Temerity Jane
14. 03. 2014

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.


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:


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!


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).


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.


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:

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.


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.



10. 03. 2014

Thing One: PJs at TJ’s, which happened.

PJs happened! It’s over. I had a hard time this year, due to things outside my control and things I didn’t see coming, but I think that’s the way of any kind of event, right? Like last year, I had a lot of awesome help, and I think people had a good time. People said they had a good time, and I’m going to assume they weren’t lying, because what would be the point of lying to me? Just don’t say anything at all, and then don’t come back, right? That’s what I’d do, instead of lying, if it were me. Anyway, here’s some pictures that were stolen from other people.

There were arms length selfies:


A bed, of course:


And a cake, because laughing at my jokes alone never stops me from making them:


Like I said, there were a few bumps along the way, and I might have felt like talking about them if I wrote this right after PJs, but first I came home and slept for a week, and then Penelope coughed directly into my eyeballs and I was sick for another entire week, so PJs feels like a hundred years ago. It’s over now, and it was a long time ago, and I don’t feel like rehashing it all. I can try harder to avoid some of the things in the future – I was really blindsided by something that just wouldn’t have occurred to me until it happened, so, now I know. But other things, like two awesome people having to cancel at the last second, well… that just sucks and there’s nothing you can do to prepare for that, and while I felt really awful for them, I’m also a giant asshole, so I felt really terrible for me, too, because I was really looking forward to seeing those particular people, and I admit that with the added stress of other things, I did have a really poor attitude for the first couple of hours of PJs. It was shitty of me and it’s easy to say now, looking back, that I would do things differently, but I was bummed out and stressed out, so to be honest, it went how it went and I can only hope that people had fun regardless of my less than welcoming mood.

This was the third PJs, and there were way MORE things that went way BETTER than previous years. It’s definitely a learning experience every year, and it pays off from year to year. Like okay, this year I still got way too much food, but there were WAY fewer total fails on the food front. And look, if you want to have a large variety of snacks, you’re going to have too much food. I can’t just buy a handful of each kind of candy and chips that I need. And also this year, I hired a makeup artist to come and do demonstrations and answer questions about anything anyone wanted to ask, which went over better than I even expected, and that was a lot of fun. I still have a really good handle on how I like this to… be… and other small details get more and more ironed out from year to year.

Next year! PJs will be on either 2/20-2/22 or 2/27-3/1. More details will come in the summer, as always. I do have some stuff to work out still. I’m really committed to PJs staying the same size. It’s just not going to change. It’s not. Not ever. It’s not negotiable. I’m also really committed to the fact that PJs is an open event. I hope that people have felt welcome to sign up whether you feel like you know me or not. Well, I know people have felt welcome to sign up, because they’ve done it. This year, due to the size and how quickly it filled, people who came in the past couldn’t come. And there’s no one who came this year or in past years that I could imagine not wanting to see again in future years. And there are people I haven’t seen yet that I know I want to see in the future. I want to keep seeing everyone I’ve seen, I want to see people who haven’t made it yet, and I want new people to know that they’re welcome to join in, too. And I want to do all that and still keep it at the same small attendee cap. Is that actually possible? I’m thinking it’s not. So among my things to consider over the next couple of months are which of the “I’m really committed to” this-es I’m most really committed to, eh?

Thing two: open letters.

Can we all agree, worst writing device in the history of ever? Can’t you just say, “here’s what I have to say about ‘current issue’?” Seriously, “An open letter to ______” might as well just say “Here’s a bunch of words to help you accurately picture the smug look on my face as I self-importantly write some shit that’s already been said to someone who is never going to read it and also here’s my back so you can pat me on it.”


Thing three: makeup.

I am on a no buy at the moment, because I did a lot of buy all at once with hoarded birthday money and gift cards and all kinds of stuff, and I hope to get to tell you (who are interested) about the stuff I got pretty soon, if it would all finish arriving already.

