Tuesday, May 5, 2015

What I really want for Mother's day..........

I've seen all sorts of posts about the best things to get your mom for mother's day recently. A lot of them appear to be written by moms of young children because they go along the lines of "no, I don't want to take the family to the beach because it's too much work for me" and while I totally appreciate that, I took my family to the beach last Mother's day and it was awesome.

I'm not one for the fancy brunch with mimosas. I'd much rather be served Starbucks in bed (forget about eggs and bacon, bring me sour cream walnut coffee cake from Tully's). I don't really want to go out to an expensive dinner, either. Feast night works great for me - nothing like grazing over an assortment of treats!

I could care less about gadgets and appliances. I already have some awesome purses. I pretty much buy whatever clothes and shoes I want throughout the year, and I have a closet full. But I love gifts from the heart - a sketch, a painting, a scrapbook, a song, a poem. I know moms are supposed to say that, but I actually DO love handmade gifts, or a gift of talent and time.

But a mom can dream, right? So, here's a list of things that I (and probably any mom) would LOVE for Mother's day:
1. For someone to do the dishes just because they are piled high in the sink. And by "do" them, I mean take initiative and load and unload the dishwasher without being asked and/or without rolling eyes or groaning when being asked.
2. For someone to vacuum at least a couple of times a week instead of twice a month, and not only when the dog hair tumbleweeds are the size of grapefruit.
3. For someone to do the grocery shopping. Forever.
4. For someone besides myself and my husband to cook a meal. If, for any other reason, to prove to us that our kids can and will survive outside the household and be able to make a meal with more than one course.
5. For someone to bring me Starbucks every day. My ass will protest, but yum!
6. For someone to take out the garbage before it's tumbling over.
7. For fresh chocolate chip cookies every day, pizza once a week, and for them to not have any calories.
8. For someone to bring me fresh Gerber daisies weekly.
9. For someone to cook dinner. Forever.
10. For a fancy vacation once a year and several less-fancy vacations the rest of the year.

And while some of those things are do-able, and some are just plain crazy, I have to say I'm pretty darn happy with things just the way they are.

I love my home - it's messy and chaotic but it's full of things we love and people I treasure. I love it when all four kids are home and everyone is just doing their thing, but we're all in the same room and it's just average and normal. Because, to me, it's everything.

I love it when my kids are hanging out and we're all crafting, or creating, or the kids are having a jam session and I hear music and voices and laughter. That's the best sound.

I love how ridiculous my family is at times. The silly videos, pictures, funny things said,  forever recorded on social media. Not necessarily for others' entertainment but so we can look back and laugh at ourselves in the future.

I love road trips with my kids. The car is always trashed. We never get anywhere on time. But we have tons of time to talk and watch the world go by. Or not talk and watch the world go by. Either way, it's ok.

So, when it comes to what I "want" for Mother's day, the answer is usually the same. A day spent with my kids, usually at a beach, hanging out, eating snacks and relaxing. No agenda. No big plans. No spa day with fluffy towels and "me time". Sure, that's fun, but maybe another day.

On Mother's day I want to celebrate with the ones who made me a mother. The first born, who fulfilled my lifelong dream of being a mom. The second born, who showed me it was possible to love another child, not "as much" but wholly and completely, just like the first time. The third born, who showed me how to relax and enjoy this fleeting thing called mothering, because he was my last baby. Then, the bonus daughter who showed me mother love wasn't limited by biology and completed our family.

How lucky am I?
I love these dorks! 

Happy Mother's Day! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

A day in the life of a curly girl.............

So, I've been hearing a lot about "plopping." No, that's not something you do in a toilet bowl, although the name implies as much. Plopping is the horribly-named practice of using a t-shirt and, I guess unicorn dust or something, to get your hair perfectly curly. Plopping promises a head full of bouncy curls and all you have to do is twist your hair up in a fancy Korean-sweat-towel-type contraption made from a t-shirt and let it dry. You can learn more about plopping here.

Some say you should "plop" for just 20 minutes, until your hair is completely dry. Haha, I say! My hair, when put into a ponytail wet, will still be wet twelve hours later. So, I figured I would have to go with the plopping technique of overnight curls. But first, I had to master the head wrap. I stole a t-shirt out of my husband's drawer, lay it on my bed, flipped my head over, as instructed, and attempted to wrap it by "pulling the back taut against the head and rolling the sides away from your face, then tucking into the sides"....voila! Except.....I could NOT get the shirt to roll correctly, no matter how I tried. It didn't help matters that the diagram showed the model using a towel, not a t-shirt. They called it an Aquis towel, whatever that is. I don't have one of those. Oh, I just looked it up. I DO have one of those - it's a microfiber towel - only mine is conveniently shaped like a Turbie Twist and works fabulously. So, why plop? Because apparently a t-shirt is a magical material that will eliminate frizz and give you a head of bouncy, shiny curls.

I decided I'd just pull the t-shirt over my head - you know how you did when you were little? And it looked like long hair? Yeah. So, I twisted it and tucked it and settled in for a long rest with anticipation of waking with glossy spirals.

