Friday, July 30, 2010

Our Big Girl

My baby turned 3 this week. Meet Holliday, or Holly, as we usually call her. :)

Yes, she is a fur-covered, 65 pound dog. The husband and I don't have kids, but I'm pretty sure this pup has made it her job to sufficiently prepare us for parenthood.

For example, here's an actual conversation we had this morning:

Husband: Did the baby sleep through the night?

Me: Yes! Three nights in a row with no wake-ups. She cried for a new minutes because her stuffed animal got stuck in the footboard, but she went right back to sleep.


She hates to be left. She loves to sit on my lap. She cries when she doesn't get what she wants. She's our girl.

And yes, as you may have also suspected, she is a pit-bull/boxer mix. I have actually gotten the question, "Are you going to get rid of her when you have kids?"

Well, do you plan to get rid of your older kids when you have a new one?

I take these questions very personally. To me, she is not just a dog. Or a "vicious pit bull." She is my baby.

She's very rarely been around small children, so she doesn't really know how to respond and gets skittish and nervous. So, she's never around children unsupervised.

And, she's not great with dogs, either. She's super protective of her people and her toys, and sees other dogs as a threat.

So, she's always supervised in these situations.


She's my love. She's so happy to see me when I get home, her tail spins around like a helicopter. She kisses my face every morning. She lays in bed with me when I'm sick, sad, or overwhelmed.

She's part of the family.

Happy Birthday, Girl!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Things That I Initially Checked Out Because of My Desire to be Cool, and Actually Fell in Love with.

So, according to the title, does that make me actually cool? Although, the fact that I'm admitting this deducts at least 100 cool points, I'm sure.

1. The movie Amelie. I thought the French subtitles seemed cool, and my very cool Indie-alternative friend/more-than-friend? at the time had recommended it. So therefore I watched it with him. Love. At. First. Sight. It is now my favorite ever.

*Thank you Brittany, for reminding me of it this week :)

2. My Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars. Ah, the ubiquitous shoes. I originally bought these in college, because I had gained The Freshman 15 times 2, and buying shoes was the one thing I could do without a weight-shame spiral. These shoes have an endless cool quotient with me....well, they did, until my dog chewed through the soles....but I've repurchased these twice already due to my unwavering devotion, so no reason to think I'm stopping now.

3. Telling people what I do at my job. I initially got involved in this field because I thought it sounded cool. But the telling people what I do--this is tricky. It can either elevate me to ultimate "whoa, people actually do that?" cool status, or have the opposite effect, "where's the nearest exit?"

I am a home based therapist. I work primarily (although not exclusively) with juvenile sex offenders and abused foster children. So, which was your gut response?

4. Sunglasses. These make me feel instantly cool, even if I'm wearing clothes a sane person should never leave the house in. Now I can't leave the house without them because they apparently prevent wrinkles around your eyes (yay!) but also because I feel naked.

5. Ireland. I had never been out of the country at the time, but I did a study abroad in Ireland in 2003 because of my nagging desire to do something cool and tell others about it. It was awesome. Instant love. Combine #5, the soundtrack to #1, and #2, and I was totally walking on sunshine during that trip.

And, that's all for now, but observation: apparently this is a day for lists. :)



Great. full.

I've been having a suck day. For starters, I'm not feeling well. I have a headache, sinus pressure, and feel overall ICK. Job stress also overshadows all (being available 24/7 is wearing me down hard), with money worries a close second. So instead of continuing to wallow in this Oh my goodness, how do I get through this panic, I'm trying to focus on the things that are going right. Because I'm utterly overwhelmed.

It feels like this:

1. I am healthy. Despite all the doctor bills and cavities and whatnot, and despite gaining almost 12 pounds since the wedding (I have since lost 3)....I am healthy. Anything that has happened with me has been expensive, but relatively minor in the gran scheme of things.

2. I own my house. My AC may be on the fritz, and I complain about wanting to add a master bedroom/bathroom etc., but this is OUR house, we own it, and this fills me with pride and joy. It's the biggest purchase we've ever made. It's adorable and has a bright fuchsia crepe myrtle in front that makes me smile when I come home, especially in the fall.

3. My relationship with my husband is fantastic. No matter how sucky this funk may be, he is always there to support me and stick things out!