The first thing I had to do was get my skin under control, I think I mentioned it in a post probably a hundred posts back, that it was being flaky and weird due to some medications, and since I finally got THAT working (skin care post!), I was able to start the ridiculously needle in a haystack-esque hunt for a foundation (foundation post!), and since I was spending so much time putting on and wearing a full face of foundation to see how it lasted/oxidized/etc throughout the day, I ended up practicing all my makeup a lot more.

Here, ignore my family in this picture, and pretend you’ve been reading my blog since 2007 when there was a very brief time when I posted a video every morning. Eh? Eh? There’s a difference. Aside from the fact that I’m clearly seven years older. With my finely honed-ish skills, you’d barely know it was more than six and a half, six and three quarters at most.


Anyway, it’s not terrible. I’m working on it. I enjoy working on it, at least. Over the past couple of months, I’ve bought a real assortment of stuff, not all of it actually makeup. Some skin care, like I mentioned, which I hope will be helpful information to anyone who is struggling with those flaky bits of skin that aren’t really a bother until you go to apply foundation and then they RUIN your LIFE. I also tried out quite a few foundations, like I said, and I ended up with a couple – some from the drug store, and then I also have some higher end that work when my skin is behaving in different ways.

I also recently bought one of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders. I went back and forth a bit trying to decide which one to buy – I don’t know if you’re familiar with them, but there are six of them (there are also blushes now, but those are a different thing) and they’re basically finishing powders, but can also be used as highlighters, and they come in different shades – Dim Lighting, Ethereal Lighting, etc. And they’re kind of meant to be like walking around with your own most flattering light on you all the time. “Dark Cavern” is not an option, so I went with Dim, which is kind of meant to give a gentle blurring effect while a lot of the others give more of a glow or a “lit from within” sort of thing. I’d like to have more of them, but honestly, at $45 each, I was only buying one and if I buy another, it won’t be soon, it was a little splurge. I don’t feel silly or frivolous spending that much on makeup, I like makeup, it’s my hobby, and I spend hobby money on it. But I generally buy more things for $45. Anyway. I was talking to Phil about it while I was sick and couldn’t really do a whole face, so hadn’t really gotten the full effect of it and didn’t know if it really did much of anything for me and explained to him how the different powders worked and he nodded along. A couple days later, I brought it up to him again* and he goes, “Is that the stuff that makes you look like you’re in slow motion?”

The ladies who came to PJs gave me some empty Z-palettes and a super generous gift card, so I ordered some eye shadows from Makeup Geek, which I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I only have my camera phone operational at the moment, so I know you just can’t rely on this picture as super accurate in terms of colors in the pan. I want to use them a little bit more (I’ve only used them for one eye shadow look) and also charge up my regular camera for more accurate pictures before I really write about them, but I can at least say that shipping was super fast and the packaging is awesome. The prices are really good, too, and the colors I did use (the purples) worked really nicely. I also tacked a couple of brushes on to my order and wasn’t impressed with those, so I’d skip them if you have decent eye brushes you like.


Thing four: making makeup into another one of the things.

MORE STUFF I HAVE COMING IN THE MAIL: I have a brush set from Sigma Brushes coming. I really like using entirely too many colors to do what should be a much less complicated eye shadow look because I’m not very good at creating a gradient with blending yet, and I really dislike washing my brushes every single night, so solution? Many, many more brushes! I decided to order Sigma brushes for a variety of reasons, two of the main ones being price and customer service. I made a list of the brushes I wanted, and they were mainly eye brushes, with a couple of face brushes (the F40, the F35). I really dragged my feet on ordering for a couple of days once I had my list, though, because Sigma’s sets are usually a really good deal, and I just couldn’t find a set that matched up well enough with the brushes I wanted without leaving out too many or including a bunch of brushes I didn’t want.

