Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Me

Today is 12.12.12. My birthday. I originally wanted to throw myself a huge party, I mean, the triple 12’s are the last of their kind AND it’s my 35th bday…a party is all deserving. I also made a 12x12 list in honor of my day, 12 things to accomplish in 12 months.

Well…

The party didn’t happen and I crossed 2 things of the 12x12 list. Oh well, I’m not a list-maker-follower anyway. I can’t even commit to a grocery list, so I don’t know what I was thinking.

Sticking with the 12 theme, I decided to write my 12-year-old self a Do’s and Don’ts list. Until, I realized the Don’ts molded me into who I am today. And at 35 I LOVE who I am and where I am. Sure, if I could benefit from the sweetness without going through the sour parts of my past I would. Who wouldn’t? But, it doesn’t work like that.

NO PAIN NO GAIN – Jane Fonda

We all know life doesn’t come with a GPS and it’s hard to see or even think your life could be different, better, or amazing when you’re going through rough times. Often we don’t see the beauty in our “mess” until we’ve moved away from it.

It’s like a painting see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess. (Alicia Silverstone as Cher in Clueless referring to a Monet painting)

But, what if I could give my 12-year-old self the gift of a Life GPS? How many of us would hang on through the wrong turns, the re-routes, and U-Turns if we knew we were heading some place fantastic?

Don’t give up five minutes before the miracle – Iyanla Vanzant

I’d tell the little girl with the clunky pink glasses:

I can’t give you specifics because I’m afraid you’d possibly change what happens in the future and miss out on something great. But, I’ll tell you the path will be bumpy. You’ll experience emotional and physical pain and you’ll be broken for awhile. But, you WILL heal.

Turn your wounds into wisdom – Oprah Winfrey

You’ll find passion in an unexpected gift

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.
-R. Buckminster Fuller

Just hold on because 3 wonderful someone’s are waiting for you. I promise…

Guidance in a Purpose
Protection in an Angel
Love in a Gentle Caress
Clarity in a Gem
-Crystal Blake

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dignity is a Fortress

When I enter a room my poise strikes a pose
Confidence is my pedestal, higher than my stilettos

To myself I am a Queen, I don't accept just anything
Why would you approach me if you’re not worthy of a King?

You see me as prey, your eyes open like a hawk
Mouth full of drool, a predator as you stalk

You flash a smile and throw me a wink
I roll my eyes so hard, it’s clear what you think

I try to ignore you and hope you’ll go away
You don’t get the hint and you head my way

You can’t be serious? I shake my head in disbelief
Why are you trying to bring your foolishness to me?

You slither over to deliver your line
You don’t have a clue you’re wasting your time

I’m unfazed by your hook, your bait I don’t accept
So, out of your mouth marches a parade of disrespect

I’m confused. What part of your being did I offend?
All I said was, “No, thank you. I don’t need you as a friend.”

You only confirmed a life with you would be insane
If I’m nothing to you now, then nothing I’d remain

I realize it’s impossible to see what ignites in my head
But, that wasn’t your desire anyway, I get it, I understand

I take pity on your perception, your wealth of ignorance
I’m sorry for all those women who felt they were worthy of this

It’s not your fault; some women find your presence remarkable
It’s not their fault; they don’t know dignity should be untouchable

Think what you want about me, I’m not ashamed
I won’t apologize for answering to nothing less than my name

Maybe one day all women will again put their standards first
And not settle for men who want to negotiate their worth

The message needs to be passed from one to the next
Only then will those men understand we won’t settle for less

Until that day, I will stand with respect all on my own
My fortress is strong around my Predator-Free zone

Because when I enter a room my poise strikes a pose
Confidence is my pedestal, higher than my stilettos

To myself I am a Queen, I don't accept just anything
So, don’t approach me, my honor is reserved for my King

Monday, November 19, 2012

X-Mom Adventures: The Baby Is No Honey Boo Boo

I got a chance to see the Steve Harvey talk show for the first time and he had little girls from Toddlers and Tiaras as guests. Confession: I’ve never watched Toddlers and Tiaras.

The little girls adorably talked about their crowns, trophies, and wanting to be princesses. He asked his 4-year-old guest to show him the Shirley Temple dance she's well-known for and does in competitions. She proceeded to booty-shake for like 10 seconds. Um…several things bothered me about this:

(1) The Shirley Temple Dance. Now, I could be wrong, but wasn’t Shirley Temple the epitome of innocence? So, booty-shaking is innocent now? And please tell me which movie Shirley Temple showcased her “drop it” skills.

