The skin I’m in

As with most areas of my life, I have no idea what I’m doing with my skin. I mean, I understand why I have it– otherwise, all my internal organs and shit would just fall out, and that would be super gross– but I never exactly know what to do with it.

As a teen, I was under the impression that I was supposed to singe it into submission with Oxy and Clearasil, which I mixed with abandon. The girls on TV were all doing it, and I followed their lead, even though they were clearly completely spasmodic when it came to rinsing afterward:

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But in the end, all I got out of it was cystic acne and a very wet bathroom counter.

When I was in grad school, I scored a job as a receptionist at a day spa that sold fancy skincare items, which I sampled liberally whenever I was left alone in the reception area for more than 15 seconds. (I also waxed my own lip and gave myself paraffin hand treatments on the regular.) A few times, out of guilt for the massive amount of samples I had pilfered through the years more than anything else, I would use my employee discount to purchase a full-sized bottle of something or other, assuming that anything that cost $30 would give me the skin of an angel riding a unicorn into a double rainbow.

The spa ladies claimed they could see a difference. But the spa ladies also failed to notice when I accidentally waxed off half an eyebrow, so I don’t think they were looking very closely.

Right now, I’m in a natural products phase. For about a year, I washed exclusively with black African soap (which, I’m not gonna lie, makes me feel like a terrible person every time I say it? Even though that’s literally the name of the soap, and it really is black?), and moisturized with a Burt’s Bees face oil, because I figured all of the oil-removing things I had used in the past hadn’t worked, so why not slap more oil on there and just see what happens? And honestly, it was a pretty great combo, except for the fact that it left me smelling like the incense section at a head shop, and after awhile that can really wear a girl down.

So just recently, I bought my first Lush facial cleanser, and I have to say, I’m kind of addicted. I don’t know if it’s the fact that it comes in a pot, or that it really just looks like someone chewed up a bunch of almonds and spit them into a container, and then sprinkled some lavender over it all for good measure, or that I have to actually break chunks of it off to use it– actually, pretty much all of those things make it sound disgusting. But trust me, it’s super not.

I doubt it’s really going to do anything for my skin one way or another– honestly, at this point I don’t really think there’s anything out there that’s going to distract from the fact that I somehow have both acne and wrinkles and basically spend most of my time looking like I slept the night on a grease-soaked corduroy pillowcase– but it just smells so good, and it feels so fancy, like I’m part of an exclusive club that knows that face washes that come in a tube are so passé.

Although once this pot is gone, I might just try chewing up some almonds myself and cutting out the middle man.

Back in business

You may have noticed that I’ve been away for the past three days. I mean, you probably didn’t, but there’s a small chance that you did. But fear not– I’m ready to get back in the saddle. A perfect storm of craziness hit here that sidelined me, including:

  • We went to see the Wild Kratts live, which deserves a post of its own, so I won’t elaborate much here, except to say that we didn’t get home until 10, and I was full of McDonald’s and the thrill of meeting Martin Kratt in person, and just couldn’t get it together enough to write anything.
  • My husband is out of town for the week, and I swear to God, my children have sensors inside them that detect the very second he leaves the Cleveland area for more than five minutes. Before he even would have been home from work that day normally, Addie and Rosie had entered MAXIMUM NEEDINESS MODE. After an evening in the park, two overly wrought bedtime routines, and Rosie’s furtive 3 a.m. visit to Netflix and Chill (which to her means “watch Daniel Tiger for three hours and eat gummies”), I was just spent.
  • Somehow, I ended up with food poisoning yesterday evening, leading to one of the most epic barfathons I have ever had the displeasure of participating in. Luckily, Addie and Rosie were able to suspend their utter disregard for my happiness or well-being for the night, but at the moment I still haven’t eaten anything in nearly 20 hours and am maintaining the absolute lowest limit of Gatorade in my stomach to keep me alive until this passes. I mean, I wanted a way to stay home and watch the new episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but this wasn’t really what I was going for.
  • Quite frankly, I was starting to burn out. It turns out that after 90 days of blogging, it becomes really difficult to come up with new things to say that are still funny. By now, you probably get that my kids are both evil and hilarious, and that I am concerned about my weight, and that I was a giant dork until I turned 25 (at which point I remained a giant dork, but finally put some effort into my appearance and managed to shed my dork-like exterior). There are only so many times I can tell you that Rosie woke up in the middle of the night to get her Daniel Tiger fix (I’m referring to it as the DT’s), or that I don’t like sandwiches (although I’m probably never going to shut up about that, because you guys, sandwiches are an affront to humanity).