Turns out I delayed the exact right amount of time, though, because Sigma came out with a new set of a YouTube beauty vlogger’s favorite brushes, the Jaclyn Hill Beauty Expert Box. This does include two brushes that weren’t on my original list (the F80, the F86), but I didn’t leave them out because I didn’t like them, necessarily, but more because I was focusing on eyes and trying to keep the price low. This box also includes a pencil brush that wasn’t on my list because I recently bought one and figured I could cut costs by living without one, but there is no way I would turn down another one. What it didn’t include from the list of what I wanted was the F40 I mentioned above, which I decided to go without, and an E40, which I added on. Sigma always has a 10% off code (for March, it’s MAR10) and there’s a free gift included with purchases over $30 or $35 (this month it’s a mini E25). So I was able to keep my order under $100 even with shipping and really only give up on the contour brush. The Jaclyn Hill Beauty Expert Box is only going to be sold for March and you can sign up to be notified when it comes back, if you’re interested. That kind of assumes you need brushes, want Sigma brushes, and want the same brushes I wanted, but… I think it’s a good deal, so I thought I’d let you know.

Mine are actually in my mailbox right now, so I’ll let you know what I think really soon.

Also, arriving tomorrow, I have some MUJI drawers, so it will be easier for me to actually show you this stuff in the decent light of the bathroom where it actually lives, hopefully in decent organization, rather than taking up every single inch of counter space as it currently does.

Thing five: Did you notice my hair went backward in this post?

First this:


Then this:


Thing six: There’s just a lot of things going on.


31. 01. 2014

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.

07. 01. 2014

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.


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.


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.


31. 12. 2013

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’ve never done before?

I’m thinking really hard, but 2013 was a pretty down year, in terms of new experiences of the sort that you share with the general public. Not that I have a whole wealth of secret new experiences that I’m not sharing. I can’t even really think of any of those, either. But off the top of my head, those things like, I don’t know, bungee jumping and public speaking and whatever kinds of achievements and firsts and stuff that you announce, no. None of those happened in 2013. Nothing. I can’t think of a thing. No secrets, either, really, so I guess I didn’t have to really make the distinction between the two. Well, maybe some secrets. Not top secrets. Just personal stuff. Not worrying personal stuff. Look, forget I said the word secrets. Go back to the beginning of this paragraph. Read until the word “experiences.” Stop there. Move on to question 2.


Penny & Phil at the zoo in January.

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

I already know I don’t plan to make any plans for 2014, because I already know that 2014 is going to be a total shitshow. So no. I will not make any for next year. I’ll need to roll back the tape to see if I actually made any last year. Wait right here.

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

Apparently, I didn’t even answer that part of the question. Seeing as how it’s December 31st and I’m not crumbled in defeat or dancing around in triumph, I’m going to assume I didn’t make any later on, either. So. Made none, kept none, continuing on with that.


Zoo all to herself in January.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

People I know gave birth, but no one close enough for me to visit them in the hospital. That’s going to be my new definition of “close” for these surveys going forward. Would I have visited in the hospital? That is someone close to me. None of those people gave birth in 2013. You should also know I would only visit someone in the hospital after she gave birth if explicitly invited. Just so you know. If you give birth and you’re expecting me to just show up because we’re close and you didn’t call me beforehand and say, hey, once the baby arrives, come on over, I won’t show up. Actually, not to put too much on you after you’ve just given birth, but you should probably let me know after, as well. Because maybe you told me beforehand, but then you had the baby, and I decide to stay home anyway because you never know beforehand how you’re going to feel after and I just think, better safe than sorry, and look, your baby isn’t bread and he isn’t going to go moldy, he’s going to be just as fresh when I come and see him later, you know? It’s nothing against you, it’s for you. It’s that I have a hard time imagining why you’d really want me there, probably the same way some people have a hard time imagining why other women might want no one around, you know? So maybe just have your husband send a confirmation text. Actually, I’m going to send a card or something, okay? I’m just not coming. I’m not. The answer to this question is just going to be perpetually no, because I’m never going to see anyone’s fresh baby in the hospital, thus by my own definition, no one close to me will ever give birth. So. That’s… a no.


February in Arizona. Sorry, North East, never coming back.

4. Did anyone close to you die? 

That’s another no, but let’s spare the agonizing explanation this time.


Out of frame: me hopping up and down with delight.

