Friday, January 29, 2010

My ARCH Enemy

Eyebrows. There are many features we woman pay attention to. However, the eyebrows are definitely at the top of the list. I don't know about anyone else, but I notice ones eyebrows even before the smile.

Nowadays, it is entirely unnecessary for a person to go around looking like Bert (Sesame Street) , or worse, as if a woolly bear caterpillar climbed its way out of my sand bucket and plastered itself on their forehead.

It is very important to find someone good to do your eyebrows. When you think about it, you are trusting someone to lather hot wax, centimeters above your eyeballs. You need to be fully aware that you are running the risk of becoming blind, or worse yet, looking like Whoopie Goldberg should your esthetician makes the tiniest mistakes.

I, myself, have walked out of the salon on several occasions with a bad brow job. There was the bald spot while I was on break and had to resort to filling in the spots with a black bic pen. Or the brows that were waxed so thin, that I ran to the drugstore, purchased those individual eyelashes, and attempted to fashion new eyebrows. It didn't work and what little eyebrows I had left were damaged by the lash glue. For a good few hours, my eyelid was sticking together... holding my eye open. With every blink, I looked like a had a facial tick on the right side of my face. Why didn't I just but an eyebrow pencil?

Now, it is no secret that I feel this way even about my own daughters eyebrows. Unfortunately, they were cursed with their fathers eyebrows...all three of them. If you can visualize, the brow grows almost to the lids of their eyes. All the "Samm" girls can attest to this curse.

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE MAY DISTURB CERTAIN READERS (or people involved within the child welfare industry)

I began with Ava (Liza would NEVER agree to this anyway). Using a very small nose hair trimmer, I would gently snip the unruly hairs as close to the skin as I could. This worked for a while, when it occurred to me that it was no longer feasible.....I needed to convince her to let me pluck a few. Try plucking the brows of a 7 year old...not happening. So, I let it go.

I let it go, that is, until her first Father -Daughter Dance. She had a beautiful dress, and her hair is gorgeous. But the brows...I just couldn't let it go. I convinced her to let me wax them. I would fashion the room to resemble a spa. I laid a cozy blanket on the kitchen counter. Gave her a for under her head and one for under her knees. I lit a candle. Told her to relax.

I heated the lavender cream wax to just the right temperature. I gently stirred it with the thin Popsicle stick provided. I cut the paper strip perfectly. "now, honey, relax. it will be over in just one minute." I gently spread the wax, carefully contouring the arch of her little browline. I applied the waxing strip.

What was to happen next was nothing but a pure fortuitous event. What I can only imagine happened, is that I must have applied just a tad too much wax...and when the pressure was applied to the strip, the wax was displaced upwards to catch the brow hairs that were meant to form her perfect brow.

On the count of three, I swiftly pulled the strip against the grain of the hair. My first instinct was to look at the strip. Holy Shit...that's a lot of hair. My eyes slowly, and unwantingly turned to Ava. Oh my God, Oh my God, oh my God. "What? What mom???" Umm....hold on, I'll be right back. Yes. You are imagining correctly. I had taken her entire eyebrow off with the exception of a little section closest to the bridge of her nose.

I ran to get my makeup bag. Eyeliner and eyeshadow would now be needed to create a new eyebrow. This was not as easy as you would think. I also had to create a similar look for the existing eyebrow.

It took my almost 30 minutes to get them just right. One would have to get close to her to notice, however, they were a bit thicker and darker than her natural brows. She was oddly OK with it. I whipped out an online picture of Brooks Shields from the 1980's to show that her new brows were in style. I had to instruct Dave to ensure that she did not dance to hard so as to break a sweat...less her new eyebrows would begin to stream down her face. I sent him with the eyeshadow just in case.

She came home after the dance. Most of the brow had disappeared. Before I asked her if she had fun, I asked if anyone said anything about her eyebrows. They did not.

I had to add a good 15 minuted to our morning for the next several weeks in order to make her eyebrows for school. Eventually, they grew back...with a vengeance.

We still look back on the dance photos and cannot help but laugh. I now use hair removal cream. When the time is right, I will take them to a professional.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sharks, Lakes and Escalators..oh my! (teaching phobias or life lessons)

Phobia: noun

A persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.

This subject came to light, when yesterday, while Matt (16) and I were in the car, driving southerly on route 95. We spotted a rental U-haul truck, and several RI State Troopers stopped behind it. It appeared that they were attempting to search the vehicle. I quickly turned to Matt and told him that this is how a lot of dead bodies are found (in trunks). You know, by routine traffic stops. He rolled his eyes, told me that never happens. Then, in what I can only imagine was a quick, and scary flashback moment, he proceeded to tell me that all the things I told him growing up were just lies to keep him from doing dangerous stuff. He told me that it would no longer work on him.

He was right. Most of what I told him was not entirely true. However, I felt I had to make an impression when it came to certain things to ensure his physical safety. To be quite honest, I think I may have projected some of my own fears while trying to do this.

Although I have many fears.....most I am sure are irrational, A few things make me uncomfortable enough to push on the kids.

LAKES: I am afraid of lakes for several reasons. One reason is somewhat related to the fact that I watched Friday the 13th when I was far too young to process it. If you recall, "Jason" emerged from the lake. Now, I am not going to tell my children that a crazed murdered is going to come out of the lake and continue on a mass killing HOWEVER, I have, on occasion, told them that people who cannot keep their piranhas anymore, and don't know what to do with them, often throw them in lakes. (I did read that a looong time ago). Alligators, too. Lastly, I feel that dead bodies often show up in lakes....with the lack of a scent trail and all.

I did, several years ago, face an embarrassing conversation with the head counselor at the "Y" camp when Ava shared her "knowledge" with the others during swim session. (my bad.)