4. My family is ridiculously resilient and supportive. We're just not genetically wired to stay down for too long!

5. This one may sound a little dumb, but my car. The little Hyundai that could. My 2003 Hundai accent, the tiny two-door adorable blue car that I was so proud of when I graduated still ticking. It runs great, it's paid off, it doesn't take a lot of gas, and the sight of it still makes me smile.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dinner-0, Blender-1

Disclosure: Dnner absolutely sucked tonight. I was hungry and prepared, had all the ingredients and was ready to go. I had shopped ahead of time and had actually made a menu. But you know the saying about best laid plans? Well if you do, let me know, because I'm drawing a blank!

Anyway, I re-attempted the pesto a la' several weeks ago. However, I must've gotten much too cocky :) This time, all the ingredients got jammed up in my blender. When I went to taste it, I got a huge chunk of garlic. It wasn't blending at all; it just spread up around the sides. An hour later and I'm still tasting it! Ugh!

I took a wooden spoon and stuffed the ingredients down and around the blade and tried again. Same thing. Repeat time 3. Same thing. It wasn't ground up, and tasted like salty wet leaves with big chunks of garlic and almonds. Yum!

Argh! I recruited the husband to fix the blender, but it wasn't happening. Meanwhile, the noodles were ready and I was starving. I recruited a jar of spaghetti sauce to save the day. At this point I inadvertently sat the (plastic) bottle of olive oil and its cap on a hot burner.

Melted plastic + dinner fail + supreme hunger = glass of wine which made everything better :)

hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Not a Cheap Date

I must be in a posting mood tonight. I'm watching a Philosophy infomercial, the dog is asleep across the back of the couch, and the husband is with his friends. Life's pretty sweet.

But. Life is also really expensive. One thing that's super expensive: Medical & Dental expenses. These are not fun, because they are just maintenance. It's not like, getting your hair done, and then you have really cute hair to show off for the next month. It's not like food, where you can sit, linger, and enjoy your meal, and then talk about that great date you had at so and so that one time.

It's just the business of living. And woah, my living has been pricey lately. Let's revisit my finger injury from May. We still have a big ER bill that hasn't been paid yet, not to mention the time I missed from work that week, and the resulting lost pay.

Additionally, I have dental drama. Case in point: once your cavities become visible to the naked eye by one who has no dental training whatsoever, it's time to suck it up and go to the dentist. I had put it off for a few years since I got my wisdom teeth out, since my last dentist was a huge tool.

Fast forward, got married, have a husband with a nice dentist; now I have a new dentist. The dental experience wasn't bad, cleaning was fine, and the x-ray, while not a trip to Busch Gardens, was not that big of a deal. Then the dentist was all, what is your diet? Do you drink sugar all day?!? haha, dental humor.

Then we talked treatment planning for my (at least 5) cavities. I know, I'm 28, and I have sugar holes in my teeth. :( That wasn't even that painful. I can handle some fillings. What was painful was having the billing person call me two hours later to give me my estimated copay for my first (of two) filling appointment, and she quoted me a price over $500.00.

My response was not classy, "Are you SERIOUS?!?!"

It's not even like I'm getting new teeth like Hillary Duff.

Of course this is for the pretty white fillings. I tried to downgrade to the amalgam mercury ones, but JC vetoed, "You pride yourself on your teeth and your smile. I think you'd end up sad about a mouth full of metal." He's such a keeper, and a total trooper about all this. I also researched, and the white composite fillings require less drilling and less removal of the existing tooth. I also already have one silver filling, so it would be silver all the way from the back to the front on my left side. I have an existing crown on that side too. What the heck is going on with the left side of my mouth?!?!

So, we're going to try to work out a payment plan. But all I can think of is how sad all this maintenance work is. Between my ER bill and my teeth (this isn't even for all of my fillings, only the first 4), I'm spending a grand for upkeep. It's not a new sofa; it's not even really tangible. It's not like I can go around showing my friends, "look at my cool fillings! Aren't they awesome?" The upkeep is only going to be more as we get older.

So, my lesson has been learned: Don't sleep on your dental visits! Go every 6 months, dentist's attitude be damned. Because skipping years of visits has caught up to me, and now I'm probably straight up funding my new dentist's down payment on his next BMW! :) I love my teeth and took them for granted, and now they are full of holes that have to be filled. Ugh.

From now on, I will be taking my vitamins, brushing (and flossing!!) and getting regular cleanings, keeping my physical appointments, etc. Because playing catch-up with your health is a bitch.



I got new makeup today, and this makes me uber-stoked. It may sound dumb, but as I have mentioned before, I am a product junkie. I love makeup, skin stuff, lotion, shampoos, and anything that promises I will look awesome with minimal effort. It's my crack. And yes, I am a feminist, and yes, I have read The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, and heard her speak about it in person. But I am a girl, and if I have on hole-y jeans and thrift store flip flops, but have a really pretty face on and my hair is done, nobody can tell me nothin!