5. What other countries did you visit?

I’m stealing last year’s answer about stealing the answer from the year before about stealing the answer from the year before, following which I will post the original stolen answer:

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

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


6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

In 2012, I said we’d like more space in 2013, and that we were hoping to move to a bigger place. And we did! In 2014, I’d like our more space to have more space in it, in that I’d actually like less in the way of clutter and junk that we just end up moving from place to place. It just ends up expanding to fill whatever space we have, so having more space just ends up feeling like the same amount of space in the end. So, I’d like to go back to having the more space we had when we first got this more space in the early part of the year.


I’d also like to sleep during PJs.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched on your memory, and why?

If none are springing to mind, I guess that means none, then, eh? I mean, events, sure. PJs was great. But I’d have to look up the dates. We did fun things with Pen, sure. She had a birthday this year, I remember that date. I remember the date Phil came home after being away for six weeks, that was a good one. But really, nothing especially notable this year, I don’t think, not in the way that when the day rolls around again next year, I’ll think, “Oh, this day again.”


Phil and Penny in March.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Probably PJs, but it really doesn’t feel like much. It’s really not much, in the end.


Penny’s first egg hunt.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Parenting and marriage related stuff, definitely. I don’t know specifics, a year is a long time. I’m sure all areas suffered equally when you lay it all out. You know how it goes, every night you go to bed saying you’re going to do better, and it’s not even 9am the next day before it’s all gone to shit. Honestly, kids and husbands, ruining good intentions since… this morning. And yesterday morning. Whatever. Some days one pair of us is working together and the other one is determined to bring the organization down from the inside for no reason other than to watch the world burn. Sometimes everyone is happy and I just want to kick them all in the face for it. You know. Normal good family stuff. I’m talking about the entirety of a year, here, so don’t go flexing your fingers of concern to talk about my inevitable downfall and how you’re going to fix it in one comment. A whole year. There’s nothing for anyone to be stressed about. I’m just saying, if we’re talking about my personal biggest failure over the span of a calendar year, it would fall into the category of familial relationships, and if yours didn’t, good for you, but I’ve only been married for three years and my kid is going to be three in a little bit, so do the math there. It’s not surprising, you know? AND I HAVEN’T PROVIDED A SCALE. So for all you know, my BIGGEST failure is actually QUITE wee. So. Think about that. Maybe your tiniest failure is actually ENORMOUS compared to my very biggest. TAKE THAT LOG OF OF YOUR EYE, EH? EH?


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?



Penny’s 2nd birthday at Brooke’s house.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Penny is really enjoying the bed we got her for Christmas. No transition issues at all, she really likes it. I got Phil all practical things for Christmas that he really needed and will use every single day, so that was all a good investment. I got a lot of new makeup stuff this year, but I’m struggling to think of a single item as the one best thing I bought this year. I really expanded my brush collection this year, probably bazillioned it, if bazillion is a multiplier, and though my actual application skill has increased zero percent, there’s been a notable improvement in the way my makeup looks and how much I enjoy putting it on, and if you own as much makeup as I do and leave the house as infrequently as I do, you probably own it for the fun of putting it on, so that’s no small factor right there. So. Makeup brushes are up there. When we cut cable, we got subscriptions to all the streaming services, and that has been delightful as well.


12. Whose behavior has merited celebration?

Some people have been really great in a way that is not generic, but instead, specifically tailored to the type of person I am. Not in a “We see you like makeup, so we put some makeup on your makeup so you can wear your makeup while you do your makeup” kind of way, but in a more whole person kind of way, but not in the “you’re weird so I’m catering to you being weird and noting it for you so that you have to acknowledge it and feel uncomfortable about the whole thing when clearly the intent was to make you feel comfortable but actually the real intent was for me to get credit for being so sensitive to your weirdness.” Like when you’re leaving someplace and someone says to you, “And I know you don’t like hugs so I won’t hug you,” and then smiles at you all huge and waits for you to acknowledge their gesture, drawing attention to the whole thing. Look, I don’t like to be touched. I’m not going to shriek and run away and make a scene if you touch me. I don’t care for it, but it’s not going to kill me. Drawing attention to me is weird. If you want me to notice you catering to my aversion to hugs, hug everyone except me. I’ll know you’re not hugging me by the fact that you don’t hug me. The lack of hug will be the clue.  Anyway, in a non-literal sense, a bunch of people of not hugged me recently, so that’s been nice.


