We went to a birthday party for a much loved Grandma this weekend. She was turning 90 years old.
I can't stop thinking of my own Grandma who wasn't here that long.
Her name was Opal, but she hated it. She told people her name was Kathy.
She was Southern. Beautiful and delicate on the outside. Probably quite sad on the inside.
She had a husband before my Grandfather. She likely married him while she was still a child. No one knows his name. I don't know if I remember my mother telling me or if it is the scene I see in my mind, but the story goes that he came home with another woman and threw her out. That's probably the tame version. I don't think she was ever divorced, I don't think that's how it was done then. I wonder all the time if she had a child that no one knows about, if that was the source of her quiet pain.
She said had a sister named Ruby who disappeared. She said she had another sister who gave birth on a dining room table. She had a brother who killed himself. She said she was one of the "mountain people" who could heal you with their mind. She said a lot of things. I have no idea if any of them were true, but I want to believe them all.
1. Oprah. Do you ever notice that she repeats everything her TV show guests say back in a really serious and reverent tone, like it was really deep shit, only it's not. I don't bebrudge her the success she has in life, however, I also do not appreciate how every interview somehow makes it's way back to her and how insanely rich she is. Watch more closely and you'll see it's true.
2. Dinner hour. I hate the sound of chewing, forks hitting plates and all varities of whining about what people have/don't have/want or never asked for.
3. Bath and Body candles. I always bring them home because a whiff smells so nice and then you light them and everyone in the house collapses from the overwhelming aroma of rosemary mint fumes.
I do like:
1. Carmel apples with peanuts. Not sprinkles. Not m&ms. Peanuts.
2. The smell of my Aveda conditioner. Dry Remedy. I know, doesn't sound like it smells good, but it's lovely.
3. Leaves that crunch under your feet when it's still warm and sunny.
When I was expecting, I was at a Christmas party where a woman I didn't know very well, but who had three kids, kept repeating to me that once you have kids, you never get to buy anything for yourself anymore. There would be no more clothes, shoes, fancy vacations. Apart from thinking that was terribly rude, and tuning her out completely (like when I did when my mother tried to tell me how tired I was going to be for the next, oh, 15 years), I noticed this woman was carrying what appeared to me a very pricey leather bag. I dismissed her immediately.
Turns out she was right, though. Even if you find a way to save money on the essentials like diapers and wipes (Amazon subscribe and save) and you have ample hand me downs, day care will kill you. I really think in lieu of buying gifts this year I'm going to wrap up cards that say I wanted to buy you something nice this Christmas, but instead I paid for day care. Because that's the reality.
So I've said goodbye to cute trendy clothes and fancy shoes and designer handbags, but I do have a job in an office where I need to look presentable. I don't have to wear suits (thank god) but I do have to dress up Monday through Thursday and unless you want to wear cheap polyester crap, it's hard to afford even the basics off the rack. For example, here is a basic, brown pencil skirt from Ann Taylor Loft: It costs $69.50.
They only way I can afford that is if the skirt becomes my entire outfit, and trust me, no body wants that.
Luckily for me, Milwaukee has a Retique. Does anyone else have one of these? It's an upscale Goodwill, which I thought was a silly concept until I stepped inside. It's a small store, about a quarter of the size of a regular resale shop, but everything in there is a brand name. You can find jeans from the Gap, sweaters from Old Navy, pants from J Crew and hooray! Skirts from Ann Taylor Loft!
I picked this one up yesterday. It's a brown, basic pencil skirt. It looks like it's never been worn and it has adorable stitching around the seams and two buttons on the front:
Here's the stiching up close:
So thank you to whoever bought that skirt and most likely couldn't fit into it by the time they got around to wearing it. Thanks to you I can afford to wear this AND a top!
We have an after school nanny now. She gets the good stuff.
Sidenote: When do you cross the line and refer to a "babysitter" as a "nanny"? In my mind, a babysitter is someone who comes over for a few hours while you go out and pound a couple of bottles glasses of wine and try to have a conversation that does not include a single word about Star Wars. A nanny is someone who has a more permanent relationship with you and your child. Who picks them up from school, knows who his classmates are, intervenes in arguments about Star Wars between your son and his friends on the playground, makes snacks, goes on trips to the library and snuggles with him on the couch watching television after a long day.