This is what actually happened: 

Which looks remarkably like this: 

Sexy, no? 

Here's what it looks like from the back! Oh, and, that no-frizz promise? LIES! 

So, I did what I always do when I wake up after going to bed with my hair wet. I dunked my head in the shower, soaked my hair, and started all over. 

Then, I added some product. And by "some" I mean a handful. 

This is the product I slathered on my hair. I've used just about every hair product out there, and this is one that stands alone. I don't need to add hair gel with this one, like I do so many other products. Plus, it's as thick body butter - perfect for me. Other products are too wimpy! By the way, this product indicates that it is a "leave-in conditioner" but, for the record, ALL my conditioners are leave-in. Body lotion is a leave-in conditioner for my head! There is simply no product strong enough to saturate my hair and eliminate frizz. 

So, I managed to tame my mane into something respectable for work. Also, makeup is a miracle, and I apologize for those earlier pictures when I was au natural, because.....scary! And I used a hair straightener on my bangs, because otherwise they are like demented worms crawling on my forehead. 

Oh! I can't forget this product. It's from The Body Shop and I bought it a hundred years ago and it's still not gone. It says coconut oil, but it's a little different, and just takes the tiniest bit to apply to my bangs to make them look a little "piece-y-er" and not like straightened fluff, which is what happens when I straighten my bangs. I love this stuff and I don't know what I'll do when it's all gone because they probably don't even make it anymore. Wait, I just did a search. THEY DO STILL MAKE IT. The package is less cool but they make it. Whew. 

Now it's around 1:30 p.m. and, as you can see, my hair is "growing". It does this throughout the day when I wear it down. This is why I usually wear my hair up. It's not because I love an updo. It's all about containment and taming the beast. 

And......it's 7 p.m. and this is how big my hair grew today. Some days it's even bigger! If I touch it throughout the day, it grows even more. DO NOT touch your curly hair. It must be left alone. Today I had some sort of weird fluffing going on at the top of my head. Also, look how tired I am! Someone should get me a margarita. 

The only solution to all this big hair is to tame it. My hair is a lion's mane, and this is my whip. This is no ordinary hair tie, either. It's a Goody Slide Proof elastic and it's MAGIC! There are similar products on the market, but only this one will do for my hair. They are not cheap, either! And my kids steal them. So, if you love me, buy me these hair ties. Also, why do they call them hair ties now? We called them rubber bands when I was a young 'un. Btw, I just checked and they have these on Amazon. So, go buy them for me now. Mother's Day is coming. I don't care if you're not my mother. 

The problem is, once my hair has grown this big, my pony tail is more of a pouf. Or, as one of my students described me - the lady with the pretty pom-pom hair. Rah, rah. 

So, there you have it. A day in the life of a curly girl. Let's summarize: 

1. Plopping is for the toilet. 
2. T-shirts are not for hair. 
3. If you sleep on wet hair, you will wake up looking like a Rastafarian sheep. 
4. The only way to pay penance for the sin of sleeping on wet hair is to baptize your hair in the shower. 
5. No amount of product will tame your frizz, but shea butter leave-in conditioner comes close. But it must be the Cantu brand. And don't even THINK of trying their hair custard because it looks like shiny Jell-o and it makes your hair dry into a plastic mold. 
6. A little coconut oil on frizzy bangs works well, and a LOT of coconut oil makes your hair really shiny and like an oil slick. I do not recommend. 
7. Bangs are the devil, but also necessary to cover large foreheads like mine. I resemble a monkey without bangs. However, with curly hair, you either have to keep your bangs short and straighten them every day, OR you have to grow them long and make them side-swept, thereby covering a hint of forehead. The in-between stage is horrible and the curly bangs often resemble wayward Ramen noodles, so it's probably best to just keep them short. 
8. However, if you have straight bangs and curly hair, it will confuse people and they will ask you if that's your real hair or if you are "naturally curly". I like to say "Of course it's naturally curly! Do you think I would do this on purpose?"
9. Curly hair grows. Curly hair often looks perfect when it's wet. And it looks completely different when it's dry. 
10. A good hair tie is a girl's best friend. But even the best hair ties break, so always keep a spare handy. Unless you're like me and you're down to, like, one good hair tie and it's never around when you need it. Buy them in bulk. 
11. Always keep your curly hair long enough to pull back into a pony tail - or whatever you call it - a pom-pom, a pouf, a curl bun. Curly hair is like sheep's wool - it's hot and you'll want to be able to pull it off your neck and face. Also, short curly hair has the dangerous potential of turning into a poufy helmet and no one wants that. 
12. On your biggest, frizziest hair day, at least one person, guaranteed, will gush over your fabulous hair and tell you how jealous they are of it and remind you that people pay good money to get hair like that. And you will look at them and question their sobriety, but when you go home, you'll pouf it even bigger and take selfies and post them to Instagram, hashtag "curly girl". 

Have mercy. 

P.S. No one paid me to promote the above products. But they should!