Penny and Phil in May.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I’ve been really disappointed in the behavior of a couple of people this year, but more aggravated by the fact that I get so angry about it. I get so stressed, you know the whole, “you can’t just DO that! You can’t just get AWAY with that!” impotent variety of flailing anger. Except, yes, people can just do things and they do just get away with things and for the most part, there’s usually nothing you can do or say and you just have to sit on it and there’s been a few of those this year, online and off, and it’s the worst.


My makeup bag in May. It’s different now.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills, housing (renters 4 evaaaa), the usual boring adult responsibilities. Thankfully no major unexpected purchases or disasters came up this year. “Major” being thousands – of course we had our unexpected blips, like Brinkley’s Christmas Day emergency vet visit, but it’s amazing how LITTLE “hundreds” sounds like when you’re prepared to max out your credit card for ALL THE THOUSANDS (we were sure his leg was broken, it was sticking out all jaggedy, he made this awful sound — ugh, I can’t even. I CANNOT EVEN.)


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Probably also some other things here and there, but off the top of my head, I remember losing my mind for those things this year.


Heading to her first movie in June.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Penny learned to sing her first song this year, Twinkle Twinkle. Also, she dubbed her first song as “hers,” and that was Blurred Lines. We listened to that a lot, but then, so did probably everyone else.


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

a) happier or sadder? Circumstances are different.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner
c) richer or poorer? About the same


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

Taking Penny places I wanted to take her instead of just hoping to take her those places and then not actually making it.


Reading to the dogs in June.

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

Yelling at Penny. Laying in bed. Procrastinating work.


A member of the tiara-craze that originated in Florida and swept the Internet in July.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Sick. As. Dogs. We still had a fairly nice day, aside from the whole Brinkley incident, which was horrible and terrible and other bles. Phil and I were too sick to wrap our gifts to each other after limping through getting Christmas set up for Penelope, including putting together a bed and having her wake up in it on Christmas morning. We exchanged cardboard boxes and mailing envelopes. We made basically none of the food we planned and are still getting through that. Christmas brunch is tomorrow!


No stranger to crazes, myself.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?

This is a stupid question. I’ll delete it next year.


22. What was your favorite TV show?

A lot of the shows I watched this year aired before 2013, so I guess they might not count, but it’s not like there’s an overseer of this whole thing. Doctor Who is always a favorite. I probably enjoyed watching Heirs the most because after a long, hard campaign, I finally got a few people on board to watch with me. City Hunter was fantastic all around. I think probably among my top favorites this year were those, Secret Garden, and King 2 Hearts.


23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate at this time last year?

I’m probably disinterested in a few new people, but I’m not totally repelled by anyone new.


Up in the flying bathtub at the Phoenix Children’s Museum in August.

24. What was the best book you read?

I didn’t really read much in 2013, and I don’t think I enjoyed much of what I did read. I really hated the This Man series by Jodi Ellen Malpas. Those reviews got me some negative attention on Twitter early this year. Whatever, I did not like them at all. I think, this year, I liked Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire, which was the companion book to Beautiful Disaster. I’m not recommending them to everyone or even holding them up as examples of great books. I’m just saying. Of the books I read this year, that’s the one I, personally, enjoyed the most. It’s the kind of book I like a lot.


25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Well, first, let’s get in our time machines of choice and go back to 2002, the last time I made a musical discovery.


Her final ultrasound before getting the all clear from her surgeon at Phoenix Children’s in September.

26. What did you want and get by year’s end?

No shit, a couple days before Christmas, I was looking all over for a towel small enough to wrap around my head without making me feel like I was going to topple over, because I have really long hair, and after a shower, I am NEVER DRY because my hair will continue to drip down me forever, soak whatever shirt I put on, make my back itchy, etc. I had given up on finding a Turbie Twist, because… I couldn’t find a Turbie Twist. Anyway, lame story still lame, my mom put a Turbie Twist in my stocking. So… I got a Turbie Twist.


Waiting for Daddy after 6 weeks apart.