Since I've been doing this thing where I only purchase things when I need them
*gasp!* I haven't bought much lately. But today, I had a gift card, so I splurged.

I typically use and love Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation. Warm Beige is me. I also have the concealer in pale yellow and the under eye corrector. BUT, the Skin foundation is about $45.00, the corrector is at least $20 (if I remember correctly) and I am broke. I haven't run out of the concealer yet, but I probably won't repurchase that since it comes with a yellow setting powder underneath, and the powder settles in the lines around my eyes. (I'm only 28, so there aren't many, but it just makes me look....older than 28!)

I loved the foundation because it's the perfect color for me. But I don't think I had a good enough moisturizer, because my skin would be flaky and my foundation would settle into my face after just a few hours.

I ran out of the Skin foundation, but I had bareminerals leftover from awhile back, and in the interest of saving cash, I decided to use that up first. I used to love it, but due to my bipolar skin, I need the coverage of a liquid.

Disclaimer: My skin is weird. I have acne (rosacea with perioral dermatitis, which translates into bumpy red chin awesomeness)), and my skin is oily. BUT, I am prescribed Tazorac (which is Retinol) and antibiotic face cream, which turns my face into a desert.

So, I decided to visit the Clinique counter because it tends to be awesome for sensitive skin, and lets face it, I am poor, I had a gift card to Macy's, and Macy's does not have a Bobbi Brown counter.

I left there with a partial face makeover and three products. I plan to try them out and let you know what I think.

Foundation: even better makeup SPF 15, color: porcelain beige. It only comes in a 1 oz package, which is good because if I don't love it, I haven't made a long commitment. But the huge pro is, at this package size, it is half the price of my Bobbi Brown. I love you Bobbi, but $45 a pop is an investment.

Moisture Gel: Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. This is "a drink of water for your skin" according to the makeup lady. She says that with this, the other moisturizer will absorb better and it's a good skin prep. It was $12, so we will see. She also said this could be used as a night cream, eye cream, etc.

Moisture Mack Daddy: Superdefense SPF 25. This was not cheap at around $40.00 (but hooray gift card!) This is the thicker cream I needed, so I'm hoping that this combo will keep my skin and my makeup looking fresh all day, or at least not dry and flaking off. I will update about how it works :)

I am using Purity made simple cleanser from Philosophy, and Revele' green tea from my dermatologist (but that ish is $60 for something that goes down the drain, definitely got hosed on that purchase. It lasted a long time and was very gentle, but that's too much money for something that doesn't even stay on your skin!)Once the green tea stuff is gone, I'm sticking with my Purity.

And because I'm a nutcase:

No makeup. Nada. Zip.

I'm not super broken out right now, just a little bumpy on the chin, but I have the ever present redness.

Here's with all three products. Hmm. The Superdefense definitely smells like sunscreen, but my face feels soft!

Not dramatic, which is okay because I just want a natural fresh face. I also have on a new mascara, colossal volume express by Maybelline (made these lashes long!). I ran out of Lash Blast, and was totally meh about that mascara. I also have on my (not bad, not great)Maybelline expert wear blush in berry sorbet.

So that's my two cents (or technically, $14.08, which is want my actual cash laydown was) on my face today.


Steph :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How's Married Life?

So. We've been married now for 2 1/2 months, and I get this question a TON! Also, "So, when are you gonna have babies?" (I'm looking at you, mom!)

The answer is: It's exactly the same and completely different at the same time.

We of course, lived together for roughly 4 years before getting married. We definitely skipped over the part where we learn what it's like to share the bathroom, divide up all the chores, and learn how to cook. Obviously I am still learning the cooking part. :) But as for the rest, we've had it down pat.

The other stuff, like seeing the look on his face when he saw my new name on my driver's license, isn't so obvious, but it's my favorite stuff. Like, when he calls me "wife," or "mrs. vera," I melt. That's the completely different stuff. It's more of a feeling inside than anything. It's knowing we are on the same team in a serious way. I think it's translated into the two of us being nicer to each other. It's not like we never argue or have a stressful moment, but when we DO argue, it feels like a more considerate argument.

Otherwise, the bathroom's still my chore and he still has to mow the lawn every sunny Friday afternoon. :)


PS--the answer to the baby question is, absolutely not yet! :)