My nanny snuggles on the couch with my son. Hence the title of this post.
I'm thrilled about it. Really and truly. After trolling through Sittercity without any luck, grilling friends and putting up flyers in the Education Department of our local University, I reluctantly put an ad on Craigslist. To which she responded, while she was in Nepal, working with poverty stricken women who had been abused and/or involved in the sex trade. Where she went after working in a K5 classroom at a highly regarded daycare. She is lovely, bright, funny, witty, thoughtful and dependable. Best of all, she really gets Finn and all his daily fluctuations. She exceed my every expectation and SHE IS PERFECT.
Yesterday she sent me a text that said she treated Finn to an after school root beer to celebrate his being named "Star of the week" at school. How fun! I thought and replied as such, but as soon as I hit reply I thought, I wish it were me. It is me, though. I schedule days off regularly now to hang out just with Finn so it's not like I never get to sit and have root beer with him. But it still stings a teeny bit to hear that someone else gets to do it.
There's something about having two children that makes you really appreciate any one on one time you can find with either one of them, but I especially feel this way about Finn because his vocabulary and his imagination seem to take leaps and bounds inbetween the days off I spend with just him and he's a different kid when he's not competing with his younger brother for our undivided attention.
So I thank my lucky stars when I come home and see him happily sitting on the couch, side by side with her, his feet up and a smile on his face. I wouldn't change a thing. I have to remember that he's getting the good stuff too.
I've tried to watch Dancing With The Stars before but I could never stand it.
It's not because of the boobs
or the David Hasselhoffs (eww)
or the weird plastic looking female hosts. with the boobs.
It's the God awful music. I can't stand it. I see what they are going for; Trying to take songs by Pink and make them fit for a ballroom but some things go against the laws of nature.
But I've come around. I've learned to get past it. I am actually really into DWTS this season, even though it's been around for like a gazillion seasons. I can't help thinking how fun it must be to wear a colorful costume and some heels, to slap on some fake eyelashes and a spray tan and do things like this.
I don't care if my knees ache and my back is sore and I'm so tired I can't even think straight. Damn, I feel like that now. That looks like a whole lot more fun.
Finn is having some trouble with friends at his new school. I don't want to tell the story here because it's his, but it's been a challenging few weeks for him, and that means rough days at home for all of us.
It's difficult to watch him try and find his way and it's not easy knowing if we are doing the right things to help him while wanting to so very badly. Watching him go through something painful is almost as bad as having it happen myself, only it's better for me because I know how to come up with the words to talk about how much it sucks.
I always said I didn't want to have a little girl because I wouldn't be good at the emotional stuff that comes along with being a girl like the tears and the mood swings and the hurt feelings. I didn't know it comes with boys too.
1. Man, don't pick the week after Halloween to start doing Weight Watchers (again). There's candy at work, candy at school, candy taunting me from my son's still very full trick or treat pumpkin.
2. Here's Finn in his costume. If you don't have a 5-7 year old boy living in your house and if you don't watch the Clone Wars every Friday night then please don't say to Finn "Oh! You're a Stormtrooper!" Because then he will lift up his mask and tell you, very authoritatively that he is NOT a stormtrooper, he is a CLONE trooper and he will say it like, DUH! and then I will be very embarassed.
3. Next year I'm dressing up. Even if it means just wearing a wig. I always think finding a costume is one more thing I have to do, but a wig? How hard is that? Not at all. I should quit being a pill about it.
4. I bought Rowan an R2D2 costume so the brothers would match. Do you think a 2 year old will voluntarily put on a costume? Nope. He won't. I did get him to wear the hat though. Good Enough.
I'm not even going to be riddiculous and say I'm going to post every day this month but what the hell. I'm going to do my best to post more times this month than any other month of 2010 and if I happen to do it every day, well, that will just be super.
Let's kick things off by listing 5 things I like about Eden Kennedy. (Even though I've never met her personally and she has no idea who I am.)
1. Her first name.
2. I saw her at the BlogHer09 keynote just rocking a pantsuit and totally not in a Hillary Clinton kind of way.