By Heather O.
Here’s a guest post from one of our favorite commentors, Annegb. Rock on, sister!
Olivia Newton John once said she looked at some young pictures of herself and thought, “gee, I was cuter than I thought.”
I thought about that and went back and thought, “gee I was cuter than I thought.”
Bill and I took a family picture about three years ago. I wore bright pink (I think I will be on that TLC show where they come in and make fun of your clothes and promote black and tan) and carried some roses. I hated that picture. I thought I looked like a cow. I could see the wrinkles and the cheesy faky smile.
I just surrendered to the embarrassment and passed them out. I put one up on my bulletin board by my desk, but I never look at it.
This morning I looked at my face in the magnifying mirror and thought, “oh, I’m slipping so fast.” Some of my wrinkles look like scars on my face. I have more white hairs than brown in my ever thinning eyebrows. I took my thick eyebrows so for granted.
I am one of those acne and wrinkles people going through menopause and it is not pretty.
This morning I glanced up at the bulletin board and thought, “damn. I was cuter than I thought. Damn. I’m almost hot in that picture.” I don’t see the big boobs, I see really cute eyes and a great smile and–crap, not a bad hair day.
So I want to tell you, girls, look at that picture you took this year and try to pretend you are nothing but cellulite and ever-quickly aging, and appreciate everything about the you
you are today.
You are way cuter than you think you are and the really sad thing is you may not know it until it’s too late to enjoy it. Try not to repeat my mistakes. And Olivia Newton-John’s. Who is still pretty hot.
Wanted: A good story
30 Dec 2005 03:47 pm
By The Wiz
I have a broken wrist. Poor me. This does not, however, mean that I can’t type, or that I’m begging for pity, as Heather inferred. It means that I can only type with one hand, and so my typos will greatly increase. It means that since it was my right wrist, and I’m right handed, here’s my big chance to become ambidextrous. So,yes, my grooming habits have changed. (I defy you to blowdry your hair one-handed. It can’t be done. And for a fun trick, try using just your nondominant hand to put on deodorant. I can do it, but it ain’t pretty.)
And it means that I get to play in the wondrous world of prescription pain meds. But that’s an entirely separate post.
Plus, I would like to point out that here is another reason not to exercise . SEE what happens when I attempt physical activity?
So here’s what I think: Falling down while roller skating is a crappy story. I need a better one. I was thinking, either something really cool, like pulling too hard on my parachute while skydiving — OR something really noble, like stepping in front of a bus to save a baby in a runaway stroller. Or maybe some great combination of the two, like I was skydiving with a blind person, and she was pulling the wrong cord, so I had to pull her cord for her, and it was at a wrong angle, so I broke my wrist saving her life, and then accidentally landed in a wildlife preserve that was about to be bulldozed, and my act of compassion and bravery saved all the turtles, too.
What do you think? Which one do I use? Do you have a great story I can tell while still holding a straight face? “How did you break your wrist?” “Well, actually, I was wrestling an alligator, as is our Christmas tradition, and things got out of hand.”
MMW blogger updates
28 Dec 2005 04:59 pm
By Heather O.
I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Wow, two posts in one day? Doesn’t Heather have a life?” Well, today, actually, I don’t, other than unpacking and reclaiming my house from a week’s worth of unattended to doghair, and seriously, who wants to do that? Also, we feel bad that nobody blogged over the holiday, so we’re trying to catch up a little.
And so, here’s the big news: The Wiz broke her wrist doing some fantastic stunts with her kids at a roller skating rink on Christmas Eve. (Actually, I didn’t see it happen, but knowing The Wiz, I’m sure the accident was handled with utmost grace and dignity!)Hopefully The Wiz can provide more details on her accident when a) she can actually type again (which I think should be in about 8 weeks or so?) b) she can con her husband into taking dictation, or c) she has enough time and inclination to dictate to me over the phone, but that would have to happen on a day when neither one of us has a life, and since lifelessness hardly ever happens at the same time, I’m not sure what is going to happen.
Also, I happen to know that The Wiz is trying to make herself feel better about her predicament by reminding herself of all the people who have truly evil things happening to them, whereas all she has to put up with is not being able to brush her hair or dress herself without assistance, but I know she’s feeling grumpy about the whole thing. So send some cyber hugs, and while you’re at it, we could probably use a guest post or two as well! Anybody who wants to do a guest post can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s not my regular email, but I’ll check once or twice a week for a while, if anybody is interested in spilling their innermost thoughts and ideas to the dozens, nay, HUNDREDS of people reading this blog!
Thanks for your support.
By Heather O.
