June 23, 2011

I'll eat my words. Among other things.

Mmmm.  The Food Network, more specifically The Barefoot Contessa, may propel some back peddling on my part.

I'm working on the baby weight reduction on the bod- it's working, happily- but it's quite a slow process.  It requires patience, dedication, and reduced calorie foods which bite hard.  If you do anything for a few days, you get used to it and then these routines become habit and then they're just thoughtless parts of your day.  I think that's why my weight is starting to come off on its own.  I'm just back into the swing of healthy, reduced calorie eating.  Delicious.  I kid.

Home with my nugget, I run around, do errands, clean, garden, play with her, take care of her and maybe even shower.  The day's fly and I'm able to watch first hand this little girl discover the same world that has become a relatively non eventful backdrop for me.  But I myself have discovered something new.  The Food Network.  Actutally delicious.  No kidding.

Today, I have a few moments while she's in the ExerSaucer (best thing in the world, by the way) to sit and relish vicariously a moment in the life of Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa.  I spent my whole life channeling the lives of uber thin, highly fashionable movie stars/models and I've had my head up my bikini bottoms.  That is not living.

Ina lives to eat whole, real, non processed, natural foods that burst with color and life and flavor.  Two words: wine and cheese.  A few more words: bright red cherry tomatoes, brown caramelized onions, sunny yellow lemon... slurp- Vienna can I borrow your burp cloth?  Ya, thanks.
I want that now.  I want a kitchen polka dotted by white pots of thyme, parsley, and basil.  I'd like a large chopping block situated by my knifes laying underneath onions, peppers and tomatoes ready to blend and be roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Flank steak and goat cheese.  Oh god.
Vienna is now lying next to me on the floor, rolling around slobbering on her toys and she just kicked me and woke me from my naughty fantasy.  (She rolled for the first time by herself a second ago!  Call me what you want but that's the stuff I live for right now.)  And the point of all of this is I want it all, I guess.  Comfort in my skin without having to forego the potato skins roasted with chives, sundried tomatoes and bleu cheese.  I want Vienna to learn red by looking at tomatoes and apples, green by peppers and celery and lime, white by cheese and bakery fresh sour dough bread, yellow by lemons.  I want my husband to come home to a whole meal- made at home, not just a bag of steamed veggies I threw in the microwave that goes with a Trader Joes frozen stir fry.

Time.  Body image.  The two main reasons that meals are desecrated into low calorie, quick enterprises that may taste good, but lack the artistry and joy that can go into the creative process.  My new idol is Ina Garten.  Her colorful, flavorful, way of life.  I want that for my family.  And my belly.  I mean six-pack.
How cozy does that look?!  That's all for now.

June 14, 2011

It is a material world and I am a material girl.

I love bling.  Fabulousness is fabulous to me.  I ain't scared.

Rings, shoes, shades, necklaces- big and dainty, accessories galore.  Clothes that hang well, show the right stuff off, fabric pattern itself an accessory.  It's all yummy to me.

It's art and attitude and expression is priceless.  Especially because it's so beautiful and daring.  There's a pride and security in feeling like what you adorn has that glamour.  Feeling sparkly can give a girl reason to go out and embrace the world, devour the night and make things happen.  (Hair done, nails done, everything did.)

My home is a constantly evolving canvas.  One of my new trinkets or pieces of art sets in motion change throughout the whole house.  If one thing moves generally the whole place is affected.  Each season- now grays paired with one bright accent color- the palette changes, my taste transformed and this habitat no longer what it was days before.  Keeps things interesting.  Fresh.  And so clean, clean.

Likewise there is constantly a new way to decorate my body with clothes, tattoos (yup), and jewelry.  Jewelry is a right of passage.  When my baby was born, I was practically walking around with my finger sticking up, swaying mid-air (kind of like a middle finger- but not) waiting for my husband to slide a new baby present on to it.  I love looking down at my wrists, fingers- any limb, really- and thinking, aww that's from my birthday, or our anniversary, or my first mother's day.  They're beautiful, special, and will play the role of heirlooms in due time.  My daughter will wear the baby bracelet my aunt bought me when I was born for her christening.

What we are drawn to is subconscious on a lot of levels.  But ask anyone who is into fashion or design and they can explain to you that there's is so much more to it than being superficial.  There's a gut feeling to be had when you layer all the right details to create an ensemble.  The whole is grander than the sum of its parts.  The room you've designed makes you feel a certain way when you walk into it.  The clothes and accessories and hair and makeup turns on certain parts of your personality.  It's fabulous- the whole thing.  Such a scrumptious way to manipulate your vibe and reinvent yourself and home.

