Monday, August 27, 2012

Mommy Guilt: Or, You Know, Just Another Monday

I’m a Mom.  And I’m not perfect.   I know that you’re not either but I fear that some of you are probably doing it better than me.  Have you seen those Pinterest crafts?

This wouldn’t be such a bad thing but this job is kind of a big deal.   I read tonight that we only have 900 weeks with our children before they leave our home.  I know, right?  900 weeks. 

Black beans are her favorite. 

I fear that might not be enough to time to impart the wisdom I’ve learned from all of the John Hughes’ movies.  Notably, never wear your bra on your head during a thunderstorm, and always, always befriend the guy named Ducky.   

With my panic mode dutifully set in for the night, my brain immediately goes to the “working mom” guilt.  

I’m a mom who works outside the home.  There are so many days since I’ve had Ella (ok, all of them) that I question whether I am doing a disservice to her by working.  

Bath time! 

 It’s not like she doesn’t have a fabulous time during the day.   We are so lucky to have my aunt and uncle watch her every day.  She’s loved beyond measure, gets to grow up with her cousin, and gets to go to pre-school and do all kinds of fun things.  She’s a lucky girl. 

But it’s been a trying weekend.  A doctor’s visit on a Saturday for an ugly bug bite that made her face swell up and add that onto the misery of a late summer cold it has made someone extra cranky. 

Sippy cup not being held at the right angle?  Tears.

Diaper change without being able to stand up and walk around at the same time?  Tears, screaming and kicks to the gut (mine, not hers). 

I’m wiped.  And for the first time in a long time I’m looking forward to Monday.
So, of course, I’m a pool of mushy mom guilt.  

The girls.

 Shouldn’t I want to stay home with her all day, every day?   Shouldn’t I want to wrestle her through the tantrums because I took away her sippy cup?  Or at least be there for all of the the really, really good moments? 

Then again, for me personally, I think I have more patience with her when I know I have such limited time.   I’m scared of my ability to be patient and present with her every day.  I don’t know if I’d be the Mom she deserves and the one I want to be if I did not work outside the home. 

But it’s never that easy, is it?  One minute I’m perfectly content to be a working mom and then… BAM…I’m right back to wanting to be a stay at home momma.  

Fabulous hair styling all around. 

Really, it’s like I have split personalities.   I don’t know the answers.  I don’t know what the future holds. 

Right now, I’m planning on getting up and going to work.   Ella will have a perfectly lovely day. 

I am sure there will be a bit of guilt for the way things could be in a perfect world interspersed with feelings of gratitude for the way things are.  That is really all I know.  

Love this girl with everything I have.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

All Ella

It's been a while since I've posted any recent photos of my soon to be one year old.

Grandma says its time. We listen to Grandma.

Work, work, work all day long.

It's all fun and games until someone plucks out an eyeball.

But Mom! I want that little weird ball in Dada's head.

Never mind... I've found something better. Daddy's wallet.

This is fascinating.

Don't think you're going to get in on this action.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What Happens When I'm Angry

You know when you're mad at your husband and you just have to leave the house and go somewhere to vent?   

Movies are out.   I mean, the fight isn't that big of a deal (but he will not know this yet) so once he figures out how wrong he is and apologizes you will make him take you to see that Valentine's Day chick flick starring like 74 Hollywood stars. (Also, how horrible are those movies? And why can't I stop watching them?) 

Restaurants are definitely out.   I like to do my stress eating in private.  No one needs to see me pigging out on cupcakes and pumpkin pancakes.  

The mall is dangerous.  If I'm really irate, I have been known to go on a buying spree with our joint account.   That's right...I'll show you, Mark!  I'm going to make us poor.  

That will definitely show him!  You go, Kristen! 

So my safety choice is CVS.  

If I'm in a really poor mood my ability to resist product marketing is minimal.  Do you ever have the feeling that with one tube of the perfect mascara or one vitamin/retinal/placenta packed face cream that all of your troubles will mysteriously melt away?   