27. What did you want and not get by year’s end?

As evidenced by my excited, “no shit” above, I did not get my language as cleaned up as one might hope.



28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Aside from the toddler summer movie series, I only saw two movies in the theater, both on press passes: Kings of Summer and The Spectacular Now. They were both my favorite.


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

I spent that Thursday night through Sunday morning in bed, because I was spectacularly unwell. Phil ordered us pizza. I was 32.


30. What was one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A little more control over various situations. Wouldn’t that be true for everyone? Just to step in somewhere and be like, “All right, I’ll be the decider on this one.”


31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Jeans, t-shirt, cardigan. Jeans, tank top, cardigan. Jeans, something with stripes, cardigan – possibly one with stripes. Way too much makeup for the occasion.


I don’t know, probably something about her high score in Toca Panda Bird Something no I won’t help you, in November.

32. What kept you sane?

I keep my bedtime the same as Penny’s. Always have, since there was a Penny.



33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Hm. Lee Min Ho? Or Kim Woo Bin? Ha Ji Won is a total badass. I’m… somewhat out of touch.


Eating popcorn even though the bad parent handout from the ER after the claimed to have eaten a thumbtack said no popcorn til 4 years old. I didn’t know popcorn was a more chokey thing than other small things, seriously, I did not, and by the time I found out, we were already deep into popcorn pro territory. I still cut her hotdogs pre-chewed small, I swear. I don’t feed her hotdogs, that would be awful. But if I did, they’d be really small.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I’ll also delete this one next year.


35. Who did you miss?

What, like when I threw something? Phil, usually.


36. Who was the best new person you met?

I don’t.


“What the shit happened here?” is what I imagine she would have said upon waking in a brand new bed on Christmas, had she fallen in line with “what the shit” being the only foul language phrase being grandfathered in under the new regime of cleaned up vocabulary. That is not what she said.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Eyes on your own paper.


38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I feel like I need a yearbook and a sharpie for this question. I don’t like it. I chose an instrumental first dance song for my wedding specifically so that no one could listen to the lyrics of a song I chose and try to decide if they had meaning to me and how they might apply to my life and somehow infer things about me or my relationship from them. That’s the kind of stuff I feel is personal. I don’t feel that you need to keep those things to yourself or that people in general need to keep those things to themselves. But those are the types of things that I, personally, feel are personal. If I could sum up my year in song lyrics – and you should understand, it’s not that I feel so deep and complicated as a person that I couldn’t possibly and anyone who can is surely very simple, it’s just that nothing comes to mind at the moment – I don’t even know what type of song it might be. Anyway. I’ll delete this question next year, too.



30. 11. 2013




It’s over, it’s over, it’s over, it’s over!




I’m done for a totally unspecified amount of time!
Going to post some more dancing like it’s my birthday!


Because Friday it is my birthday!


Okay, this isn’t dancing, but it’s just as delightful.
Plus I have one bad-attitude thing standing between me and Friday.

Not that I have anything in particular going on on Friday.
Just regular turning 32.
Just thought maybe you’d like a reason for all these dances.
And all this center justified text.
And this abrupt ending.

29. 11. 2013

I’m almost done! I’m almost done! I might make it, I’m almost done!

Tomorrow is technically the last day of NaBloPoMo for 2013, so I could still fail, but being realistic about things, tomorrow’s post is most likely just going to be something along the lines of, “I DID IT” and nothing more. The total number of posts for November will be more than three times the number of posts I made for the entirety of the rest of the year. It would be nice if this momentum was some kind of kick start that carried me through the rest of the holidays and in to the new year, but being a bit realistic, this site will probably look something like this post, “I DID IT!,” “PJs at TJ’s 2014 Recap.”

HOWEVER, in the spirit of not planning to fail, but also not planning to succeed, but rather not actually making any plans at all, here are some things I could still talk about, if I wanted to, with no pressure or anything, if I felt like it, and the time and the mood were right, and I wasn’t very tired or in a mood or having a bad attitude.