It was worth it as I firmly believe I have kept my children safe from contracting diseases from the many forms bacteria found in stagnant lake water.

ESCALATORS: I refuse to step on the moving, vertical death trap. As you all know, kids LOVE to ride the escalators. So this has been one of my more challenging. When they were old enough to visualize what I was saying, I explained to them, that if they did not exit the escalator at the very right time, their feet could be sucked in to the jagged end in which the stairs magically disappear. Also, if they were to fall, their hair could also be sucked in, leaving them scalpless.

I have no problem walking to the nearest large department store and use the elevator, rather then risking our lives on an escalator.

SHARKS: We are a beach family. Anyone who knows us knows we love the beach. We belong to a small, private beach club. Now, sharks are not likely to invade our private little cove. However, following simple safety guidelines is imperative when avoiding becoming shark bait.
The kids are not allowed to swim in the ocean if it is dawn or dusk...or cloudy...cause that looks like dawn and dusk. They are not allowed to float on their boogies boards in any fashion that could possible look like a harbor seal from below. No going in the ocean if you have anything close to an open wound.

I think I feel this strongly about this matter because I read a book, (approximately 15 times) in the 2nd grade. It was called "shark attack" and it was a non fictional book detailing hundreds of shark attacks which occurred around the world. I recalled one of the stories, and although I told the kids it occurred many, many years ago, I did tell them it was at our beach club. It was a good lesson and if i ever had a doubt that it wasn't absorbed Li assured me it was. We were sunbathing on the beach when a man walked by missing the lower portion of his right arm. Liza, then 3 years old, proclaimed in her loudest voice "SHARK ATED THE MANS ARM". (filter, Liza, filter.) She would later go on to ask for that image on her 4 yr birthday cake.

I realize that there are only a few more years before the little ones grow wise and stop believing the garbage I feed them, but for now i will relish in the fact that there are 2 soon to be 3 little people as crazy as I.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Exam Room #3

I had my very first dermatological body scan today. (scan meaning I laid naked on a table while the doctor examined my every inch...I know what you're thinking "jealousssss" ....of the doctor, obviously) Given the years of sun abuse - ie: mixing baby oil with crisco, I felt it in my best interest to get all those "things" on my body checked out.

After filling out several sheets pertaining to my insurance, I proceeded to fill out the health history section. I'll be honest, i am a bit of a hypochondriac. (no lie- was convinced I had Lupus for three months before I found out I was pregnant).

Although I knew to answer "no" to most of the questions, some of them were questionable, and quite frankly, got me a little nervous. Although there was no "official" check box, I felt it only fair to create my own "maybe" box. I mean, I wanted the doctor to have a full understanding of know, so she could treat me properly. Some of the items included, but are were not limited to:

1. Anxiety (umm....have you been to my house??)
2. Alzheimer's (i forget things...a lot)
3. Skin problems - duh...I'm at the dermatologist..aren't I?
4. Digestion (go ahead....I DARE you to eat a half a bag of sugarfree chocolate)
5. Sleep problems (I don't know if my sleep problems really count...medically anyway, but If she wants to prescribe me some Ambien or something....I wouldn't object)

So, after the completing the forms to the best of my ability, I was summoned to EXAM ROOM#3)

The nurse came in with a chart complete with a the outline of the front and back of a person. She asked me what I was concerned about. I began to explain that I hadn't had a lot of sleep lately, and my eldest son had been having some problems in school. Also, there is a level of romance missing in my life..and.... She stopped me. " I mean, skin problems...moles, rashes, etc". "oh, of course, sorry." I could've pointed to every freckle...I mean, honestly, my chest alone resembles Hydra (the largest of the constellations names after a many headed sea serpent encountered by Hercules). However, I kept it to the most bothersome to me. "Ok, the Doctor will be in a few minutes". She then instructed me to take off all my clothes, and put a gown on...opening to the back. She then handed me a sheet. Umm...I am at the dermatologist, right? Cause last time someone told me to do that, there was to be a cold, metal object with a crank in my near future.

I told her I would compromise. I would lose the bra...that's it.

Sounds familiar...right? That last sentence..."the doctor will be in a few minutes". We all know what that means. "IF YOU'RE LUCKY, THE DOCTOR WILL BE IN IN LESS THAN 1 HOUR"

I don't know why I was surprised as I sit there 15 minutes later. First, I realized i was cold. And my backside was open....and was facing the door. Why would they set the room up like that. If the door opened, and I was sitting up, and I had complied the the naked rule, everyone would have seen my butt.(?) I guess If it were I gyno office, the position of the table would have been preferred. But it was not.

There were no magazines. I dont have an iphone. My cell was out of batteries... I got 2 text messages out and it died. I was bored. So I began to sing. I sat there, looking out the window singing "I can't fight this feeling anymore, i forgotten what I started fighting for..." (you get the idea).
Then, I started to imagine that there was a record producer in the room next door....and this could be my fate...and he would here me..and want to sign me. And all those hours I logged on my home Kareoke machine was not for nothing. Then, he would bust into the room, see my back fat and tell me "sorry...wrong room". *sigh*

OK, this is ridiculous. 25 minutes had passed. It is now close to 1 hour past my appointment time. What is the point of an appointment if you are just going to sit there indefinitely. And why couldnt I stay in the waiting room....with a TV...and magazines....and my clothes on. Then, as I always do in these situations, that maybe there was a hidden camera. I better not pick my nose just in case.

Thirty minutes passed. I decided to call the front desk (as I was not about to walk out the door in a johnny). "hi, this is exam room #3. I was wondering how much longer. I have another appointment in 1/2 hour" (that was a little white lie). She apologized and assured my it would be a few minutes more. "The doctor has been running a little behind". A little behind? Its not like the ob/gyn where you can somewhat understand because of the sudden, and unexpected births and all. And unless she had the woman with the 200 pound tumor, or better yet tree man (google him...fascinating) is in the next room, I don't buy it.

