Sunday, May 24, 2009

My great husband

Kevin actually read my blog, and I didn't realize until he did that I can be kind of mean and ungrateful on here.  I don't mean it, really!  I just get overwhelmed with my life sometimes.  

In reality, I am one very blessed woman.  The pathetic thing is when I married Kevin, the memory of my first very lonely marriage was fresh in my mind.  I told myself that I would never ever take Kevin for granted or forget what a gift he is, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude that God had given me a second chance. Fast forward 5 years, and you get numerous whiny blog posts.  Honestly, if I were God, I would just want to slap me across the face and say, "Wake up Dumbass!" on a regular basis.  I think we can all be glad that I am not God.  For one thing, I tend to fall apart under pressure and have trouble being responsible for one person besides myself, so 6 billion is definitely out of the question.  I should remember in fact that I am not God then maybe I would do better with the responsibilities I do have. Hmmm.

But I digress.  I am very blessed.  I have a smart, funny, sweet, incredibly good looking husband who works hard so he can buy us a gorgeous new house.  And that is just the start.  I feel a top 10 coming on:

Top ten things I love about Kevin
10. He never looks askance at my purchases.  He doesn't get involved in my shopping at all in fact.
9.  He does a great impression of a stick figure.  You just have to trust me.
8.  He keeps my brain from turning to mush.  When he's around, I'm reading the Economist and watching Frontline. When he's not around, it's US Weekly and Oprah.  Or worse.
7. He thinks I am funny and loves everything I write. Except when I am complaining about him of course.
6. He didn't even notice my thick ankles until I pointed them out to him.  It's because of him that I have finally (almost) accepted my body.
5. He's taught me everything I know about economics and patiently explains things to me over and over again even when I tell him the impenetrable shield in my brain has come down.  
4. During communion at church, he always steps out of the pew and lets me go in front of him.  I don't know what it is about that, but it gets me every time.  
3.  His episodic healthy food obsessions are kind of weird and usually short lived (like the time he announced he was only going to eat "mediterranean" food because he read a study that said it vacuumed up all the cholesterol in your arteries), but overall, he keeps our diet on a higher plane.
2.  He has also elevated my taste in movies and music.  There was a time when I liked a Backstreet Boys tune or two but now I know exactly why they suck, and I run out of a store if they are playing any kind of boy band song.   
1. He got me Coldplay tickets for Mother's Day even though he doesn't even like them (he hasn't completely changed my taste in music)! And they were awesome seats near the front!  And I had a great time with a good friend while Kevin stayed home with Charlotte. And I was so close I was able to take this picture:


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A beauty product riddle

What kind of body lotion do you use if

You have extra dry skin AND
You have cellulite AND
You need sunscreen AND
You want some self tanner in there AND
You want to shave less often AND
You only want to apply lotion one time?

Solve THAT one.  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some enthusiasm, for once


For once, I am posting not to bitch and moan, but to ooh and aah!  A recycling revolution has come to Arlington, VA in the form of a big blue trash bin!  

My rule on recycling has always been: I will recycle enough to feel like a decent human being but no more than is convenient for me (because I matter. And because my economist husband says that recycling really doesn't save much in the way of resources and energy after all.  Someone did a study.  And if there is a study, there is a good chance Kevin knows about it.).  In other words, I will rinse out a can of tomatoes, but not a jar of peanut butter.   

But actually I am a better person than that in practice.  I have done some level of recycling even when Arlington, VA didn't make it that convenient.  Until today, I have had to sort paper and cardboard from plastics, for instance.   And yes I felt like a hero doing it.  Because these days if I am dressed and clean, I feel like a hero.  I even told my boss I deserved an Exceptional Performance Award this month for accomplishing anything at all.  I would really like to see my group chief hand that one out: "This EPA goes to Holly for performing her normal duties adequately enough and with relatively clean hair."  