1. That thing that I was going to post that time, but then I had to wait for the heat to die down, and then it did die down, but then I talked myself out of posting it for various reasons involving not wanting to hurt feelings that really, if people thought it through, shouldn’t actually be hurt, but I can’t control how people feel about things, something that is probably just going to plague me to the end of my days. I think I might make that a password protected post, for no other reason than the fact that I can make the password “I AGREE,” and by the time you’re in and reading the post, it’s too late, you’ve already agreed to my terms in advance, and my terms ALWAYS include “no butthurt.” Again with the imperative sentence “you understood” thing, except it’s an imperative blog post. “No butthurt” understood.”

Unless “butthurt” is declared in advance. Like, “butthurt ahead” or “caution, falling butthurt,” or “ahoy, butthurt!”

2. I have been super successful lately in purchasing things that are available in limited amounts that then sell out within a matter of moments, which has been awesome for me. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that one of my favorite phenomenons to observe is what happens on a company’s social media page – usually Facebook – after a limited item (one that was KNOWN to be limited) has sold out. I’d enjoy watching these things anyway even if I wasn’t successful myself in obtaining the item, but going through the process of waiting for the correct time, entering my information correctly and quickly, and completing the checkout process without issue makes it slightly better. Because then I know there’s not really any flaw in the actual system, just the made up flaws in these people’s heads.

Anyway, over the last few weeks, up to today, I was able to grab a few fun things. One, the fall Allure Beauty Box. This was a last second decision, I wasn’t initially going to get it, but there’s SO MUCH LOTION in there, and suddenly both my husband and child have turned into Silurians.


Picture via Urban Decay

Two, the Naked3 palette. I thought I was going to wait until it was in stores to get the points at Ulta or Sephora, but I’m kind of glad I grabbed it now – I know I’m not going to the mall except to see Santa until after the new year, and that thing is going to be sold out until spring after the Christmas shipment comes into the stores in December, I bet. Honestly, event spotting Naked2 on shelves in store was hit or miss for a lot of this year, and I’m not usually a huge online makeup buyer. This sold out really fast, too. I ordered it as soon as I got the email, before I even got out of bed that morning. I’ve been excited about it since it was announced. I think it will work well with my eye color, and it has a lot of the shades I tend to gravitate toward and less of the ones I know I’ll ignore.


Picture via Urban Decay

Three, this morning I was able to get Urban Decay’s Black Friday doorbuster on six of their new lipsticks. This set sold out in less than ten minutes and people were soooo mad. I don’t think the whole set will look great on me, and honestly when I was looking through the shades of the whole line a few months ago, only a few of the ones I was initially interested in are in this set. Fortunately, though, my sister and I have similar coloring, but one of us has cool undertones and one of us has warm undertones, so I can pretty easily just drop the ones that don’t work on me into the box I mail out to Pennsylvania for Christmas. Since the lipsticks are normally $22 each and the set was $50, even if I end up only keeping 3, it’s still a great deal. Of course, she rarely wears lipstick and I paid for it, so I feel no obligation to split the set evenly, but still. Someone who looks the same as you with the opposite undertone is basically the perfect “this looks terrible, you have it” makeup dump. I mean, recipient.

So that’s like, FOUR things. A box, two makeups, and the poor behavior of other people. That shouldn’t be number two. That should be numbers two through five.

6. Today, we put up our Christmas tree, and after telling Penelope not to touch the tree for the eight hundredth time, I found myself saying to her, “I am going to call the North Pole and tell them that we need them to send down an elf to keep watch until Christmas.” I already planned on doing Elf on the Shelf, but I did not expect to hear myself tell my kid that I CALLED SANTA and ENFORCEMENTS WERE ON THE WAY. And I’m using past tense there because after her nap, the message was REITERATED. Call was made, ELF EN ROUTE. So. That’s going to be… something. That I did. Because I CALLED SANTA.


8. I have a Cosmo, so I guess that also could be a thing, considering that the PJs 2013 ladies got me a subscription to Cosmo and I followed that up with exactly zero Cosmo Cliff’s Notes.

Did I miss anything? Please don’t hold out hope of hearing about it during NaBloPoMo. That ship has sailed. It’s highly possible the 2013 ship has sailed entirely.