(2) A 4-year-old booty-shaking is cute, but a 20-year-old doing the same exact move before flipping upside down on a pole for $5 is skanky? Why, because she’s selling sex? Hmm…the 4-year-old wins money, right? Oh, and a crown.

So, follow me for a few seconds…

(1) 20-year-old booty-shaking for money

(2) 4-year-old booty-shaking for money/tiara

Not exactly apples to oranges, is it? At least the little girl gets a crown. Sometimes certain things are ok in certain settings; therefore, maybe its ok in the pageant world. But, like I said, I don’t follow the show or the toddler beauty circuit and I don’t think it’s fair to formulate an opinion on something you’ve only had a tiny glimpse of.

I switched gears to imagine The Baby, who is 16-months-old, competing in a pageant. If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know she came here with her own rules.

The Baby is the kind of girl who isn't walking unless it's daintily on her toes and never misses the chance to hug and kiss her big sister. She’s also the same girl who shoved another baby because the little girl tried to take something from her. And in another instance, held on to a toy so tight when a little boy tried to take it from her he gave up.

Yes, she’s tough when it matters and not afraid to show it. And that's beautiful all on its own. Somehow, I don’t think a world where spray tans and capped teeth are a necessity will be as accepting of a little girl tackling (probably literally) the competition.

But, in my world awesome is the little girl who wears a football helmet with her tutu and boxing gloves with her crown.



Monday, September 10, 2012

Dirty Hairy


I had dyed my hair weeks ago (please see previous post Hue Done It). To tone The Red my stylist put a darker red over it and the result was something I could deal with, not exactly love, but tolerate. Anyway, I’ve been getting relaxers since the 6th grade and it was time for a touch-up.

She gave me a treatment after rinsing out the relaxer like she always does, only to realize that a large patch of my hair (about the size of a large egg) was missing from the back. A pinch more and I would have been rocking a bald spot. My hair and my stylist have had a personal relationship for 10 years. Even she was confused. Especially, since she’s been dying/highlighting my hair blonde for years with no adverse reactions, not even a little. My hair is strong. Usually, she said, that type of breakage comes from blonde dye and other chemicals not getting along. Red, for the most part, behaves.

My conclusion? My hair was as abhorrent about The Red as I was and chose to violently show its disgust the only way it knew how. Fight or flight, it chose the latter. The only way to rectify the situation while maintaining cuteness was to chop it. So, I walked in for a touch up and came out with a Pixie cut.

Numerous times I had said The Red would be cute on a Pixie (I even said it in the previous post), I guess my hair took it literally. My stylist was visibly upset and practically in tears, plus my hair was almost to the middle of my back. Me?  I saw it as a situation that could be fixed. Plus, she’s not “scissor-happy” and if she said it had to be cut, then it had to be done.

As we thumbed through books looking for a cut, she jokingly said, “The blonde didn’t like the red and said it had to go.” Hmm...I had a thought. I rolled my eyes up to see what Style Duchess was doing. I figured after The Red and The Pixie she’d be ready for therapy. Instead, I found her twirling a pair of scissors around her finger. She looked me dead in the eye and asked, "Do you feel lucky?"

Touche Style Duchess, Touche.

Hue Done It

This post was originally written August 15, 2012...

For over 5 years, I’ve been dyeing my hair. Highlights grew into full blown dye. I’ve had it dyed all one color, the bottom darker then the top,  highlighted the highlights, grown out/cut off, and re-dyed. The result was a unique concoction of different hues and tones, which received numerous compliments. Women would ask, “What color is that? I want that.” I couldn’t tell them. Once you have layers of dye in your hair; you really don’t know because the result is not what’s on the dye tube. The thing is the colors were all in the blonde family. But, true to my fickle nature, I grew bored with it.

So, I went red.

Um…

See, when I do something, I’m not the type to just stick my toe in the water, I cannonball. Something I’m very proud of actually, but this time I belly-flopped. The Kid said I looked like Strawberry Shortcake. I think that's a compliment, but I assure you at my age, that’s not the look I want to go for. But, The Kid is 9 and I still have to remind her to put deodorant on in the morning, so her opinions on grooming mean nothing.

I said to Hubs, “I feel like a walking Fruit Loop.” 
His response was, “Do you feel crazy?”

I assured him I didn’t and that I was referring to my hair color. He told me that my hair looks nothing like I think it looks and that it looked great. He said if it did look like I thought it looked, he would be the first to say something. And he would.