OK, I'll wait. But my time is worth something too. Its worth 4 pairs of size small latex gloves, a couple of tongue depressor and a tube of Aquaphor.

Finally, she came in. Eight months pregnant. I felt kind of bad. (not because I was cursing her for taking so long...because she was going to have a baby).

Turns out, I am ok. I do not have melanoma or anything. And she didn't think I had lupus either. However, she didn't think therapy was a horrible idea for me.

At any rate, I made an appointment for 2 weeks to get some moles removed ....just because they are ugly, and frankly, I am sick of Emma trying to pick them off...and Liza calling me "holy moly".

"Thank you doctor and good luck with your baby (and welcome to hell)" On the way out, I noticed a pamphlet on Restylane injections. Booyaa.......

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thou Shall Not Judge

I am fairly confident that I could win a congressional seat if I made this subject my soap box.

Picture me-the pastor in the church of "Mind Your Own Damn Business". With every sermon, and every example, you all gleefully arise from your seats, raise your hands to the heavens and shout "HALLELUJAH, PRAISE THE MOM".

We all have relatives that love to give you unsolicited advice, but today I am talking about the complete strangers whose comments spew from their mouths like Mount Vesuvius' deadly eruption over Pompeii. Sometimes, it is just a look...that look of disdain that lets you know whatever it is you are doing is utterly unacceptable to them.

Most of these people are somewhat older, and raised their own children when flogging was a completely acceptable manner in which to make your children conform.

There are a few incidences that happen to stick out in my mind.

The incident at the beach was one of the better ones. One of the kids had brought with them a babydoll. This was one of those Berringer dolls that looked eerily lifelike...anatomically correct even. It was in a stroller. A woman ran up to me and proceeded to tell me to get my baby out of the sun. Was she kidding? Before I remembered that I was a upstanding member of just came out of my mouth......"Its a fucking doll!!!"

About three days ago, as I was perusing the makeup isle at Target. Emma was being her usual self. Attempting to hurl herself from the carriage, and squirm her way out of my arms. (She likes to be busy...what 10 month old doesn't?)

So, I put her down. Big deal. There was no one else in the isle besides my shopping partner and me. I needed some makeup and I wanted to take my time. It took only a couple of minutes before Em found a bin filled with travel sized lotions. I know this would give me at least 10 minutes. She was having a blast taking them out, putting them back, throwing them on the floor. (i had every intention of cleaning up the isle when I was finished)

A woman, I would say in her Early 50's, walked by and as obvious as you could get, actually walked BACKWARDS to look at Emma, and then scowl her eyebrows at me for a good 5 seconds. "Keep walking lady...that's right. I got my kid on the floor of Target so I can buy myself some limp plumping, sexual attraction promising lip gloss. And furthermore, Target Visa balance is probably bigger than your mortgage so I got every right" (I get afflicted with a dialect similar to that of Jerry Springer guest when put in defense mode)

Shortly thereafter, we went to lunch. Emma has a difficult time keeping her shoes and socks on, and frankly, sometimes I just let it go. While waiting to be seated, an older woman mentioned that she was barefoot (thanks for the 411). Of course I explained how her shoes and socks were most likely strewn in the backseat of my car to which she replied "oh, I didn't think you would have your baby out barefoot..chuckle chuckle" and then she made some DCYF comment. (damn straight I walked in there with her barefooted...shows what YOU know)

Most bothersome to me,however, was the incident at Savers. I think because of the absolute conviction in this woman's voice. I was running from store to my car. Emma, again, like most babies, has a hard time understanding the necessity of hat wearing. So keeping one on her is most challenging. As I was nearing my vehicle, a much older woman looked as us, threw her hands to the sky and literally began calling to God "Oh, dear lord, dear lord, put a hat on that child..please lord". What? Was she truly asking God to magically bestow a hat on my baby's head? I was honestly outside for maybe 30 seconds. In my shock, and after about 10 seconds, I turned around and was not about to let this go. "ITS A FUCKING DOLL"

After that, I decided that would be my new comeback for any nosey, advice wielding know it all that feels the need to invoke their opinion upon me and my doll. I mean baby.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sexy Mother Pucker

This is not what you think. Its a quicky about a product. Sexy Mother Pucker is the cleverly named lip gloss that I recently purchased. It wasn't just the name that drew my attention, but also the headline that read "lip size found crucial for sexual attraction". It promised to plump lips to 10x their normal size...and is activated with water.(huh?) This is not necessarily a product I need, but I took the bait. (as some of you may or may not know, my natural lips are pretty plump....a feature I was tortured for as an elementary student, and envied for as an adult.)

( for a second, I also thought that this would have been a good gimmick for the sex toy party I recently attended...hmmm.....)

At 10 bucks, I thought, what could be the harm. I opened the package, and applied the gloss. My first impression was that it tasted like chocolate. I immediately began licking my lips...around and around, my tongue circled as quickly as the rims on an Indy 500 car during the final stretch of a race. In about 3.8 seconds, and before I made it to a mirror, the gloss was completely gone off my lips.

This, by the way, is very clever of the manufacturer for a couple of reasons:

#1. The licking of the lip gloss is most likely the cause of the sexual attraction...what man is going to resist a woman licking her lips like that? and
#2. Due to the constant licking, reapplication is crucial, resulting in the need to purchase the product more often.

(side note: I have been on a no sugar my incessant eating of my lip gloss may have just been my overwhelming need for sweets....just saying)

OK, on to the experiment:

Freshly glossed. "Oh Dave"..... in my lowest, most sexy voice. (I know, those of you who know me really REALLY cannot imagine me doing this...but it was purely for research purposes) Nonchalantly, trying to put my best lips forward. (get your head out of the gutter....we are testing the LIP GLOSS here). "So, what do you think of my new lip gloss? His response? "they look the same...but why is your tongue brown?". Damn it. I tried so hard.