But heroics are no longer required for recycling in Arlington, VA.  Everything you can imagine to recycle goes in the big blue bin.  Paper, foil, yogurt cups, milk cartons, boxes NOT EVEN BROKEN DOWN (stop, it's just too thrilling to contemplate!), and, can you believe it, EVEN BOOKS, paperback AND hardcover. AND you can throw away wire hangers, one of my top nemeses because no matter how many times I try to root them out, the dry cleaners keep giving us more and more and more until they band together in one tangled mess and take over the closet and cause me to lose my mind!!!  AND, as if it could get any better than wire hangers, you can request them to come and pick up ELECTRONICS for recycling.  Yes, it's true.  You can throw away an entire VCR without turning some village in India into a seething pit of toxic chemicals.    

And this gets me to the real heart of my excitement.  It's not that I have a strong commitment to the environmental movement (I have a strong commitment to other people's strong commitment to the environmental movement, I'll keep living the easy way thanks).  It's that I love throwing things away.  OMG do I love throwing things away.  Now I can do it with less guilt, knowing that my trash will become a yoga mat or maybe even some house that Brad Pitt is building in New Orleans.  

This occasion calls for a rethinking of the shopping boycott in fact.  If I can so easily and usefully dispose of things, why punish the economy by not buying more?  

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day (Bah Humbug!)

Charlotte really knows how to ruin major holidays. At Christmas, in the midst of all kinds of traveling stress, she got deathly ill with RSV. And now--on Mother's Day--my would-be "day off" which I had been living for the past few weeks--she ran a 102 fever and demanded that I hold her pretty much all day (Daddy just won't do).

And she was still sick today, one of the three measley days that I go to work/have childcare each week. I have missed so much work the past few months due to her illness that it is a wonder people remember I still work here (I always feel like I've won the lottery when I actually do get to come to work and then see that they haven't packed up my desk). I got to stay home instead today and futilely attempt to prevent her from wailing and moaning the entire day, even though her fever was largely gone. I have no idea what is wrong with the child. Then I got to come into work after she went to bed (that's where I am now) in a desperate effort to make headway on a project that ordinarily/in my full time/pre motherhood days would have been done in December. Work is now my vacation in this topsy-turvy world that Charlotte has created for me.

I love Charlotte. I do. I think she is the most adorable, precious little girl on the planet. But motherhood pretty much sucks. I am exhausted, I am rarely showered, my clothes always have crap on them, and, as mentioned, I eat most of my meals off the floor. I am pretty much a German Shepherd. And not a pampered one either, like one that does stuff.

Fatherhood, on the other hand, I could really get into. I know there are a lot of dads who are slogging it out in the trenches, and hats off to you fellahs. But from my vantage point, it's a pretty good deal. You get to have an adorable little child, but you basically resume your normal life. Every now and then you watch the little girl for an hour or two when her mother tells you she's about to have a nervous breakdown. In fact the main drawback of fatherhood from what I can tell is that you are now married to a mother. That's fairly significant now that I think about it. OK never mind, fatherhood sucks too.

But I'd still take it over motherhood. If anyone knows where I can apply for a father position, let me know.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Is this what I've been reduced to?

So I've gained a few pounds since Charlotte started eating "real food."  Why you ask?  Well, that's kind of embarrassing but I'll confess anyway. 

I eat the crumbs from her table.  

I mean that quite literally.  Not only do I often eat the leftovers on her tray, I frequently eat the rejects she throws on the floor (which is more food than is left on her tray).  I know. It's disgusting.  My wake up call the other day was when I put a piece of cast-off Nutrigrain bar in my mouth only to discover a dust bunny was stuck to it.  Yuck.  

It's easy to explain why I feel the need to eat the clean leftovers--I can't stand wasting food.  Blame it on my African childhood.  But I don't think even starving African children would care to eat a fuzzy Nutrigrain Bar.  So that habit is just pure sloth. It's just easier to eat it all than go get a paper towel, pick it up, and throw it away.  Not that that is like running a marathon or anything.  But when you are a mom, you will do almost anything to save time/multitask/make your life easier.  

That's the ugly truth about motherhood.  It pretty much turns a relatively hygenic adult with decent manners into a human vacuum cleaner.  Hey, I've always said if you want something done, you should just do it yourself.