This is what Christmas means to me:
Long plane ride–hooray we’re here! FUN FUN FUN with family, sledding (yes, we LIKE sledding, unlike some others), cold feet, “Mommy, I’m tired,” hot chocolate, FOOD, FOOD, FOOD, more family FUN, FUN, FUN, Christmas Eve full of family FUN, FUN, FUN, “Mommy, I’m tired”, Christmas morning, “Mommy, where are all MY presents?”, family FUN, FUN, FUN, and more FOOD, FOOD, FOOD, wow I have a food coma (is it possible to experience death by chocolate?) long plane ride, “Mommy, I’m tired and my ears hurt,” and finally we are home.
We spent Christmas, obviously, in Utah with both my and DH’s families. We love our families tremendously, so we brave the long lines (MIL: Oh, the Salt Lake airport won’t take too long–you sure you want to be there more than an hour early? ME: Wow, you really never fly at the holiday season, do you?) and the inevitable crankiness that go hand in hand with too much traveling, too much sugar, too much excitement and tired 3 year olds and have a great time. We split the holiday between both families, but stayed with my inlaws. Nate and I slept in the same room that he slept in for, oh, about 18 years, give or take a few years for a mission, etc. The house he grew up in looks different than it did when he lived there, but not THAT different. We pointed to the spot in his front yard where we used to flirt, the bench we sat on and talked for 4 hours before we decided we should get to know each other better, and the spot where he got up the nerve to kiss me for the first time. Lots of memories. It’s a good house.
I have no such house. I was born in California and moved to Utah when I was 11. I left home for college when I was 18, and haven’t been back, really. My parents have sold the house we lived in when I was in high school, and have since bought a house that has nothing but adult memories. Those are good, too, but there’s nothing like seeing places where major events happen in your youth, and remembering the lessons learned. Jacob also thinks that Santa always comes to Grandma’s house. Why would he think otherwise? The 4 Christmases he’s known have always begun there.
There is something kind of powerful in this house, this place where so much has taken place. Like I said, it doesn’t look exactly the same as it did when Nate was a kid, but it’s still the same place with the same people, and the same love.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about how I’ve lived my life. I’ve lived in lots of different places, seen a lot of different things, and met a lot of really wonderful people. But in so many ways, it’s nice at Christmas, a time when you want to feel snug and cozy and loved, to go back to a house that says, “Hey, I know you. Welcome home.”
By The Wiz
As I was driving my 4 year old home from preschool, we saw a man on his rooftop, shoveling snow. (Well, she said she saw that, but since there’s not enough snow here to merit that, it’s basically impossible. So I just told her, “Wow, that’s neat, honey.” Ever just randomly said that to your kids? It’s like saying, “Yeah, uh-huh” on the phone when you’re not really listening.)
She said, “He could slip and fall and crack his head open.”
Which solicited another “Uh-huh. He sure could. He needs to be safe.”
Then the conversation got interesting.
“Mom, if you crack your head open, does the Holy Ghost slip out?”
She repeats the question
“No, the Holy Ghost isn’t in you, it’s just with you.”
She ponders this.
“But what about bones?”
“What about bones? We bury the bones. Your spirit leaves your body and goes up to heaven, and we bury the bones.”
“So your spirit goes up to heaven, and the Holy Ghost comes with you? Does it hold your hand?”
“Are there beds in heaven?”
“No. I don’t think so, because we won’t get tired.”
“But sometimes I get really really tired, and I need a cozy bed. There are no cozy beds in heaven?”
“Honey, if you want a cozy bed in heaven, you can have a cozy bed in heaven.” I know I will have a cozy bed in heaven. Cozy beds are my favorite.
Continues to ponder these things in her heart.
“Is Jesus allowed to stay up until midnight?”
“Can Jesus stay up ’til midnight?”
“Yes, honey, Jesus doesn’t go to sleep.”
“You mean he gets to stay up ALL NIGHT? Doesn’t he get tired?”
“No, he doesn’t.”
If I’m teaching false doctrine, I’m sure somebody from T&S will correct me. But I like the idea of the Holy Ghost holding my hand as I go up to heaven. The fact that He doesn’t have hands does not bother me in the least.
Clearly, however, she ponders other things besides the nature of the Godhead. Later that day, my sister called. My 4 year old answered the phone.
“Yeah, Mommy’s right here. Do you think our dog is fat?”
17 Dec 2005 11:32 am
By Heather O.
Jacob’s best friend is turning 5. We love this kid. He is a fantastic kid with a great mom, and Jacob begs to play with him daily. His mom sent out this great invitation for a Superhero birthday party, the kind that make the rest of us mommy slackers look bad. It’s going to be a great party.
