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My Favorite Things

  • Naptime
  • Caffeine in various forms
  • Italy
  • The Beach
  • Family camping trips
  • The gym
  • Storytime at the Library
  • Rachael Ray
  • Running

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I'll be the first to admit that I was not excited to turn thirty last year. In my eyes, the exciting part of life was over and all that was left was waiting around to hit 63 and collect retirement. I'm happy to admit that I could not have been more wrong! I am loving being in my thirties. I've made a lot of changes since my twenties. I read the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker, which punched me in the face, and then Radical, by David Platt, that finished me off with a swift kick in the knees. I highly, highly recommend both books if you've never read them. They made me realized that I was living a shallow, self-centered life instead of a people-loving, Christ-glorifying life. Not that I've got it all figured out now, but I have loved everything I've learned this year and the process of trying to apply it. I also became a certified personal training and am taking steps to work as a fitness professional. So it's been a busy year!

I am loving the phase that my kids are in too. Well, I suppose as much as anyone could love the 2 and 4 year old phase. It turned out pretty well that they were both girls (so, public, you can stop asking me if I wish I would have had a boy. Can we agree that it's bad form to comment on the children you wish you had while in front of the children you do have?) because they are both into the same thing. Generally, they play decently well together, thus allowing me to do wild and crazy things such as take a shower or clean my house. Just today, we went to the pool for a bit, and they were both able to meander independently instead of taking turns trying to drown like last year.

So the thirties are pretty fantastic! Except for a few little things that I haven't quite figured out. I'm hoping someone can offer some help with the following:

1. My skin
I was looking at a picture of me and Captain Destructo when I realized I was rocking some serious crows' feet. And smile lines. I will admit that I spent most of high school channeling my inner Daria (you will only get that reference if you are also in your thirties!) and scowling, which explains the wrinkles. So is now the time to get wrinkle cream? Because I also still have acne. Acne that is not quite as bad as pregnant me, but still too bad to go untreated. So do I also need Clearasil? Shouldn't you stop buying that when you graduate high school? What to do? Why is my skin like 3 different ages on one face?

2. Clothing selection
Here's the good thing about becoming a trainer: I can get away with workout clothes most of the time. I will also smell like a locker room most of the time, but that's a far trade off in my opinion. But what to wear the rest of the time? Can I pull off skinny jeans? Is there an age limit on these? And then what about the tops? Are tank tops in the summer ok or not ok? What about shorts? These are the questions that follow me as I wander through Old Navy. Which is why I go home, put the yoga pants back on and call it a day. But clothes, as confusing as they are, don't boggle my mind as much as...

3. Bathing suits
Bathing suits are enough to traumatize a woman of any age, but at thirty, I am starting to feel like I should question the appropriateness of certain suits. The main concern I have is this: what is the age limit on the bikini? I know Helen Mirren rocked one at 60 or whatever, but is it ok for the average woman in her thirties to wear a bikini? And if the answer is yes, are there restrictions? I own 2 suits: one bikini and one tank suit. Whenever I wear the tank to the pool, I feel like other women my age are in bikinis and I look like a school marm. When I wear the bikini (like today), I feel like the other women are in tank suits and I look like a hussy. I like the idea of the tankini, but I tend to look short and stumpy in them. So bikinis? Yay or nay? Discuss.

Like I said, in general I love, love the thirties. The insecurities and uncertainties on the twenties are over. I'm told forties are great, too, but I'm in no way emotionally prepared to think about that.

What are your thoughts? Should your style and skincare routine change in your thirties? Are you loving the thirties too?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

It was supposed to be a great day.

It was supposed to be an awesome Saturday. I was going to be a great mom. I am on my own this weekend, but I was determined to be Master of All Things and not give the kids a chance to miss their daddy, nor would I call him in tears about how I couldn't handle it. I am Mommy.

10 mile long run on the schedule? Check. Nailed it on the treadmill. And when I say "nailed it" I mean "slogged through it while watching a Supernanny marathon." By the way? On Supernanny today was a lady with 4 kids, a husband who worked from home, her mom living with her, and an actual nanny. I would love to borrow one of her helpers if she's not going to be taking advantage!