Oh well. It really wasn't worth the $10 for me. I guess I should stick to chapstick and M&M's.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Evolution of My Underwear Drawer

Underwear: Noun
Clothing worn next to the skin, under the outer clothes

Evolution: Noun
any process of formation or growth

SYNONYMS For Underwear:
Long Johns, Boxershorts, lingerie, panties, loincloth, corset, drawers

Why underwear as the topic of the day? It came to me yesterday, when I opened my underwear drawer (hereinafter referred to as "UD") only to find my undies of the month (usually depending on weight and or self esteem..and have really been the undies of the year) were all in the laundry.

I reached towards the waaayyyy back of the drawer to pull out a pair.....which were somewhat smaller than I normally wear. But I was in a pinch. After about 2 hours, I realized that I had made a horrible mistake. I don't know why it took me so long...I had been pulling at this damn underwear almost as soon as it hit my body. I am sure you are visualizing me with an enormous wedgie...but that was not the problem (currently, I am the "boy short" type. My only backside issues are more relative to plumbers crack). It was my legs. More specifically, my upper (upper) thighs. The circulation was being cut off at the top of the thigh. I imagine this is what a tourniquet must feel like when required due to a major stab wound to the femoral artery.

Unfortunately, I was in a store. Momentarily, I thought about smuggling a more suitable pair into the dressing room and slipping my current pair off. Oddly, my morality kicked in only after I realized that worrying about the old pair falling out of my purse while stumbling for my wallet was probably NOT what should preclude me from trying this little stunt.

As soon as I got home, I dis-pantied. (i like to make up words). My only other option was a ginormous pair I had purchased in anticipation of the healing of my c-section scar. A pair that, when I bought them, my daughter made a face and asked "weren't you embarrassed to pay for these?" Yes. Yes I was. The top of this pair reached approximately 2 inches above my navel.

I also began thinking about all the underwear that I am forced to look at...the woman is who is bending down to pick up her child and her g string is midway up her back. Why? What does she know that I don't? Nothing. Its what I know that SHE doesn't.

My idea on underwear goes back several years. I was in my office ladies room when I spotted a red sequin on the floor. No one was wearing least not on the OUTSIDE! I snatched it up and swiftly confronted the young 20 something girls who worked for me. At the risk of breaking some human resources rule, I felt it more important to teach these young, impressionable ladies the dangers of non-cotton items so close to your lady parts. I emphatically explained that those pretty, seemingly innocent sequins could very possible contain lead paint, leaving them barren for the rest of their lives! ( I know, I know, it's times like this that make one realize why I make such a great mother)

Back on track. My UD is set up in sections. I arranged it this way after deciding it was time to clean out the pairs that were pre 1999. (which, by the way, was the year I was married). I realized how far I had come in the undergarment department since the ring was slipped on my finger.

I believe my collection tallied close to 70 pairs. (and is second only to my bathing suit collection)

These included many pairs of thongs. We'll refer to them as the "Floss Group" There was a brief period of time that I was strictly a thong girl. They went best with my "Dance Fever" type leggings that I donned to the gym everyday.

I suppose some may feel that there is still a need for one to keep member of the "Floss Group", however, I don't buy...or agree with it. Frankly, I consider them a health hazard and could very well be contributing to the funding of the hemmoroidal cream industry. (well, along with pregnancy anyway). WOMEN: If you want to wear a thong, do it when you are confident that they will only be on you for no more than an hour. (valentines day or your anniversary)

The next group to go was the "Lace Group". Yes, they make a woman feel sexy I suppose. But is it worth the itch? I think not. Lace is not good for anybody down there. "Feeling" sexy isn't going to cut it when you're trying to look cute in a bar and you're looking like a football player with a bad case of jock itch.

The "Time of the Month Group" (a/k/a TOM). This group consisted of big, granny pants. Its 2010. Woman have been liberated and the feminine product industry has come a long way....we are no longer forced to wear large lady diapers. Therefore, we need not underwear to accommodate such baggage.

Now that this has been taken care, something has to be done with the lucky few that will be kept in my drawer.

(I am not ashamed to say, that I have kept one or two pairs from the above mentioned groups....but only with good reason.)

The drawer has been fashioned into sections.

Back left corner. Size small. Everyday Undies. (this section has not been disturbed since October, 2008. ) I hope to be able to utilize this section in the near future without the fear of losing a leg.

Back right corner: Size small. Special occasion. (maybe a thong,or lace....just in case commando is definitely out of the question,) I did however, keep my wedding underwear. Call me sentimental.

Front left corner. Ones that actually fit. Most resemble something you may find in the drawer of a 10 year old boy. Judge me if you want, but at this time of my life....well....thats just the way it is!

The remainder of the drawer is filled with belts. I never said I was great at organizing.

There it is. The evolution from pre marriage to post marriage with children. I realized that uncomfortable, hemmoroid causing, jock itch seeming panties do not make ME feel or be sexy.

If I need to feel sexy, I'll throw on a pair of heels and call it a day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When "Cover Up" Doesn't Cover It

I am a 35 year old mother of 4. Years of smoking (I am reformed) and sunworshiping have left my face looking older....yet somehow not really wiser(?)

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my face. Well, not so much my face, but the creepy little spots that have begun to take over it. And the lines. The lines that are slowly making their way from the corners of my eyes to the hairline that frame my temples. And lets not ignore the smile lines that keep the corners of my mouth company. They are not dissimilar to the marionettes that sung and danced during the goat herd scene in "The Sound of Music". (that reminds hills are not alive...we'll get to that in the body blog at a later time.)