You mean THIS mascara will make me look like I have little wings attached to my eyes and every time I blink it will make it rain in the Amazon? Sold. (Also, that’s the Butterfly Effect, right? I never got all the way through that horrible Ashton Kutcher movie so I’m just guessing.)  

A couple of my mascaras. And yes, those two are basically the same but one is Carbon Black and other is Black Black.

Buy this little tub of farts wrapped in organic dust bunnies we found under our couch sprinkled with real life angel sneezes and you’ll never look a day over 3 years old again!  

And buy them, I do.  

Just a few of the many products I've invested in. 

Anyone need body lotion, antibacterial hand lotion, spritzes, sprays? 

I’m a complete sucker.   I'd like to say "I'm a complete sucker when I'm angry" but really I'm kidding no one.  I'm just a sucker for all these fun little 'miracle cures'. 

My execution is lacking, however.  

My bathroom is filled with little baskets and in those little baskets are zillions of half empty bottles of lotions, creams, retinals, soaps and the odd makeup that just never looked right.   

They all sit there in their little basket, mocking me.   

I’m made of freaking organic dust bunnies, girl!  What is not to love?  

I guess the real question is, does Good Will accept half used bottles of night cream, body lotion, eye wrinkle magic, and dark spot remover?

And, maybe I should just go eat my feelings the next time we fight.  After looking at all my 'potions', I feel like that might be a better use of my time.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

There is a Book Review in Here Somewhere...

Scene:  An exceptionally stylish woman, delightfully pretty in that all-American girl next door way with impossibly beautiful hair (it’s my scene, so I’ll write it as I see it) sits by herself at the counter of a trying-too-hard-to-be-hip bistro/diner in a hotel on Waikiki.  

Absorbed in her Kindle, she does not notice that the waiter, Rajeesh, needs someone to talk to. 
Rajeesh: So what are you reading? 
The All-American girl looks up and knows before she even opens her mouth this is not going to end well.  

Tears immediately spring to her eyes.
Kristen:  Well…ummmmm…*sniff, sniff* … it’s this really terrific book about a little girl who is orphaned by her Irish immigrant parents.  And…*sniff, sniff* she becomes a slave on a Virginia plantation.  Well, not really a slave *cue tears* but an indentured servant.  It’s just… so sad, really. *Sniff, sniff and… tears*  
LONG PAUSE.  Tissues procured.
Then, the slaves take her in as part of their family and *sniff….sob….* and then she’s not a slave any longer and’s just SO tragic!
*Sob, sniff…*
Rajeesh is wide-eyed with terror.  SHOULD I CALL 9-1-1? his face seems to say. 
Rajeesh: Uh.
Kristen: I KNOW. It’s...just…so…amazing.
And Scene.

It may have been the jet lag or the fact that I just left my baby for the first time ever but I’m going to chalk up the dramatics to what a FANTASTIC book The Kitchen House is. 
I have fallen in love with Kathleen Grissom’s novel.  A must read if you liked The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  If not, go read The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  
The Kitchen House details the lives of slaves on a Virginia plantation.  There are two narrators – one a white orphaned girl named Lavinia who is an indentured servant to the plantation owner and a black slave on the same plantation, named Belle.  Lavinia is considered a slave; she lives and works with the black slaves on the plantation.  The black slaves become her family and treat her as one of their own.  

The reader soon finds out, however, the advantages she will have based on the fact that she is white even though she is considered a slave.  The book details her life through adulthood – her return to the plantation she grew up on and the changes of the only family she ever knew.  The book has some very wild turns and just when you think you know a character something happens and you’re turned on your head. 
Being a history buff, I thought I intellectually understood the dynamic relationships during slavery but this book was so different than what I've encountered before. House slaves vs. field slaves, indentured servants vs. slaves, owners vs. slaves it was all very enlightening. 