These feelings have for so long been considered materialistic with a negative vibe to it and I think that's old fashioned, puritanical, and hypocritical.  Self expression is important- what you put out there directly affects your role in this world.  I think it goes against human nature not to partially prefabricate your persona and I think it's ok.  We are incredibly cerebral creatures and thought [typically] goes into every move we make.

I realize that for the most part this does require the collection of material items.  The motivation behind your desire for these things is what defines whether or not it's materialistic though.  There are plenty of empty, superficial people out there who don't have any other reason for obtaining such goods but simply to have them.  But if one uses their gut, their sense of art; if passion clicks in when they find the perfect artifact- then its more than materialism.  It's love.

June 8, 2011

Wigs are always a nice option.

Will I still be a hot mama if I'm bald?

I ask because I can't seem to shake my head 'no' without having to vacuum the floor around me.  I find strands of my hair in Via's diaper.  Very cute.  I mean gross.  And now that she's in the "I'm going to put anything I can grasp in my mouth" stage, she loves to gnaw on my rogue locks which can all be easily found pretty much anywhere you look.  I'm constantly brushing my arms and legs feeling like something is tickling me.  Which there is.  My hair... trying desperately to hold on for dear life.  It just doesn't have the power.

Pregnant hair is like nothing I could have dreamed of.  Conversely, now I literally blow out my hair and my bathroom is a proverbial rug.  So I have to vacuum even more now that the baby is out and my hair apparently wants to follow suit. I have to vacuum enough that my hair is tangled in the brush that twists- aka the mechanism that makes this icon of domestication functional.  I can't wait to have to deal with replacement vacuum parts. That'll be a few hours worth spent.

I have an appointment booked with my hip and trendy stylist and I'm scared.  I'm scared because I've finally allowed my hair to grow to a length I'm proud of, below my bra strap, and I know that I'll be tempted to chop a little.  I don't like the feeling of salon instability; I can be easily swayed and often walk out missing a few too many inches in the spirit of spontaneity and trendiness and I'm not having it.  I have to stay strong and lead my hair by example.

I'm not a fan of this loss and feel that a memorial service should be held to honor and remember my long, lustrous, thick locks.  Sadly, they will be missed.

June 7, 2011

An Existential Reevaluation. (I need this like a hole in the head.)

So, if I were playing Follow the Leader, there would be a bit of a problem.

Who (what, actually) is the leader?  What do I follow?  Cause I can't seem to make up my own mind these days.

The shift that occurred to my perspective in life when I became a mom could have rocked our planet's tectonic plates.  It does this to many women, so if you're one of them, how do you, pray tell, figure out what the hell you're supposed to do with your life?

What should be laid on the table are these three things:  One- I know I should work.  Financially, I really have no choice.  And I can't watch my husband bust his ass just because his thoroughly capable, functional, highly educated and relatively intelligent wife can't seem to drag her ass to work.  But every day it feels like I got sucker punched when I'm not with the baby and I vehemently refuse to wish my life away by staring at the clock for the entirety of my child's life.  Two- We have school loans that create a vacuum in the income department.  They need to be paid and that's not possible when I'm home with The Girl.  And, three- if I'm at work, I'm unenthused and barely there because my mind is always with Vienna.  If I'm home, I'm happy but feel guilty about not working to help my husband pay the bills.  Dolla dolla bills yo.

Hence, my quandary.  What do I do?  Choosing the lesser of two evils is still not good enough- I'm either guilty about not raising my own child or guilty that I'm putting us in the poor house on one income.  Talk about born and raised Catholic.  The religion of guilt.  No amount of Hail Mary's will help me out of this one.

I need to be creative here and figure out a way to make money doing something I love enough so that I won't want to call in sick every other day to stay home and nuzzle my four and a half month old.  The job I want is seemingly unavailable to me (this statement goes against my determination to visualize the positive, but things are what they are), so I need to come up with a plan B.  [I actually just interviewed for a job that might just be my solution- fingers crossed.]

Either that, or I just need a prescription for Adderall and I'll be able to focus on any job I do.

Never mind that.  The economy blows and desirable jobs are a commodity at best.  Maybe Obama D. Nozzle should do something about the cost of school loans.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but we are the generation that's supposed to perpetuate the housing market and none of us will be able to do that with a hundred thousand dollars in school loans.  The amount of which will multiply exponentially with interest by the time we can pay them off.  Buy a house?  How about groceries?  I digress.

I come full circle when I admit I know the answer to this problem.  I must work.  But I want to be happy and I've never been happier than being a mother.  I've never felt such self efficacy, purpose or emotional stability (if you can believe it) than I do now.

So, school systems: Hire me as a guidance counselor.  Or, fabulous company I'm not yet aware of: present me with a job that I can do from home.  Or, lottery: show up on my doorstep.  Something.  PLEASE.  Something happen.