What (whom) really brought this to fruition, was my 6 year old daughter. She was watching me apply my cover up....the one I use for the "worst" blemishes on my face. I was dotting it on and with each speck I commentated: "icky spot....icky spot...icky spot...etc." She looked at me and revealed " should just put it on your whole face".

I should start with the smile lines. I must have been an extremely happy person throughout my 35 years, as only years of bliss could result in lines this deep. (hence the reason I do not refer to them as frown lines). (side note: I should have dropped out of school in the 5th grade, gotten married and had kids...that would have solved THAT problem).

The irony of this problem is that the thinner I get, the worse they look. So, I have had to choose the lesser of two evils....a slightly more heavy yet smooth face, or a thinner face (which, by the way, goes with a thinner body) wrought with smiles lines. I am not exaggerating day, a woman I know had her laugh lines done. She was so thrilled about it, that she told me I was the first person she thought of...and she handed me a business card. Balls.

I will also admit, that there was a period of time whereas each time I was in my car, I would keep my cheeks filled with air like a puffer fish so that by the time I arrived at my destination, the lines would be stretched out enough to be barely visible. And yes, I came up with the brilliant idea myself.
(I can only imagine what passers by thought...possibly that I was about to lose my lunch...and was awaiting the very next stop light....ewww)

I have spent approximately $6,322.18 on face creams promising to "erase" the lines and wrinkles that are taking over. Can you believe that the products sold via your television at 3'o'clock am don't deliver what they promise? (Now that I think about it, I have had several dates back in the day where I swear I had the same thought.)

The "AGE SPOTS"....I like to think of them as "SUN" makes me feel younger. It began a few months ago when I noticed a little brown spot..about the size of a chic pea, approximately an inch and a half southwest of my left eye. I had been restaining a cabinet so naturally, I though it was stain. (or maybe even some hair color residue from a couple of nights prior)

I started with a makeup remover wipe. Nothing. I moved onto a facial scrub. Nothing. Lastly, a "do it yourself" chemical peel. This opened me up to a whole new set of problems.....I looked eerily similar to MJ during his transition to caucasion (RIP). (note to self: if a product says "do it yourself" and "chemical" in the same sentence, put it in a ziploc baggie and call the proper hazmat authorities in your area).

There is not a salon, or doctors office (even the dentist) That is not pushing and advertising botox, restylane injections, chemical peels, and microderm abrasion. They have made it as easy as driving up to your local fast food restaurant.

drive up nurse: "Welcome to FREEZE YOUR FACE drive thru where facial expressions
are so 1990's. May I take your order?"

me : "Umm...yes..I'd like that botulism bacteria".

drive up nurse: "Sure Ma'am, would you like microderm abrasion on the side? We have
medium or fine grade sandpaper..or you can get super coarse for an additional $25".

So here I am. Do I embrace the face, Or do I fight it? What would be my motivation for joining the many who are fighting? Would I be doing it for myself? My husband? Your husband? (JK) Truth be told, I think women try and look their best for other women.

In closing, I think, at least for now, I will continue to keep Sephora's stock up. Also, I somewhat enjoy the daily challenge - and it's a little bit if science class and art class simultaniously taking place on my face.

PLEASE, however...If I EVER begin to look "TAMMY FAYE BAKERish" let me know. I am not all against the idea of someone shooting poison into my forehead ....I'd rather look like a wax figure than a circus clown.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sex and the Suburbs

Ok, this is probably the ONLY blog of this type you will EVER get from me...... My little blog was to be the total OPPOSITE of Carrie Bradshaw's depiction of single woman and their sexual escapades and (sometimes) relationships.

We can't all be June Cleaver all of the time (well..I can. Most the time). I mean, we were all trying to land our husbands at one point...and there was a price...certain things we had to do. Yes, call it bait and switch. Now, I am only speaking for myself...and several dozen of my married girlfriends. Make no mistake however, there are a select few of very lucky husbands out there whose wives go on as if they were still courting.

Now, most of you have probably attended a pyramid sales type party. These include Tupperware, jewelry, bakeware, etc.

Throw out your apron and pearls ladies! There are a couple of companies out there that want your business....and when I say business...i mean up in yo "business"....literally. They organize parties..usually for woman, and invite you to partake in an evening of sex, sex and more sex. Ok, don't get excited (yet) I'm not talking about a giant orgy here. I am talking about the sale of objects and devices that would make your grandmother roll over in her grave. (I'm 35 years old and told my mother I was going to a jewelry party)

Most of the woman who partake in these parties see each other in the grocery store, church, the school parking lot. They may chat about PTA Meetings, fundraisers, and carpooling. What I don't think there realize prior to RSVP'ing, that they were learn much more about their neighbors than they may want or need to.

I attended one of these parties last evening. My fifth such event. (don't judge me...judge my friends). I had never seen so many woman gathered in one place at one time (clue #1 that I do NOT attend the above mentioned PTA meetings)

There was alcohol, food, and more alcohol. The age range was late 20's to early 70's. (impressive...I know).

There is a certain code you follow when you go to these parties...not written..not said, but understood. Each woman in attendance is like a doctor or attorney, and client confidentiality is a key element. Anything discussed stays between the woman. But rest assured, husbands, boyfriends, lovers.....there's a good chance your neighbor may look at you a little differently. (don't be scared....woman, as a rule, don't usually sell out their partners...miss manners taught us that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all) (ok, that may not be entirely true...but it should be)

Everyone was asked to sit so that the hostess could begin her demonstrations (mind you..this was approximately 45 minutes after the party had begun....or 2.5 drinks later).

She passed out a piece of paper and asked each of us to write down what our vajayjays would say of it could talk. The answers were collected and read aloud. They went from "lick me" to "closed for business". ( Had they asked me what my ice cream cone or uterus would say, I could have written both) Both answers were a good indication that there was something here for everybody.