There’s just one problem. It’s on Sunday.
These people are, obviously, not Mormon. We went to the party last year, which was also on Sunday, and I think we are going this year, too. Yet even though I know my kid will love it, and everybody will have a good time, I still feel a little weird about it. We’ve become great friends with this family, and I’m sure they would understand if I told them we don’t have parties on the Sabbath, and yet, I also feel like they might feel a little betrayed, and I know the boys would feel more than a little disappointed. Any thoughts on how to work around this conundrum? Anybody else face this problem in non-Mormon communities?
By The Wiz
I recently went to the doctor. Not a big deal, but I just hate the forms you have to fill out, and how they always weigh you, even if you’re there for a throat issue (which I was). And then they ask you questions like, “Do you drink alcohol, smoke, are you pregnant, etc. etc. etc.” I know these are all valid questions, designed to help the doctor get an overall picture of your health. (I actually love filling out the history part, where I get to check “no” on all these diseases I’ve never heard of. It makes me feel so healthy. Weird, I know.)
But the question I always hate is: How much do you exercise? Are you doing 30 minutes of aerobics daily? Weekly? Monthly? Basically, have you ever seen a treadmill in your life? The reason I hate this question is fairly obvious. I have to give the wrong answer: I don’t exercise. I’m extremely sedentary, and have entertained the idea that I’m possibly allergic to physical activity. I walk away from doctor’s visits either feeling really guilty, or trying to convince myself that they are all liars.
Why don’t I exercise? I’ve examined this, and the main reason I’ve come up is not a very good one, and is actually quite shameful, so I probably shouldn’t share it, but here goes. (Deep breath): I’m already skinny. It’s all completely genetic, I did absolutely nothing to deserve it, and I understand that most people can’t eat Almond Roca and whole milk for breakfast and get away with it. BUT since everyone else can’t tell that I don’t exercise, I don’t feel the need to do so. By society’s views, I take care of myself, because I am thin, even though if all things were equal, I would certainly not be on the skinny side of things. Oh, the shame! I live in fear that someday my metabolism will shift, and I’ll have no idea how to handle it.
How awful is that? I would only exercise if it would change my body enough for other people to think that I look good? The health risks aren’t a big enough motivator? I don’t want my heart and bones to be strong? I don’t want to avoid complications down the road? I don’t want my immune system strengthened, and my cancer risk lowered, and blah blah blah blah blah? Of course I do, I just don’t want to put any effort into it. Exercise hurts. It takes time. It makes me smell bad. Pass the candy.
By Heather O.
It’s been an eventful week. Ok, it’s only Tuesday, but still, I’d like to share with all of you, dear readers, what I have learned this week.
ON FOOD, ESPECIALLY GINGERBREAD
Little boys like building gingerbread houses. It takes about a day and a half for them to build one from scratch.
Little dogs like to eat gingerbread houses. It takes about 10 minutes for them to eat one built from scratch.
Little dogs can vomit a shockingly enourmous amount of gingerbread tainted puke.
Only the best of men, and I mean the VERY best of men, will clean up canine emesis while their wives huddle under the covers, shaking at the vision of the vomit encursted horror that resembles their (yes, carpeted!) upstairs hallway.
Lesson to be learned: How much does it cost to rent a carpet cleaner?
When applied by a 3 year old, the contents of a caramel apple dipper sauce packet from McDonald’s can make a little dog’s back very, very sticky.
A wet scrub brush with shampoo on it will not clean off the contents of a caramel apple dipper sauce packet from McDonald’s from a little dog’s back.
Our bathtub can fit 1 naked 3 year old, one panicked dog, and a fully dressed but very wet mother.
Panicked dogs like to try to escape. They also pant a lot.
Lesson to be learned: How does one clean wet dog hair off of the wall?
MORE ON HYGIENE, THIS TIME TOWARDS THE NETHER REGION
Little boys think walking around with poopy bits of toilet paper trailing from their still poopy bums is very, very funny.
Little dogs like to eat poopy toilet paper, and lick poopy 3 year old bums. Little boys also think this is very, very, funny.
It is very hard to crate a dog when he is trying to go after a poopy piece of toilet paper while the 3 year old, laughing like a maniac, is shaking his naked poopy bum in the dog’s face.
Little dogs will search the bathroom for poopy toilet paper after you let them out of their crates, and, finding none, will settle for eating the gingerbread vomit encrusted paper towels he finds in the kitchen trash can.
Lesson to be learned: What is the best method for bribing DH to come home early to help clean up 3 year old poop after he spent the morning cleaning up dog vomit?