So as a result, I’m going to amend my original blog project as follows: I will blog every day no matter what, unless:

  1. I meet a celebrity, children’s or otherwise
  2. My children or my work prevent me from doing so
  3. I am hardcore barfing
  4. I just really, really don’t want to.

I’m hopeful that, having taken this little forced hiatus, you won’t see many more further interruptions, but going forward, I’m giving myself a little wiggle room, because no one wants to read a blog where every article is entitled “Time to write in this stupid fucking blog again”.

Gigantic pants

I am in need of gigantic pants.

The last time I lost a lot of weight, I donated my gigantic pants to Goodwill, triumphantly. “Never again will I need such gigantic pants!” I decreed, high on metabolism and the heady glee that accompanies being a size 8. “I am invincible, and obviously things will never change again!”

But what I had forgotten is that, for some reason, something very weird happens to me after I have a baby, and my metabolism ramps up to that of a teenage boy. Weight flies off me, as if I sat up from the delivery bed and left behind a pool of congealed fat. I am the only person I know who comes back to work after having a baby weighing less than I did when I got pregnant in the first place.

And it lulled me into a sense of false security both times. With Rosie, in particular, not only did I not have to do anything, I could eat literally anything and I just kept losing. It was a miracle! A miracle that would never stop happening! I was the patron saint of undeserved weight loss!

But oh, it always catches up to me eventually. And that time is now.

So now I’m left with only two options: get pregnant again, or actually attempt to diet. Not just say I’m dieting while simultaneously smashing a colossal cupcake in my gaping maw, but actually, seriously doing it.

And honestly, getting pregnant sounds like a better option.

But as I’ve previously mentioned, my uterus has shuttered its doors, so that’s just not in the cards for me. Which only leaves the actually dieting plan, a gross and rumbly path down Salad Lane and Sweaty Elliptical Hellscape.

Still, I will give in and buy some more gigantic pants, knowing full well that I will gleefully discard them as soon as I’m able. I need something to wear while I hoe this craptastic road, and sadly, sweatpants are expressly banned in my work’s dress code.

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A sh*tty situation

[Warning: this post is about poop. If you are under the impression that women don’t poop, or that when we do poop, it just comes out in a daisy-scented spray of rainbows, you might want to skip this one.]

I have never been known for my iron stomach. As a teenager, almost all outings featured a painfully awkward intermission during which I had to play a game of Can I Use Your Bathroom Without Buying Something? wherever we happened to go after dinner. This is the one and only reason I am thankful that I never had a serious boyfriend in high school, because it’s one thing to explain your dire need to poop to your girlfriends, and entirely another to explain it to a guy from whom you’re hoping to get some sweet, sweet first-base action (possibly another reason I didn’t have a serious boyfriend).

This continued until my mid-twenties, when I finally broke down and got a colonoscopy, which revealed polyps in my colon, but not much else. (Side note: I was unaware how strong the anesthesia was going to be, and the next day I drove myself to work and attended our company Christmas party still completely out of it, and spent the whole party making googly eyes at a baby at the next table.) Somehow, though, the threat of another colonoscopy seemed to clear up my problems, and for years I became a respectable member of poop society (poopciety?).

But lately, my colon has decided it is once again unhappy, which makes no sense, because I give it super delicious food and never swallow safety pins or anything like that. Today, my colon demanded I go home in the middle of the day and finish work from there, cordoned off from the rest of my office in the Poop Corner of Shame. Which was fine, because the Poop Corner of Shame also includes my refrigerator and an endless supply of free Diet Pepsi, but still.

According to my doctor, I was supposed to go back for another colonoscopy every five years for the rest of my life, but so far, I have successfully avoided it by getting pregnant every time it was time to have it done (I will go to any lengths not to have to take the pre-colonoscopy colon destroyer). But now my uterus is closed for business, and I’m wondering if it’s time I take my colon’s advice, do the adult thing and schedule my long-overdue colonoscopy.

Or I guess I could adjust my diet and exercise more. But that sounds even less appealing.

Rise and shine and then lay back down indefinitely

Society perpetuates so many lies in order to keep our species thriving—“Have kids!” they say. “It’ll be so fun!” they say. “It won’t be weird at all to have sex with your husband while your two children may or may not be asleep less than 15 feet away in their own rooms, and could easily walk in at any time, scarring everyone for life and requiring years of costly therapy!”

But to me, the biggest, most unforgivable lie of all was this:

You’ll get so used to getting up early that you won’t be able to sleep in anymore!