One of the first items was a spray to clean "spots" off your sheets. My question was "will it work on breast milk"? (and not to give you a flashback...but Monica Lewinsky could have benefited from this party back in the day) NEXT.

Next, a pheromone used to entice others by your "come hither" scent. That's all I need...the Stop & Shop Butcher trying to give me HIS meat. I wanted to know if they also had a repellent. They did not. NEXT.

Another was a vibrating hairbrush. Really? A vibrating hairbrush? Do we really need to go there while grooming? And its 2010. I watch enough "Girls Next Door" to know that most woman don't need an entire brush down there. NEXT.

Then there were the myriad of creams and lotions. One was a nipple cream....I was only interested if there was an ingredient that caused the recipient to fall asleep quickly...and sleep through the night. There wasn't. NEXT.

There were numbing type lotion. (I wanted to know if it worked on my emotional state of mental agitation). I don't know why I felt the need to lick this one. I am do for a root canal soon...maybe I should have considered this one. NEXT.

After the PG Rated items were done, the hostess entered the room with a giant case. I thought a man was in there. Now THAT would've been something.

She proceeded to whip out an arsenal of phallic-like objects. Some spun, some thrusted, some shook like a level 8 earthquake. I'll be honest. Most were down right scary. Most had little vibrating animals attached to them. Dolphins were popular. I don't know, ladies, but I have yet to meet a man with a dolphin sprouting from his junk. (I have been fortunate not to have met anyone with anything sprouting from his junk) NEXT.

There were certain items in the catalog which were not demonstrated. I was a little disappointed. I was really interested in the swing. I thought maybe I could get Emma to sleep if I hung something like that in the closery.

All in all, it was a great time. A lot of little black bags left that house. Its a good thing that it's not Monday, because I have a feeling there would be a lot of tardy students. ( mommy woke up late)

Unfortunately, these days my bed is occupied by the "grenade" and the "grenade launcher. Thats MY SITUATION. (calm down....its a Jersey Shore reference....although I think there were items of the same name on the order form as well) Fist pump.

PS: If you're wondering what I walked out with, it was information...information that just may get me elected to Volunteer of the year at school (despite my lack of volunteerism) ...or a coveted parking space for drop off and pick up.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Animal Hoarding

Somehow...this post turned out more novel than blog. You may not want to continue unlesss you need something to comsume a good portion of your day. I apologize in advance. For I have little control from brain to fingertips sometimes.

Hello, my name is Jennifer, and I am an animal hoarder.

HOARD, verb
To accumulate for future use, preservation

OK, so "hoard" may not be accurate. As you will see...there in no real intent on future use or preservation.

However, there have been several accusations, made by separate individuals, eluding to the fact that I have a problem with the purchasing, adopting and/or otherwise accumulating pets.

Let me take you back in time....back to when I was a child. I loved animals. All animals. I got this from my father, who shared my love. My mother, on the other hand, was a loather of least that was the perception I got over the years. (those who know her am sure, could see how this could be).

Two very important, yet tragic events occurred during my formative years, that I am sure, a therapist may perceive as the cause of my animal "problem".

The first, was the rabbit incident. You see, my parents had two boys from NYC staying with us for the summer. They were true city kids and were not used to the suburban living. Suburban may not be correct...I grew up on 40 acres of pure, green, tree-covered, farmlike land. (yes, it was Cowessett and this was pre Route 2). Ok, the "rabbit incident". I was walking across the sprawling, green lawn when I came upon the boys. I saw them throwing something and laughing. When I approached, I saw that they were throwing rocks at a little bunny rabbit. I was horrified, but somehow, in that same instant, I found myself being lured over and egged on to launch a pebble at the little creature. How could I say no? It was a dare! I felt I needed to prove that little girl could do something they could not. I slowly drew the stone over my right shoulder, and launched it like grenade. As soon as my tiny hand released it, I knew that my aim was going to be sharper than a venom spitting cobra aiming for the eyes of its victim. I hit that little bunny. And then....I cried. I cried and I ran home.

Incident number two. The snake incident. My father had been gathering tools from the shed. While looking for a shovel, he happened to glance up and see a snake staring at him from the rafters up above his head. My dad is very nature savvy, however didn't recognize the snake...but it was no garter snake. (and no, it was not a venom wielding cobra, either!)
He reached for the shovel, and with one swift swing, hit the snake square in the head causing it to come falling to the ground. What followed next was unthinkable...well, at least to an 8 year old. My father took the snake, still alive, and hung it over the 3 foot fence separating our house from the farm next door. I stared at this snake....blood bubbling from its mouth. Watching it gasp for breathe. In the meantime, my father grabbed some nature book and determined it was a harmless grass snake. (was he expecting to find that it was a rattlesnake...come to Rhode Island from the dessert...or perhaps..the elusive yet deadly black mamba from Africa smuggled in the country by those crazy Providence snake traffickers?) I was so upset...I watched for hours until Frankie died. (yes, I named seemed only right given the situation....I buried him as well)

My vivid recollection of these traumatic events, I am sure, make you realize why I have a need to love and save all animals.....I am somehow making up for the horror and abuse caused by myself and my family in the early 1980's.

I could reminisce about every animal I ever owned, however, that could take days.


It began with wild my mother would not purchase "real pets" for me. So, I could only keep that which I could catch (at first, anyway). There was ROBIN, the robin, who I raised from bald little baby bird whom had fallen from its nest. ( i would later go on to raise a total of 8 robins, 1 bluejay, and an oriole).

Next, there were the caterpillars. (most of you remember the year the caterpillars were taking over....when no tree was free of the Vaseline ring around the trunks). I was going to save this cute, furry creatures. I took a stick, ripped open the nests, and filled my sand bucket. I don't know what the hell I was going to do with the hundreds I collected. And I don't know why I thought they would stay in this bucket. We had a sunken patio where I kept them. It didn't take very long before they were covering the floor of the patio....I couldn't save them and most ended up stepped on. OK, that was not one of my finest ideas.