ON ANIMALS IN GENERAL
Snakes make very good pets.
By The Wiz
Recently, I was chatting with my sister, as I do quite often, and we were talking about Christmas. I mentioned that my MIL was getting my kids a sled for Christmas, and I was less than thrilled about it, because I was whining, because sledding is way cold, it hurts my back (is that normal?) and I just don’t enjoy it much. I even said something to the effect that my kids have never been sledding. She wigged out. “Your oldest is six! Your kids have never been sledding?!!?! What kind of mother ARE you?” I am the kind of mother that likes to be warm, thank you very much!
But I couldn’t get the question out of my head. What kind of mother am I? We do need to make sacrifices for our kids, and occasionally getting your fingers frozen off and your toes numb and a backache is a small price to pay for seeing your kids be happy, and creating a winter memory for them. I even have a great sledding hill just across the street, so it’s not like I would even have to go far. I still think my life would be complete if I’d never been sledding in my life. In fact, I think I could live a full and productive life never seeing snow AGAIN, but that’s just me. I have a responsibility to not pass my pure hatred of winter onto my children, yes? They should have some memories of snow being fun, despite the fact that their mother has been known to cry at weather forecasts when snow is predicted.
And then today, DH called and asked for kids SSN’s to fill out insurance forms. Normally, I know right where they are, complete with immunization records and everything. So I go to the drawer, and ACK! They’re not there! I eventually found the Social Security Cards, but 2 of the 3 immunization records are still missing. What kind of a mother loses this information?
My kid’s room is a mess, and most of the time I don’t care. My room has even been known to be less than pristine. What kind of a mother doesn’t teach her children to make their beds and do routine maintenance?
And to top it all off, a few days ago, my oldest is getting dressed for school. She comes in my room, and I tell her to go put longer pants on, it’s really cold out there. Are you ready for this one? She DOESN’T HAVE ANY LONG PANTS!!! What kind of mother doesn’t notice, just as the weather turns bitter cold, that her child just shot up like 3 inches, and now all her “long pants” are now “capris”?
But at the same time, I look at the Christmas presents stashed around the house, and I know they will make my children happy. What kind of mother knows exactly what makes her children smile?
My children are polite and happy children, for the most part. Thank heaven, because who knows what kinds of mother they have.
By Heather O.
There’s a post over at M* that I think is weird. It just is. There’s a lot of weird stuff out there, but this comes from people that I thought were sort of rational. Ok, maybe that’s stretching it, but still, I think the whole post is weird. It’s about kids, and how many is too many. Huh? So, I posted a small little thought about how I thought this was an inappropriate topic, especially for people who are not in control of the baby situation at all. And, of course, I got slammed for being oversensitive, and some pretty seriously nasty stuff was said about how dare anybody even take their families outside, for fear of offending people who can’t have kids, or even how dare we all write things, because we could even offend people who can’t write! Oh, the HORROR!
I responded, I think, in a very controlled way .
But I think the topic of being oversensitive or insensitive calls for a little discussion. After all, haven’t we all been called oversensitive at one time or another?
Ok, when you are pregnant, you can not in any way hide that fact from a person who is struggling with infertility. That can be a sensitive and tricky situation. But I have a friend who is currently pregnant, and we get to talk and laugh about all the pregnancy stuff, and I feel no prickling of anger, jealousy, or anything else around her. She is fun to be with, mostly because she is my friend, and I feel great about her pregnancy and pending joy. I wholeheartedly wish her tons of it.
Yet there is another woman I know who is pregnant, and she drives me so crazy to the point where I can’t even talk to her. She has told me to “get busy” having babies, and wonders why we don’t have more kids. I have had a woman tell me that she wondered if I was putting off having more kids because of my career (yeah, like the 8-10 hours a week I am working is just going to ROCKET me to the top!), and I get prickly a little bit with her, too. I have one woman who tells me that her 4 kids are just a handful, that if I ever want more kids I should just come over the HER house and I would be cured of that need immediately. When she says that, I just want to punch her in the face.
Hmm… would that be considered oversensitive?
Ok, maybe a little, but I guess my point is that it is not situations that are insensitive, or topics that are insensitive, it is people. People can be just jerks about stuff, and I get annoyed when I think somebody is being a jerk, especially about something that is painful for me. And then they tell me that I’m just being oversensitive, that I just have to deal with my pain because it’s not up to them to make allowances for a painful private situation.
Maybe not, but a few allowances probably couldn’t hurt.
I mean, after all, I don’t pretend I can’t walk or talk, but I don’t ask my disabled friends how many marathons would be too many.
