listen to the very special snowflake unique struggles that I’m having with my especially difficult child” way. I’m just telling you what’s happening. And tomorrow (probably not tomorrow), I’ll tell you about what I’ve been doing – pretty successfully – with a kind of difficult dry skin problem I’ve been dealing with. You know those flaky peelies that crop up when you try to put foundation on when your skin looks normal otherwise, right up until you applied the foundation? Yeah, that. Ugh. Awful. Been working at it for a while, really pleased with how it’s coming along.

Anyway, I was talking about when Penelope gets angry or worked up or agitated. That’s when we really struggle with her not yet knowing how to handle her feelings in a more constructive or positive manner. There’s lots of shrieking. Just a wordless shriek at whoever she is mad at. Sometimes she’s not even mad at someone, though. Just mad. There’s also lots of throwing. Dangerous throwing, even. My reflexes are really improving, although as you have probably surmised, I was pretty lithe and catlike to begin with, so there was hardly room for much betterment there. Of course she hits, too, and kicks. I don’t mean to make her sound like a demon. This behavior isn’t constant. She’s actually a fairly good listener for her age, and her public behavior is on point most of the time. It’s just that when she becomes overwhelmed with some feeling, she just can’t control herself. At a point where some people would work through their feelings by talking it out, or exercising, or eating a box of donuts, or saying shit a lot, she just starts behaving in the only ways she knows, all of which are extremely physical.

Obviously, that’s not good. Ideally, we’d figure out why she was angry and address the situation. Ideally. But most of the time, she doesn’t know why she’s angry. We don’t even know for sure if she is angry, or if it’s something else. Upset at something else? Just really excited about something? Luckily, Penelope is extremely verbal (I actually will brag about her for a second on that one, she’s out of control and outstrips every kid her age we encounter with the talking) and I’m getting better at trying to get her to explain what’s going on, but a lot of times, it’s hampered by a trip to time out, because I’m sorry, I just can’t take a kick to the face and then sit and talk calmly about your feelings, because right then my feelings are that I just got kicked in the face and I want to say shit a lot and I’m trying not to do that. In front of Penelope. As much.

In the moment when something is being thrown at you, or you’re being repeatedly hit while you say, “No hitting, no hitting,” it is very hard to remember that the tiny person in front of you might not be doing those things because she is a crazy person with no sense of boundaries or self control (actually, a lot of times it is exactly that), but instead because she has not spent 30+ years perfecting the string of rage-filled invectives that she personally finds instantly calms the feelings and prepares the mind to deal with the underlying cause of said feelings. Rather, the tiny person is just stuffed full of unidentifiable feelings jabbing pokily at a too-small host body with no positive (okay, questionably positive in some cases) way to come out. And it can be really hard to discern the two – crazy/boundary-less vs tiny/jabby feelings – when you’ve just had that frippin frappin toy train whipped at your head AGAIN. And then even once you do have it reliably figured out, then what? EVEN THEN, THEN WHAT?

Penelope is delightful. She is so funny. She will blow you away with her talking, and don’t think I’m not going to demand that the people who come to PJs back me up on that, because I could just BLOW UP ALL OVER THE PLACE with how proud I am of her when people’s mouths drop open in shock. When she and I are talking, if she doesn’t know how to say something, she says to me, “Mama, I can’t say the word, help me say the word,” and then we try words back and forth until we figure out what she’s trying to say BECAUSE SHE’S A GENIUS AND I’LL DELETE YOUR COMMENT IF YOU SAY SHE’S NOT.

It’s just this one part, and it feels big, because it’s important, because I care a lot about helping her express her feelings appropriately, and it also feels big because these loud and throwy periods, even when the incidents themselves are short, expand in my mind to sometimes feel like that was my whole day. But it’s not. I can hear her right now, playing with Phil, and they’re laughing and having fun and these outbursts are not all of her or all about her, or even a giant part. They’re a hard part and I think about them a lot, but like I said about – this isn’t all she is or unique to her, this is just a phase and it’s the one we’re in, and it’s what I’m thinking about today, because it feels important to me. Maybe – probably – when she’s 25, I’ll look back and I’ll realize that how I handled the development of how she handles her own feelings really meant nothing in the grand scheme of parenting, I overthought this and underthought something else. So be it, it’ll probably happen again, too.

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.

There is no good cake here.