The moles....the moles were cute, and blind. I captured them and gave them love. They died after a couple of days. I had no idea what to feed a mole.

The garter snake that sunned itself upon the bush under my bedroom window. OK, that was never REALLY a pet, but I would spray it with water every day, so I considered it so.


Jump to high school. We moved to an actual neighborhood, so catching wild animals was pretty much over. I had to become more clever. The first ingenious plan- take the baby chicks from science class once that lesson was done. I told my mother it was part of the study...that we had to keep them at home. And shit, it worked. Those chickens lived in my room for a good three weeks before she found out I lied. I had to give them to a "farm". Looking back, I probably consumed them sometime later that week.

Easter - St Gregs used to have live animals at the Easter Mass. After the service was over, I stole a duckling and smuggled it into my house. I didn't realize how damn loud those things are.....I couldn't make up good enough stories to account for the quaking...I had to bring them back immediately.

Now, somehow, I convinced my parents that a pig would be the best pet in the world. A ton of begging and $800 later and Olivia joined our family. She was terrific...except her ass would hang over the litter box and our back yard ultimately began smelling like the Roger Williams Zoo elephant exhibit. She ended up at a "farm". Never DID get those pictures I asked for. hmmm....


Something happened. Something entirely unexpected. My love of animals continued, however, my tolerance for them diminished. I began a vicious cycle of getting pets, and then, somehow, disposing of them. ( Clearly, a suppressed gene - maternally derived, became suddenly unsuppressed)

We'll begin with the parakeets, Yankee and Packer. I didn't realize how loud those things are when dawn cracks. Roosters have nothing on these little bastards. They made it a month before I found a nice Dominican woman to take them in. Later I found out that she had left them atop her refrigerator which threw off too much heat ultimately killing them. (she claimed one died first and the other died of a broken cant bullshit a bullshitter lady!)

The Rat. Later, to be know as "Rat Bastard". Supposedly a wonderful pocket pet for kids. He became violent...biting me every time I put food in his cage. I marched he rat ass back to Petco and told them if they didn't take him back, I would let him go on Route 2. They took him back.

The guinea pig (circa 1999). He was ok...a little messy. He died after a week. I had to bring him back to the store on account of their death policy. However, wasn't going to make a special trip. As such, he stayed in Matt's room for a solid three days prior to getting him back to Petco. I opted for a store credit this time.

Mans (Dave's) best friend: Allie...the basenji. Later, I determined that she must have been inbred given her condition at the time i decided to "opt out" of our relationship. She developed diabetes and chasing her around the yard collecting urine was not really my deal. Chaz (also basenji) came from Atlanta. Got him to keep Allie company. Little did I know what a liability he was....if escaped he would hunt neighborhood dogs with the intent on killing them. I found a place for both of them within a week of each other.

Spooky the cat, found in a dumpster by my neighbor. Matt was allergic at first. However, 6 weeks on zyrtec and a mild steroid and he had developed an immunity. (it does work, ya know)
We still have Spooky.

Sadie (the dog). I felt like something was missing without a dog. Maybe it was the lack of dog poop that had to be cleaned from the family room weekly....or the fur that consistently covered the couch. Anyway, Sadie is a beagle /shepherd mix. (there was a crime committed somewhere). I adopted her from a shelter. We still have Sadie, despite her digestive issue and constant stench of ear crap.

Oliver, the cat. Got for Ava for a Christmas present. Only after the kitten that I originally got a boot-leg pet store had mange and afflicted me ringworm on my chin. We still have Oliver.

Juicy the orange cat showed up on my doorstep...and the kids let him in. He was an OK cat, until he unilaterally decided to make my walk in closet his own personal litter box. It took several months, however, I found a nice home for him.

Julz....the newest kitten. A couple of months back, while in the pet store, I looked over and saw her staring at Emma. I saw this as a sign and adopted her spot on. So far, so good.

Now in between the dogs and cats there have been a series of rodent type pets as follows:

Gingerbread (hamster) Live the longest of all at 7 months. Died of Wet Butt.
Buttercup (hamster) Lived a couple of weeks before escaping only to be captured by Oliver...and witnessed by the children a horrific murder. He ultimately perished in my hands whilst the children screamed and cried in terror.
Sully - (hamster) Gave to Ava's friend who put him in a hamster ball...the ball accidentally went flying down the stairs and he died.
Pamda - (hamster) Escaped..lived for a few weeks in the house. Was also the victim of Oliver Jack (hamster) Escaped. Never was found
Victor (hamster) Escaped. Was the victim of Oliver

Now, if anyone has every purchased and animal, you need to fill out a form with all your personal information. Sometime after hamster #3, I was used alias'. (some of you may be on record as prior hamster owners at Petco and/or Petsmart. Sorry...and thanks)

Lastly, the guinea pigs. Sammy Cracker and Crumarty. Fairly easy pets. Sammy Cracker, however, was untouchable. Not friendly at all. About a month after having him, he was either dropped one to many time or developed Scurvy (a disease resulting from a lack of vitamin C). Sammy cracker developed a manner of walking in which his head was cricked to one side so as to always be looking at you with one crazy eye. He ultimately died from his injury/illness.
Crumarty lasted a long time. However, last week, he passed away. We think he had a stroke given his lack of movement on one side of his body during his last few hours. Currently, he is in a Target bag in the snow until we decide whether to bury him of put him in the trash.

Well, that's it. The significant animals. There have been some in between. As you can see...hoarder is not the appropriate term...however, there is definitely some sort of disorder here.....