Next on the docket: take the kids to Sea World by myself. I have done this before, but not on a blazing hot South Texas Saturday morning, which is code for, everyone in this Great State would be there. After packing every snack item, bottle of sunscreen, and change of clothes I could find, I laid out some ground rules (just like Supernanny taught me). There would be no riding of the merry go round, as Captain Destructo will only ride the bench, and New Baby will only ride the horse, and Sea World had to stop the carousel for me last year when I leaped over the bench holding New Baby to console a screaming Captain Destructo (true story). There would be an Elmo show, a Shamu pretzel, and some splashing in the new waterpark that we had yet to try. It would be a great morning and I would be Mother of The Year. Or at least the Day.

After an obscenely long line, the Elmo show was a success. I played my usual mental game where I try to guess which character would be the first to pass out in the stifling heat, the kids wiggled and danced and we were on our way. When attempting to change them both into their swimsuits, I noticed that New Baby was looking a She had a bit of a glazed eye look and her skin was pale. I felt her head. Blazing. Not knowing whether this could be from the heat or a fever, I asked her what was wrong, and she pointed to her tummy. Ok, I thought, this could end badly. But Captain Destructo was freaking out excited over going to the new pool, and I had just wrangled them into their suits, and it would be a half hour drive home. So, in a very un-Mother of the Year move, I gave New Baby some water and soldiered on to the pool.

She seemed to recover a bit in the pool, and I figured maybe that was just a fluke. But after 15 minutes or so in the pool, she said "home now, Mommy?" in such a miserable voice that I would be a truly terrible person if I made her stay at the pool. So we made it to the exit and I listened to Captain Destructo say "but I didn't get a pretzel! We didn't see the sea lions! I didn't get some lemonade!" for the duration of the ride home. As a plus, New Baby did not vomit in the car as I suspected she would. Thank God for small mercies.

So now we are at home, where we will, in all likelihood, be watching the Disney channel and counting down the hours until bedtime. So much for Mommy of the Year.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Growing Up

Captain Destructo's new favorite movie is Peter Pan. I love both this movie, and the break from princesses galore, so I am happy to watch with her. Ever since she started watching this movie, she's been expressing a lack of desire not to grow up.
"I don't want to be 4 anymore, I want to be 3."
" I want to stay little forever."
"I don't want to get big and go to school."

I can totally sympathize with these sentiments, because the idea of her growing up gives me an ulcer. She is going to kindergarten next fall, and I literally cannot think about that too much without tearing up. Oh look, tears. Just thinking of her putting on a little backpack, holding her little lunch box, and waving goodbye to me to spend her day with 24 kids and a teacher I don't know makes me start sweating. I know that we've got over a year to get there, but the fact that she doesn't want to go worries me. How do I prepare her for something that neither of us want to do, but we both have to? Seriously. How.

Do you know what's right around the corner from starting elementary school? Starting middle school. Do you remember middle school? Do you have fond memories of middle school? Apparently this question has different answers from boys and girls. My husband remembers middle school as his "peak." If middle school was my peak, I would hate to see the valleys. Here's what I remember about middle school.
Being a total bitch and telling my elementary school best friend I didn't want to be her friend anymore.
Being afraid to go to school because I didn't know if my friends would be my friends anymore.
Wanting to go to a dance with a boy, but never being asked.
Finally going to a dance with a boy, and wishing I was there with my friends instead of holding his sweaty hand.
Getting my period in the middle of 8th grade biology (not for the first time, just the most traumatic. The first time was in 5th grade. And I just heard girls as young as 3rd grade are getting their periods now. 3rd grade, people).
Being called Fatso, Tubby, and Chubs.
My first experiment with an eating disorder.

And while high school was marginally better for me, it's not that way for everyone. And high schools are so much worse than when I was there I can't even stand it. You might get lucky and just end up doing the cinnamon challenge on a You tube video, or you might be too fat to shop at Abercrombie. (Sidebar: does anyone remember the store 579? Is that still around? Because I was definitely too fat to shop there. Nothing like being too fat for a store and being there with your size zero friend. Actual size zero, not Old Navy size zero.) While I was no angel, my biggest high school transgressions involve a few sips of Boone's Farm strawberry wine after junior prom, not getting alcohol poisoning from drinking hand sanitizer. Don't even get me started on the outfits now. I can't even imagine what the kids will be wearing in 10 years when Captain Destructo starts high school (and when I say "kids," clearly I mean other kids. My girls will be wearing pigtail braids and dresses a la Laura Ingalls).

So yeah, when Captain Destructo tells me she doesn't want to grow up, and I plaster on a fake smile and tell her it isn't all that bad, I'm crying on the inside. Because while the being a grown up part is not so bad, the steps to get there can pretty much suck.

What do you do to prepare your kids, and yourselves, for kindergarten?