I feel righteous
03 Dec 2005 10:54 pm
By Heather O.
Yes, it’s true, I’m feeling righteous. No, it’s not because I’ve finished the Book Of Mormon (I won’t even tell you how behind I am. Can one pull an all-nighter for God?), nor is it because I went to the temple recently, or said some awesome prayers, or did my visiting teaching.
No, I feel righteous because my bathrooms are clean.
Sparkling. Bleached. I even scrubbed the shower. I vacuumed the dust from the corners and mopped the floors. Ah, overpowering toxic fumes. The smell of clean.
What does it say about me that I never get this kind of righteous high from anything else? Spiritual malnutrition, or just an unnatural chemical reaction from the Clorox cleaner wafting through my home?
If it is the latter, it then begs the question: Would the spiritual experiences in Sacrement Meeting increase significantly if the bishop scrubbed the pulpit down with Mr. Clean every week?
Anyway, I also vacuumed my carpets, which makes me feel even more righteous. Just think where I could go if I actually organized my storage room. Oh, is that truly nirvana? I can’t even imagine what would happen if I was caught up with my laundry AND my bathrooms were clean. Twinkling, that’s what. Caught up in the twinkling of an eye to the heavens above where Fly Lady greets me at the pearly gates, hands me a golden dust mop, and says, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
By Heather O.
I’m a bad pet owner. If there is a circle of hell for people who are bad pet owners, I am going there. But please, don’t call PETA on me just yet. Hear my story and exercise mercy before you condemn me to that evil place that must forever smell like hamster urine.
So, I don’t like to keep my parakeet, Lola, caged all day. Parakeets get bored easily, and almost every website I looked at when I purchased this avarian beauty told me that it’s good to let them out of their cages, let them stetch their wings, hang out on your shoulder, and bond with you, etc, etc, etc. We did that, quite a bit, actually, and I have blogged many an hour with a happy parakeet on my shoulder, chirping and mimicing the sounds of my typing (I’m not kidding–she really could do it!)
Then, things changed. The beginning of the dark times.
We got Jack, our new dog. Suddenly, no more carefree trips around the house for Lola, because Jack is a highly trained killing machine. Well, not really, but as far as she is concerned, he is. We stopped letting her out as much, and when we did let her out, Lola resorted to hanging out on the top of our mirror in our bathroom. She liked the height, the reflected parakeet that I’m sure she thought was a friend, or flockmate. Little did I know the dangerous temptation that called to her troubled soul.
I am, of course, referring to the toilet.
One evening I came upstairs and heard a strange wet splashing sound, and ran into the bathroom to find Lola in the toilet, struggling for her very life. I pulled her out, wrapped her in a T-shirt, and turned on the hair dryer to warm and dry her while I frantically called the vet for advice about a halfdrowned parakeet. Like most medical professionals, they like to see the patient in person before they can tell you she is perfectly fine, so I took the small animal to the pet ER (yes, they do exist!). 2 hours and $100 later I was told that she was going to be fine, but that I shouldn’t let her out anymore, and that I should change her diet.
What I should have realized was that it was a cry for help. Lola clearly had issues.
Oh, the weakness of love! Curse my soft heart and Lola’s shuttering screeches as she languished in her cage for days! I followed the vet’s advice, but then she just seemed so sad (and frankly, was so stinkin’ loud!) while left in her cage, so I let her out for just a minute, and she flew immediately back to her favorite perch in our bathroom.
J found her minutes later, again in the toilet.
I realized this was a problem, obviously, and again, left her in her cage except for brief, supervised outings to caress her green feathers and coo at her.
Then today, she was especially vocal and agitated, and again, I missed the obvious signs of a restless soul. I let her out, and let her go to the bathroom, completely forgetting about her toilet obsession. I found her dead only an hour later.
The Wiz thinks it was suicide.
Did the dog make her do it? Was she depressed? Should I have invested in Prozac for Parakeets? Did she take the plunge because she was taunted by the voices in her head of her imaginary mirror bird friend? Sadly, we’ll never know.
Surprisingly, J is handling the whole thing pretty well. He carried the dead bird around, wrapped in a towel, for a little while, cooing at it, pretending it was the baby fox from Fox and the Hound. (Is that normal? He was quite stoic about the death of his pet, yet he bursts into tears whenever we read the book “A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog”, because he didn’t understand why the Frog was lonely. Should I be worried here?)We haven’t decided what to do with the body yet–I don’t know quite what the procedure is.
At the very least, I suppose I should have closed the toilet lid. That probably would have solved everything, huh?
I guess I should gear up to get used to the smell of rodent pee.