I mentioned earlier that I would try and include a lesson. Today, there are several.
1. Caterpillars ARE NOT PETS
2. Don't throw rocks at rabbits
3. Hamsters and Cats don't mix.
4. Give your guinea pigs the recommended dosage of vitamin C

PS. Any remaining animals are always up for adoption for a reasonable adoption fee.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lack of Sleep...and how it almost caused a tragedy

I decided that in order to make my blog at all useful, I will try my best to include a lesson...a lesson that cannot be taught but with ones own experience.

SLEEP, noun
to take a rest afforded by suspension of voluntary bodily functions, and the natural suspension, complete, or partial, of consciousness.

Sounds simple. Most of us do it. Most without giving it a second thought. Nighttime rolls around- our day winds down... Maybe we relax with our favorite shows, a book, perhaps a glass of wine.

lack of sleep

Now, those of us with children...specifically infants (or teenagers) would like to slap all you normal "sleepers" in the back of the head..,because we are SURE you take your slumber for granted. (OK, that was was my lack of sleep brain lashing out.)

I am sure that there are dozens of clinical publishing's, studies, scientific information regarding sleep. The result of not getting enough sleep, what your brain looks like etc. But what about the Lay man....the everyday mother who has been up with a sleepless infant?


just this week, I almost poisoned my own little baby

It was Monday morning....Emma had been up most of the night. Ava had awakened early enough that rather than screaming at her to get dressed because school is starting in 10 minutes, I was able to use her to babysit so that I could partake in the other elusive activity...."the shower".

Anyhooo, I digress. I get in the shower. One would think that a shower would wake a gal up. It did, a bit, I guess. However, one of my eyeballs was glued shut...due to the exhaustion and all. I stumble to my room. (its still a little dark, by the way) I reach for the baby powder (I like to powder up a bit after a cuts the dry time by at least 25%). After the first sprinkle, I think to myself. "hmmm...smells a little off..." YA KNOW WHY....YA WANNA KNOW WHY??? BECAUSE I DIDN'T GRAB THE BABY POWDER.....I GRABBED CARPET FRESH!!! Now, it wasn't all bad. A good dose landed on the carpet giving my cause to vacuum later on. (I'm a half glass full type)

Normally, i wouldn't make such a big deal of it...however, since I am a breastfeeding mother, I thought there was a possibly of poisoning my baby (although it would've been her fault just a little...wait..did i say that?)


Back in the shower I went....I did, after all, have approximately 2 minutes and 35 seconds before the neighborhood kids were in my living room awaiting the ride to school.


Taking 2 showers in the morning is highly recommended. I was definitely awake.

(bet you didn't see that coming....don't worry, I'll get better!)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

the concept: the beginning: THE FAMILY

This may be the most boring of the blogs, however, its important to know how, who, why, so that the following entries make sense.

I may be 1 of a million just like myself, however, whenever I get together with my friends and tell a story or two about my day, I often get " you should write a book". So this is my alternative...a blog.

ACCIDENTAL - adjective

happening by chance or accident; not planned; unexpected


a woman who manages her own household; especially as her principal occupation

OK, now that you know the who, lets skip to the how.

I had a carreer; lucrative, stable (at least I thought some at one point), and I enjoyed what I did for a living. I have a husband (10 years), three children. One unplanned, two planned. I had everything I wanted.... Well, almost.

So what happened? What happened to turn working mom of three, to "accidental housewife??" how does one because a housewife, or maybe more "PC" - Homemaker?

A series of events, that, when and because all happened in tandom, altered my life.

1. On September 12, 2008 - I peed on a stick...and a plus sign appeared...much to my horror. (picture Marlon Brando yelling "STELLA" in a "A Streetcar Named Desire") It was in that tone that I lifted my hands to God and shouted "NO, NO, Please Lord...NOOOOOOO".

(you see, my family planning included a birth control device that was supposedly 99.9% effective...more effective that any male or female surgical procedure)

2. While on Maternity leave, I recieved a call that I was no longer to be employed at the place where I spent the better part of my adult life...the place where I left my children as "latch-key" kids for. (ok, I am being dramatic..and perhaps seeking sympathy..I had no intentions of going back to work...for reasons pertaining to both my family AND that particular job)

3. My dear husband, who was perfectly satisfied letting me be the bread winner of the family while he hum drummed to and fro his job everyday, busted out as a selling superstar and began bringing home the bacon!

NOW, skip to the "now". Here is what my family looks like today

DAVID - 39, Banking, Father of 4

down to earth, laid back, works 50hrs week. Loves the Yankees, Green Bay Packers, smoking his cigar by the firepit, and it the object of his daughters' affections.

JENNIFER (me) - 35, Homemaker, Mother of 4

Does Laundry, washed floors, dishes. Looks forward to taking a shower. Stressed out. Maybe needs therapy.

MATTHEW - (son) 16, Student - 11th Grade

troublesome, handsome, into teenage angst; Likes sports and girls. Gives his parents heartburn. Loves the littlest of his sisters.

AVA (daughter) 9, Student, 4th Grade

Sweet, loving, "a pleaser". Stunning. Helps her parents whenever asked. Does OK in school, loves tennis and basketball. A little may sometimes say she should've been a blonde.

LIZA (daughter) 6, Student, 1st Grade

thinks she is 16. Smart. Funny. Bossy, tough. Also like to please...but on HER OWN terms. Often bullies Ava. Not afraid of Matt. Or anything. Says whats on her mind..lacking tact.

EMMA (daughter) 10 months,

High maintenance (her moms fault) Miracle baby; Loves being held...and being on the breast. Co-sleeps, the current method of birth control.

Additionally, there is Sadie the dog, who is somewhat neglected and seems to vomit a lot and grow weird things in her ears. Spooky, the cat who thinks he's a dog. loved by all.

Oliver, the cat, who comes and goes and really doesnt elicit one feeling or another. And lastly, Julz, the kitten, who is still finding her way in the family.