Perhaps this is true of normal people. Clearly, someone is getting up earlier than me, and getting to the doughnut shop and taking all the good doughnuts before I can even get there, but fuck that guy, because while he was up at the butt crack of dawn to commune with Satan or whatever it is people do before 6:30 a.m., I was catching those sweet, sweet Z’s, which have far fewer calories than doughnuts. Although now that you mention it, I would like a doughnut, too, please.

I will never not be able to sleep in. I am like a black belt at sleeping in.

My children, however, are not.

It’s been five years, and I keep waiting for that day to arrive when I finally spring from bed without prodding at 5:30 in the morning, smiling and ready to face the day. “I couldn’t possibly have slept another second!” I will say to myself. “Thank God it’s finally time to get out of this amazingly comfortable sleep nest I have built for myself out of comforters and pillows and head out into the world where people will insist on interacting with me!”

But amazingly, this day has not yet come.

I was promised it would. People pointed at the elderly as examples. “My grandparents get up every morning at 4 and head over to the local McDonald’s to drink coffee with their friends!” But what they often leave out is that their grandparents also tend to go to bed at 7:30 at night, and even then I say they are missing out on at least another three good hours of sleep in this scenario.

And besides, grandparents are also famous for not understanding the internet and awkwardly referring to African Americans as colored people, so we may not exactly want to be modeling ourselves after them.

I really would like to become a morning person—getting up earlier would give me another few minutes to myself each day, to exercise, or write, or eat my aforementioned doughnut without having to share it with anyone. But no matter what I try—moving my alarm clock across the room, refusing to allow a snooze option, setting it for 40 minutes before I would usually get up—I always find a way to sneak back into bed until the last possible second.

I’m just really trying to ride it out until my daughters hit the teen years, when I will easily be able to sleep in until 10 every Saturday and still make them feel guilty for not getting up until noon. Until then, does anyone have any good tips to get me out of bed a little earlier? Or better yet, would anyone be interested in a job as my personal waker-upper, forcibly dragging me out of bed at the appointed hour? I won’t be able to pay much, but you can use my bed nest when I’m done with it. I’ll even warm it up for you, if you just let me lay here five more minutes.

Diet Pepsi: A Love Song

One of the first things any weight loss guru will tell you is that the key to losing weight is to drink a ton of water. Water when you first wake up! Water before you go to sleep! Don’t waste water in the shower– drink it! Open your car windows at the car wash and enjoy that sweet, sweet water! The human body, after all, is 60% water.

Except mine. Mine is like 87% Diet Pepsi.

Before you even begin, yes, I am aware how bad Diet Pepsi is for you. I have seen the YouTube videos of what it can do to a corroded penny. And I know that diet soda is essentially just as bad for your waistline as regular soda, but really it’s worse, because it is also just made of cancer. But I just can’t help myself. I quit smoking; I don’t really drink, and thanks to Requiem for a Dream, I am absolutely terrified of even looking at drugs for fear that they will somehow leap into my bloodstream from across the room. But I am hopelessly addicted to Diet Pepsi.

And it has to be Diet Pepsi, in specific. If there were suddenly some sort of plague that wiped out whatever creates the death chemicals in Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke was the only viable alternative, I would likely die of thirst (you will note that I still wouldn’t be drinking water, because water tastes like nothing, and have you ever put a piece of food into your mouth, closed your eyes and savored how much it tasted like literally nothing?).

To me, there is nothing more refreshing than a Diet Pepsi on a hot day. Or a cold day. Or first thing in the morning. Or basically at any given moment throughout the course of everyday life. I would drink Diet Pepsi for breakfast if it were not considered on par with frying bacon, and then throwing the bacon away and just drinking the grease.

I’ve tried alternatives. I’ve tried fruit infused water, hot water with lemon, sparkling water, coconut water, even something called banana water, which I do not recommend. And I manage to stick with it for a little while, but by “a little while”, I just mean “until 2 pm”.

If anyone has any tips on how to make drinking water more enjoyable, I would love to hear them. So far, all I’ve come up with is “travel back in time and slap my very first Diet Pepsi out of my hand with such force that it explodes all over Past Me,” and I already spent all the money on my Time Travel Creation fund on more Diet Pepsi.

My acceptance speech

Wow. I mean– wow. I really didn’t think I had a shot at winning the award for Grossest Night of 2016. Just– wow, thank you. Thank you so much.

But you know, I couldn’t have done this by myself. No, no, I mean that. So many things had to come together for this to happen.