It definitely brought me to tears several times, most notably in the trying-too-hard-to-be-cool bistro/diner on Waikiki. 
If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!  And if you've ever traumatized any wait staff while reading!  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Olympic Dream

While I’m generally not an Olympic person, I can’t help but get sucked into the athletes back stories. Little Gabby Douglas moving away from her family to work with her coach, the 4:00 am practice sessions, the grit and determination. Seeing these dedicated individuals is really inspiring.

This inspiration has led me to look at an unrealized dream of my own.

Liquid eyeliner. More specifically, the act of applying liquid eyeliner in the cat-eye technique.

Yep, that’s it. That’s my little ol’ dream.

Liquid eyeliner application is like the highest achievable level of humanity in my opinion. I’m sure the Nobel Prize winners are very smart with their disease cures and award-winning mathematical algorithms but I bet they’ve never mastered the cat-eye.

The straight black line across the eyelid, the gentle upward swish of the gooey black liquid at the precise outside corner of the lid with a careful flick of the wrist looks easy enough.

But you’d be wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Mine is a splotchy, not straight. The all-important swish comes either too early or too late thereby making me look like I have a fish hook piercing my eyelid or at the very least like I accidentally wrote on myself with a sharpie.


I want to be the kind of girl who is able to achieve the cat eye. I want the damn cat eye, people! I guess if we’re really analyzing it (and yes, welcome to my life) it’s really what the cat eye represents.

The girl who wears liquid eyeliner is fearless and not afraid of commitment (cuz that stuff is not coming off anytime soon. See my trash can with the 10 gazillion makeup remover thingies). Also, she’s classic, timeless, sophisticated and damn, it… COOL.

Think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

I may not have her gamine body or the face shape to pull off those blunt bangs (Jessica Biel doesn’t either, she’s just kidding herself) but I can attain the cat-eye. That I can do.

If the Olympics has taught me anything it’s that with a lot of determination, a heaping helping of talent and Gabby Douglas’ biceps I too can achieve the cat-eye.

I’ve already told Mark I’m quitting my job and moving into Sephora full time. He didn’t seem pleased.

Photo Credit: Hiral Henna on Flickr


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Where I've Been...

It's been an exciting couple of weeks around here.  Since the hubs was doing Navy duty for two weeks Grandma Joni came down to visit, and I don't know, spoil a particular 10 month old. 

Then I met hubby for a week of vacation.  Adults only.   Lots of sleep, staying up late, drinks with dinner, long brunches, fancy dinners here and there.  It was, in a word, lovely.  

Not to say I didn't break down once or twice because I missed the munchkin but it was a much needed break.  I'm so grateful to Grandma for watching Ella for a whole 3 weeks and especially for the last one.  Grateful, grateful, grateful...


Mark had to (had is such a strong word here but nonetheless...) go to Pearl Harbor for Naval Reserve duty.   So luckily we were able to make a vacation out of it on the back end.  

My lei that the hubs bought for my arrival.  


First view of the Pacific.

Champagne Brunch.  Yes, please. 

The banyan tree in the middle of our hotel, The Hale Koa.   I could not get enough of those lovely, weird trees. 

Fun times ahead.

Tastes of Hawaii.

 Pearl Harbor, Memorial for all of the submarines lost in World War II.  

Pearl Harbor. 

Torpedoes on display around the memorial.  

Posing with the torpedo.  

Honey, come here and take my picture with the torpedo.

Your turn!  Be excited! 

The conning tower from a World War II submarine.  

Ok, now take a picture of me pretending to be Submarine Jane

USS Missouri Battleship's pretty big. 

The USS Arizona Memorial 

My what big guns you have! 

The exact spot where General MacArthur accepted Japan's surrender during World War II.  

Testing out the Captain's chair.  He looks like a natural.  

Now, who looks like a natural?  All this power at my fingers tips... Mwah hah hah....

There's so much more but I'm tired and the only one who probably got this far is my mother, so without further ado, here is the requisite beautiful tropical paradise pictures.