In reality, it’s not anywhere near those shades, but my imagination won’t allow me to see otherwise. The color is actually a gorgeous bold shade of kick-ass red. But, I think it would be better suited for a cute pixie-cut, a celebrity, a superhero (hmm, I wonder if X-Mom had something to do with this), or someone less chickeny.

Fear of tiger striped hair or my beautician scolding me and banning me from her shop has stopped me from zooming to buy a home dye kit. And my inner Style Duchess is such a cow! She’s put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign and has bolted herself in her room until the next hair appointment. She wants me to think she’s in there seething because I wronged her on many levels. But, I know she’s hiding out, replaying all the compliments I’ve received from The Blonde Years on her DVR, while crying over bars of chocolate.

Red is not for the faint of heart and I’m in a coma.

At the precise moment I decided I would just ignore my hair away, Hubs sent me a text. It was a picture of me from the 6th grade. There I was grinning while a huge pair of pink glasses tried to eat my face. The picture is hilarious evidence of my former awkwardness.

He texted, “You got through this period in your life, you can make it through a little red hair…”  *swoon* I love him.

And he's right...as long as I have a hat.

**update**
Okay, after 4 days of crying and giving myself The Finger in the morning because the Hair Fairy didn't "poof" the red away, I'm maintaining. I've discovered pulling it back tames it...A LOT! I actually feel less like a Skittle. And I see Style Duchess is peeking her head around her door.

I just looked in the mirror...ugh!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Cup Runneth Over...Not!


I knew they'd show up
And they did one day
Hadn't seen them in years
I had hoped they'd stay

Their visit was longer
Much longer than before
This was a good sign
This time I was sure

Oh, how she fooled me
Thought we were in it together
She knew all along
Again our bond she'd sever

She made them so needy
With their relentless wanting
At times it was too much
The task forever daunting

I was going crazy
Delirious beyond sight
For that I was entitled
I had earned my right

Could have left me with a little
For all that hard work I put in
They were mine to keep
Why the trickery again?

I found my answer
Buried deep in my armoire
I saw it one day
While digging for a bra

It was inside a D-cup
I'd never noticed it before
Don't know why it was there
I wore that size no more

It was a note from Mother Nature
That cow!  I cursed and gave it The Finger
While the words cackled and mocked,
"Breastfeeding Boobs:  Return to Sender"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

X-Mom Adventures: The Baby is Winning

My first mistake was thinking I had mastered parenting from The Kid.  My second, thinking said mastery had an extended warranty, not knowing it automatically expires with kid #2.  Do the "parenting books" tell you this?  Huh, maybe I should have picked one up because I certainly entered this "new" territory foolishly light-hearted, ill-prepared, and gullibly clueless.

Since day 1, I have been on the losing side of The Baby (see X-Mom vs The Baby).  Just when I feel I have the upper-hand she shouts "Sorry!" and sends me back to Start with my tail between my legs.  Okay, so she doesn't actually "say" anything (she's 9 months old), but I know it's what she's thinking.

Her nightly feeding and sleeping patterns have all but committed me.  For 6 months, I did:  dinner, bath, bedtime to only have her wake up (repeatedly) during the night.  But, that's what usually works, right?  Plenty of food, nice warm bath, massage with Johnson's Bedtime Lotion.  Pfft!  Johnson and Johnson has never met The Baby.

Then, for some fluky reason I switched dinner and bathtime.  She slept through the night, but I didn't make the connection (probably because I still had a seat on the Loco Train) and went back to the same old-same old.  Days, maybe weeks, later I switched again and tada!  She slept through again.  Yes, that's it!, I thought to myself while giggling hysterically.

I knew from experience that any little glitch would throw her off for days, sometimes weeks, and I wasn't taking the chance.  The Sandman was back in my house and I be damned if he was getting back out.  I was the Bedtime Keeper for 2 1/2 months, hovering over it and protecting it.  The method was working; therefore, sacred.  Any deviation from anyone or anything would cause X-Mom to surface and destroy.

Then, they came...

"Sorry!"

I'm back on Start while she's displaying 4 brand new teeth.  While everyone's "awing" over her little choppers, I'm keeping one eye open.  They're razor-sharp and don't travel alone.  I know their friends are waiting to pounce and rip what's left of my sanity to shreds.

Hubs, referring to her "new" old routine, tells me, "She's just doing what a baby does."  Hmph.  I'm not sure "what a baby does," but I know The Baby is kicking my butt.  Mommy is tired.  I'm tired of not getting sleep, even though Hubs has taken over during the night I still wake up.  But, more importantly, I'm tired of not being able to figure her out, I'm tired of feeling like I don't know what I'm doing.  I'm tired of feeling anxious and stupid.  I'm tired of being tired.