First, I’d like to thank my phone, for allowing me to somehow time travel to 2 am without actually accomplishing anything. I don’t even know how you do it– I just agreed to play a round of Best Fiends and then check Facebook, and suddenly I was buying a cat litter pan on Kickstarter and reading an article about the rise of the authoritarian in American politics and it was four hours past my bedtime. You’re amazing. A treasure. Thank you.

And Rosie? I definitely couldn’t have done this without your sudden and violent Exorcist-inspired vomiting an hour after finally shutting off my brain. Coating your entire crib with a thin layer of raspberry seeds and congealed chocolate ice cream was inspired, but it was your geyser-like eruption in my bed that really took it to the next level.

Thanks to my sleep-deprived brain, who thought it would be a good plan to just throw a blanket over the vomit and move to the other side of the bed, so I could find it in the morning. I especially enjoyed finding this debacle when I woke for good three hours later, because nothing says good morning! like dried, crusty vomit pasted to your sheet under a fuzzy blanket.

Major props to Coconut, who took it upon herself to burrow under said blanket and roll around in the dregs of Rosie’s mess, and then curl up peacefully to sleep on my pillow. Your contribution cannot be overlooked.

And of course, my undying gratitude to the hose on our utility sink. You only have one speed– out of control hydrant– and it was your wily escape from my grasp that sent water and vomit chunks flying around the entire basement and into my hair and possibly my mouth, but I’m not willing to accept that that really happened.

Thank you to my stupid plan to drop Addie off at school rather than just take her to the sitter to catch the bus, and thanks especially to Addie, for failing to remind me that her snow gear was still at the sitter’s until we had just pulled to the front of the drop-off line.

Thank you to the woman at the front desk of Addie’s school who couldn’t conceal her disgust for my vomit hair, which I had forgotten about, because why would it have occurred to me that I might actually have to leave my car?

There’s just something so special about when sleep-deprivation and vomit come together, and last night, we made magic. Even now, after the sheets and the blankets and the duvets and the cat and the basement walls are all washed and clean, I can still smell the sweet tang of success.

It smells like curdled milk.

The Baby’s Speech

This afternoon, I took Rosie to a speech therapist to attempt to address her refusal to communicate at a level higher than that of Cro-Magnon Man. I figured it was a win-win situation– I would finally know what Rosie wanted for breakfast without pointing at every single thing in our pantry and saying “THIS?” really loudly like I was talking to a foreign tourist, and Rosie would finally be able to explain to me why exactly it is that she spazzes out whenever I try to sing her “Rocket Man” at bedtime. A deep-seated fear of space travel? Maybe she likes the Shatner version better?

The appointment started out well enough– waiting room full of toys, other kids for Rosie to wander up to and then stare pointedly at, which is her current favorite group activity. The therapist came and got us, took us to another room with even more toys (as well as some sort of hellish high-chair looking thing with arm straps that I don’t even know what that was for– “ENUNCIATE YOUR R’S OR YOU WILL NEVER EAT MAC AND CHEESE AGAIN!”) and started explaining to me what was going to happen. There were two parts to today’s visit– observation for Rosie, and a test for me.

That’s where things started going downhill.

In addition to my fear of sandwiches and driving, I also have a strange paranoia that all doctors will think I am constantly faking, even if I’m not. In my mind, there is a good chance that I could walk into an ER with a bullet wound and the doctor would just be like “did you try putting Bactine on it? God, suck it up.” And as soon as I knew I had to take a test, I absolutely knew that they were going to find two things:

  1. There was nothing wrong with Rosie
  2. I am a bad person for taking up valuable time from a client that actually needs speech therapy, and there’s a distinct possibility that the worst picture ever taken of me will be used in a Ted Cruz campaign commercial about how I am everything that’s wrong with Obamacare

And then it didn’t help that as soon as they started asking Rosie to pronounce things, she was busting out words I didn’t even know she knew as crisply as a proper British lady, and the therapist exclaimed over how well she was doing, and all I could do was stare at Rosie with slitted eyes, because now I knew she was just dogging it at home. I had just been subject to a long con.

I won’t know the results of the test until next week– I will say that Rosie followed up her initially stunning performance with a ten minute incomprehensible monologue that appeared to be about the pair of shorts she wanted to put on her baby doll, but could also have been about world hunger– but I’m thinking this entire thing was just a ruse so that Rosie could get out of day care for a couple hours and play with some new toys. I hope she shows this level of dedication to her school work in a couple of years. At least I already know that she’ll be better at tests than I ever was.