I was going to write today about how one of my biggest irrational fears is that doctors will think that I’m a pain pill seeker, so I tend to refuse pain medication, as if that will make doctors take my pain more seriously. As if NOT TAKING PAIN MEDICATION will make medical professionals believe my pain is SERIOUS. I also refuse to finish bottles of pain medication I am prescribed (thank goodness some doctors just prescribe the medication without asking me, as was the case with the recent double ear infection, because I fret myself into a frenzy trying to come up with a NON-SUSPICIOUS WAY to ask for relief from what must be OBVIOUS terrible pain once a doctor has glanced into my head a declared the whole thing a wasteland of infection), because there is a prize for leaving some of the medication in the bottle. Not that doctors can see my bedside table and see the half-finished bottles of medication rolling around there, but they must ESP into my head and think,

“Ah, here is a lady who does not finish her pain medication prescriptions. No, she takes the useless Tylenol and soldiers on. She is not just here for my prescription pad, obviously. This is a woman who I can take seriously when she says she is in pain. She is not peeing on my leg and telling me it is rainy outside. This is Arizona. That would be ridiculous.”

Anyway, no. That’s a thing that’s wrong with me and it’s ridiculous but we can explore that another day. Instead, I’m just going to copy this email I sent to a bunch of people. I was just going to keep it to email because it talks about poo and I don’t WANT to be that mommy blogger who talks about POO, but Phil came home for lunch and I told him I’d sent out a distress call to my lady friends in the Internet box and he agreed that we are in need of HELP and that is what the Internet is for, and —

Look, you already spotted the word “help” and half the Internet is sporting LEGITIMATE REQUEST FOR ADVICE boners right now, so let’s just get to it.

*****

I have a terrible migraine today. And it’s something I hate about myself, but when I get these headaches, I just get SO MEAN. I mean, I just say fuck a lot and yell at the baby and I’m so angry, etc. And I’m trying to be patient and just get through, whatever.

So Pen needed her diaper changed. I took her in her room, changed a disgusting stinky poo diaper and tended to a teething rash. I decided to lay in her bed for just a couple of minutes while she played in her room. Benefits of a floor bed, right?

I laid there, drifting in and out, while she came over ever few minutes to pull my hair, because she’s an asshole and doesn’t want me to ever be happy, when one time she comes over and just reeks of poop again. She’s been having lots of dirty diapers due to the nasty virus ripping around our house, so I gathered myself to change yet another gross diaper when all of a sudden A SHIT CAKE LANDED ON MY FACE.

She was not dirty again. She had found, opened, and UPENDED the previous diaper ONTO MY FACE.

SHIT CAKE TO THE FACE.

I did not say a word, guys.

Gathered up the shit cake, wipes, and diaper, checked her for poop marks, left the room, tossed it all, washed myself and now here I am. She’s still in her room. After the shit cake, the food and cup throwing, and the angry pinching, I have no plans to collect her until lunch time.

I CANNOT EVEN WITH THIS BABY RIGHT NOW I CANNOT EVEN. She is a DEMON and she thinks that all our attempts at behavior correction are FUNNY. She doesn’t understand a stinking word of English, I swear. She throws her food on the floor at every meal. So what? Give her more? Or she’s just done til the next meal? I don’t know if she even understands that if she throws it, she won’t have any more to eat. She’s already skinny, I don’t want to starve her just because she’s a butthole.

And she BIT PHIL the other night, which is becoming more and more common. She comes up, hugs our legs, and BITES THEM. And she pulls hair. I’ve tried the exaggerated ouch and crying. That’s apparently hilarious. I’ve tried a firm no and that hurts. Funny! I’ve tried walking away, she doesn’t care. She throws books at my face! She rips my glasses off my head! She slaps, she grabs at our flesh angrily when she doesn’t get her way. She throws tantrums when she can’t have something that isn’t hers.

I guess I GET that this is all “normal” toddler behavior, but I’ve never had a toddler, so I have NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. I don’t know how to get her to eat her food, or how to just make sure she eats enough of her food, or how to make her stop throwing it on the floor because I am not made out of dollars or patience. And I DON’T like getting hit in the face with her books and I don’t really just want to wait that phase out because it hurts.

Is it insane to expect some kind of decent behavior, or at least to be able to TEACH some kind of decent behavior to a 15 month old? Am I ridiculous to expect to not be injured in my own home?

TO NOT GET POO TO THE FACE?

*****

Yes. That’s right. The rarest of animals on the Internet, a LEGITIMATE REQUEST FOR ADVICE. I want to know what you’ve done with your toddlers. I want to hear that you and they lived to see two years old. I want to know if you sent them off to live with their grandparents until they were five because THAT SOUNDS FINE TO ME. While I intend to keep all of my FEELINGS and WEEPINGS OF FAILURE to my private email chain of distress and woe, I open myself to the Internet at large to throw your parenting advice at me at will without fear of “I ALREADY TRIED THAT I AM NOT AN IDIOT” or anything like that, for I am an idiot and I need your help.

*****

Penny does a pretty sweet ass Peppa Pig impression.