And please spare me the "well, every baby is different" line.  Sleeping babies are not a myth, The Kid was one.  I simply got in the wrong line.

Each new day I'm hopeful the night will let The Baby play a little longer in Dreamland.  (Sheesh, can she get a Season Pass?)  And as crazy, anxious, and unsure she makes me feel, one little snuggle from those cuddly little arms makes everything okay.

Eh, she can win for a little while longer.

*rolling my eyes* I must be in a padded room...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

X-Mom Adventures: X-Mom vs The Puke Dragon

The clock strikes 1:00 am…

I hear The Baby working hard at her favorite pastime, yelling in the middle of the night. She’s so good at it she can do it in her sleep. Literally. The Hubs and I take turns fumbling to her room only to find her yelling, with her eyes still closed, fast asleep. Sometimes she’s on all fours, still asleep. Why does she do it? **Big shrug** Maybe she dropped her ice cream in Dreamland or maybe they told her she was too short for the Cloud Ride. I haven’t the slightest. All I know is that fifty pats on the back later she’s still eating cotton candy while we’re left outside the gate deliriously trying to claw our ways back in.

So, you can see I wasn’t in a rush to witness, yet again, this little trick of hers. Anyway, while patting her I noticed her PJ’s were wet and because she had been battling a cold I figured it was, for a lack of “pretty” words, snot. As I picked her up I realized it was in her hair, too. I rushed in our room to dump her on The Hubs so I could get something to clean her up with. He questioned my snot hypothesis. I’m like, duh, of course that’s what it is. After all, I’ve personally seen this kid produce enough mucus to make Mucinex giddy. I scoffed to myself. Men. They know nothing. As I’m racing back to her room (why I don’t know because I think it would prove hard to clean someone up from another room) he threw his own idea in the mix. “I think she threw up.”

My brain skidded to a stop, but my feet were still speeding along. So, I just went with it. I flicked on the light in her room and sure enough there was a stain in her crib the size of a dinner plate. And the bumper pad sported a matching one. Foul ball! How you throw up and to the left is beyond me. While I’m strategizing my head and scratching a plan—yes, I meant to type that—I hear Hubs yell, “She’s throwing up!” I raced back to our room, grabbed her towel, and hurdled across the bed.

Me: “Hold her over.”
Him: “I can’t, she’s throwing up.”
Me wishing I had a catcher’s mask and frantically shoving the towel under her mouth: “Well, hold her over.”
Him frantically moving her away from the towel: “She’s throwing up.”
Me: “Put her over the towel before she throws up on you.”
Him strapping on his Daddy Armor: “It’s okay, she can throw up on daddy.”
Me rolling my eyes so frigging hard they plopped in the towel and thinking, “What-the-hell-ever”: “You are NOT going to let her throw up on you.”

Needless to say, majority of it landed on him. Let me tell you, The Baby gave it a good fight, too. It was her first time, she decided she didn’t like it, was determined she wasn’t going to do it again, and she was gagging herself trying not to. But, four pukes later she lay exhausted across daddy’s chest clad in nothing but her diaper and a blanket. They stayed this way the entire night (aww…) while I kept a close watch in case back-up was needed. The damage? Her crib sheet, bumper pad, The Hubs, 3 towels, her hair, and 2 sets of PJ’s (one set wasn’t even on her body at the time).

The arena goes crazy. Yay! Daddy slayed the Puke Dragon! He was proud, I was proud he was proud, and The Baby was back to yelling in the middle of the night.

Two days later…

The Hubs hadn’t anticipated one thing. The Puke Dragon had a wife. Not appreciating the death of her husband she attacked mine with a vengeance so violent, Hubs was left sprawled across the bed sweating and begging for mercy. But, X-Mom was waiting with a secret weapon… Lysol. Done and done. I didn’t catch it and so far The Kid appears to be in the clear.

Hmph. Who’s your slayer now?

Friday, January 13, 2012

X-Mom Adventures: X-Mom vs The Baby

July 21, 2011 6:30 am...

Persistent dull backache + 9 months pregnant = Labor. This is what I knew. I headed to the doctor with The Kid and Mom in tow. Mom wasn’t accustomed to driving in “the city” and didn’t feel “comfortable” driving me. But, apparently her comfort level was okey-dokey with me (in case you didn’t catch it the first time, I was in LABOR!) driving.  No words.