 

Weigh to go

You know how the Modern Woman is supposed to be all body-positive and embrace her curves and wear a bikini even though her midsection looks like it was mauled by a mountain lion? (Maybe that last one is just me.) Listen, I try to do that, I really do. 95% of the time, I don’t let three numbers on a scale define me. I don’t care about the numbers on the tags in my dresses, either, as long as they fit me nicely and make me feel sassy. Basically, I don’t care about numbers at all, so my life is very much like my junior year of high school when I almost failed pre-calculus.

But then 5% of the time I care about numbers very much, and basically become like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. 

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This would also explain my hatred of K-Mart

Not coincidentally, this 5% of time matches up almost exactly to the 5% of time that I bother to weigh myself. I generally try to steer clear of the scale as much as I can, because as long as I know that I once weighed 135 pounds eight years ago, I can assume that that hasn’t changed. Logic!

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of weighing myself last night– which you’re never supposed to do, anyway, because by the end of the day you are basically just a walking sack of fatty bloatasticness that somehow magically fixes itself while you’re sleeping– and discovered that in order to reach my goal weight, I will have to literally just stop eating until August 2018.

This, of course, is not feasible, because I have no self-control, so any attempt at a fast would last only the length of time it took me to use my superhuman chocolate-seeking powers to locate the nearest source of free candy on someone’s desk. So instead I need to work on developing a healthier relationship with food– salad and I are good friends, but I’m in a very abusive relationship with pizza– and then I have to do the unthinkable.

I have to exercise.

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Photographic representation of my feelings on exercise.

I am fully indoctrinated in the Cult of Fitbit (I HAVE WALKED OVER 4200 MILES SINCE 2013 AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT IT!!!), but I’m starting to think that’s not enough. I may actually have to do something that involves sweating, and there is almost nothing I hate more than sweating (maybe kitten murder– maybe). And as someone who managed to live her entire life without participating in a single sport since a season of pre-K t-ball and whose gym teacher once open mocked the way she ran, I can promise you that I am not cut out to be a person who exercises “for fun”. I refuse to accept that it can be fun, and when you attempt to persuade me otherwise, all I hear is “HEY! COME SWEAT SO HARD THAT YOUR UNDERBOOBS BECOME A LUSH AND VERDANT RAIN FOREST, AND THEN GASP MANIACALLY FOR AIR WHILE WORKING YOUR LIMBS SO HARD THAT YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GOT HIT BY A TRAIN!”

So I’ll do it if I have to, but I expect some sort of award ceremony afterward. With cake. There has to be cake.

And now, a word from Kim’s Headache

What up, jerks?

This is Kim’s Headache—the one she’s had for the last two days, that makes it feel like there’s a balloon filled with acid threatening to pop inside her entire neck and head area. You know, the kind that starts out all innocently, like, man, I must have slept wrong on my awesome new pillow, but NOPE, because I AM HERE TO DESTROY YOUR WORLD, MOTHERFUCKER.

Kim never gets headaches, either, which is what makes this so fun. She literally prides herself on it, as if not getting headaches is an actual skill she has cultivated over the years. She gets the stomach flu as easily as making eye contact with a weird IT guy in the work elevator, but headaches, never.

So when I come in and unpack my bags and take my Frito-smelling socks off and drape them over the radiator of her brain, she freaks the fuck out. It’s suddenly Hug Your Children One Last Time Before You Die time, because It Is Obviously Brain Cancer.

And I am an extra bad headache, too, not the kind that you can banish with a couple of Advil and a glass of hot tea. I am the kind of headache that takes at least four Advil and a crucifix to even slightly subdue. I’m the kind of headache that removes your sense of taste and replaces it with the taste of grass clippings and metal, even though you can still smell everything just fine, just because I can.

Kim’s other organs tried to stand up to me, and I’m like, whatever, you’re fat and stupid and nobody loves you, and they all just ran away crying. I am like the Donald Trump of headaches.

And you know what? Also like Donald Trump, I have decided that I am never leaving. I’ve got a good gig here. I kind of outgrew Kim’s head and face area, so I’ve annexed her lymph nodes. They’re like a pied a terre for my awfulness. I didn’t anticipate that my move would also make it more difficult for Kim to swallow, but good. I am glad.

I know once I finally get evicted, it might be ages before I can sneak back in here, so I’m living it up. EDM Dance Party in Kim’s sinus cavity right now, and y’all are invited. Because I am nothing if not generous. I keep it 100.