Why didn’t I wait for Hubs?  Well…he was like 30 minutes away and the nurse wanted me to come immediately. Still not convinced are you? Okay, okay. Here’s the deal. I was nervous that he would be too nervous to drive. So, Option A: Ride with Mom breaking every 5 seconds AND driving like a turtle stuck in Laffy Taffy because she was scared. Option B: Ride with Hubs driving like Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights and scaring the hell out of me. Honestly, I would have rather taken my chances with The Kid, who was 8 at the time. But, I went with Option C:  Grabbed my X-Mom gear and floored it.

The pain stopped as soon as I parked the car and I just knew they were going to send me home. A quick check from the nurse confirmed I was still in labor and baby was ready, so I bounced over to the hospital next door. The anesthesiologist strolled in with his supplies and I was like, “Stick me, baby. Stick me good!”

So, let’s recap. (1) I drove myself (2) Contractions were next to nothing (3) Epidural was locked and loaded. Me: 3, Labor: 0. I was kicking Labor’s b-u-t-t.

Time ticked off the clock and I kept smiling and dilating. Labor was on the ropes. Yeah, buddy. Give me that heavyweight title because The Champ is here! Woot, woot!

I was Party Rocking in the ring and getting ready for the Big Push when I saw something pink out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see what it was and, bam! The Baby sucker punched me right in the kisser with her hot pink gloves. What happened, you ask?

Okay.  I started feeling this very, very intense pressure that was fast approaching the threshold of pain. Yes, even with the epidural. I’m crying and the two nurses are puzzled. Not only can’t they figure out why I’m in pain, but they don’t know “what” they’re feeling when they check me. The doctor breezes in and thinks The Baby's head is on top of the umbilical cord. He whisks in an ultrasound machine to confirm his suspicions and kiss my grits…The Baby is breech!  So, "what" they were feeling was her tush, which hadn't been there a few hours before.

They pumped up the epidural juice and wheeled me towards the operating room all in one swoop. While the surgeon and nurses were happily bantering over my exposed guts, I was left wondering what in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks happened.

When I retell the story people often ask why they didn’t try and turn The Baby. Um, no clue. Everything happened so fast and before I knew it I was spread out on the operating table like a starfish. And I didn’t think it was wise to argue with the guy holding the scalpel and my uterus.  

And the intense pressure/pain?  Now, that's the icing on the cupcake.  That was the moment The Baby pumped her brakes.  She decided she didn't want to be squeezed through the tunnel.  So, she ignored Nature's GPS and executed a U-turn.  At freaking 9 centimeters. Yup.  She came into this world kicking ass with her own set of rules. And I’ve got the scars to prove it. She's lightening fast and throws a wicked left jab.  She’s the baddest, droolingest, diaper-wearingest, mamma-jamma you’ve ever seen.

But, I’ve got my gloves up and my chin strap extra tight.

Baby? Bring it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Troubletini

Some of you may/may not know that I've completed my first novel and it's waiting patiently to begin the next phase of its life...finding an agent.  I've already pitched to two who expressed interest, but the trail kind of faded.  But, plenty of more shopping days to go.  Anyway, I realized I've never posted any of my "work" on this site.  Below is a blurb for my novel titled Troubletini.

Monroe Ryan, a self-proclaimed fashion planner--and shoe junkie!--thought a typical girls' weekend in Vegas with her best friend, would be, well...typical. A few weeks later a Nevada state marriage license stating she is Mrs. Aaron Davis proves how wrong she was. Unfortunately, all she can remember is downing a truckload of cocktails and...actually, that's pretty much it. Declaring her drunken love to a complete stranger was definitely not part of the plan.

Tracking down Mr. Davis becomes Monroe's mission. But, the GPS leads her to Nick, the sexy stranger with eyegasmic eyes who rescued her earlier that day, and not Aaron. Shocked and confused she can't help but wonder what went wrong.  An awkward night of pills and wine nixes her odds of getting any answers. Not to mention her chance of offering an explanation to Nick, even if it was so stretchy it would make a pair of Spanx cringe.

As she struggles to find answers she convinces herself to keep Nick in the dark for as long as it takes to find Aaron. If she can keep the intense sparks between them at a simmer--and if his eyes would stop flirting with hers--she may be able to keep her crumbling plan stable for a little longer. What Monroe doesn't know is that Nick plays more of a role in her plan then she thinks. And when an unexpected hitch adds another flavor to her cocktail of trouble she wonders if the truth itself is a little tipsy.