Saturday, June 29, 2013

I've Been A Little Busy

I haven't been great about posting this week.  I've been a little busy.

There was this...

I met with a congressman, yo!  Ok, an aide of a congressman.  But it was in the congressman's office and there was a flag and a conference table so it was all very official.

There was this story in the Oklahoma Gazette.

Then there was this...

I'm on a magazine cover!  Check out the story here and read about what I've been up to when I'm in activist mode.

So I'll be back with you next week.

Oh, and the winners of the $20 off a micropeel coupons are.....

ShaRhonda Crow, Jill Rademeyer, and Tere Hogan-Earnest!  Message me your e-mail and I will send you your coupon!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sponsored Post And Giveaway With Marissa Mitchell-Aesthetician

I admit it.  I love the spa.  I didn't mean to love the spa.  It was an accident.  I went in for a photofacial to get rid of some sun damage.  Then I noticed my friend's beautiful lashes and had to go back for that too.  Now the latest spa love-micropeels.  Today Marissa Mitchell-Aesthetician from Emerge Medical Day Spa is sharing some knowledge about this "summer facial".  Who says the spa can't be educational?

What exactly is a micropeel?

Marissa: A Micropeel at Emerge is a unique facial peel treatment that has 3 parts.
The first part is a manual exfoliation of the skin where a blade is gently and carefully scraped across the face removing dead skin cells, and all that annoying peach fuzz. Also known as dermaplaning!

The second part of the Micropeel is the chemical exfoliation. We select an alpha-hydroxy acid that is customized to meet your skin type, and skin concerns.

The third part is cryogenic therapy- we carefully apply dry ice to the skin to tighten the blood vessels on the face that have been dilated from the peel. The Cryo treatment also helps heal blemishes because it kills bacteria.

The result is an immediate increased glow and radiance with no downtime! Not only will your skin feel immediately softer and smoother, but this treatment is wonderful for: anti-aging prevention, blemishes, acne scars and hyperpigmentation (sunspots).

I once had my face nearly melted off from a chemical peel.  How is this different?

Marissa: A Micropeel is different because it is a light, superficial peel. We select a customized acid and percentage that is appropriate for your skin type and condition. Strong enough to make your skin glow, and look amazing-- but not so strong you leave looking like you got a sunburn! All the exfoliation happens in the treatment room. This means your skin might get tingly and warm-- but that's it. No actual peeling!

What is a micropeel good for?

Marissa: Pretty much everything! For immediate radiance and pore tightening one Micropeel is good. If you have sunspots, acne scars or want to reduce fine lines, you are going to need more! After all, you didn't get those sunspots, and fine lines overnight! I'd recommend a series of 4-6 Micropeels every 4 weeks for optimal results

Is there any downtime aka will I look like a Freddy Kruger afterwards?

Marissa: No that is the beauty of Micropeel! There is no downtime whatsoever! Occasionally on super sensitive skin, a client- might get a little rosy-cheeked, but that's it! Every client that comes in for a Micropeel, leaves looking amazing!

How do you care for your skin afterwards?

Marissa: It is really important to do two things: 1) avoid prolonged sun exposure--the first week is critical. After all, we just double exfoliated your skin- so it's extra sensitive. So timing is important, get a Micropeel after your summer get-away-vacation, not before. The second thing is to wear sunscreen religiously.

Are there any people that shouldn’t get a micropeel?

Marissa: Most everyone is a good candidate if they are: in good health, willing to avoid prolonged sun exposure and will wear sunscreen every day. However a few exceptions would be: anyone that has open lesions on their face (from a herpes outbreak or otherwise). Also, if you are using Retinols you will need to stop a week prior to your Micropeel to avoid over exfoliation.

So here's me no make-up post peel.  My face felt fantastic and super smooth.  I told my husband he needed to feel my face and he told me I was being weird.  Whatever.  He should have felt it.  It was fantastic.  And I didn't even have to look like Freddie Kruger.

Now here's the best part!  Marissa is giving away 3 coupons for $20 off of a micropeel with Marissa at Emerge!  Follow these 3 simple steps to be entered in the drawing.

1) Go to Marissa Mitchell-Aesthetician and give her a "like".

2) If you haven't already, go to Sabine of Suburbia and give me a "like"

3) Leave a comment and let me know that you followed the steps.

That's it!  Winner will be chosen by random drawing and will be announced on Saturday.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Walkin' Poops in Watercolor

Hudson has been really into artwork recently.  He is constantly coloring, drawing, and cutting.  Yesterday he tried his hand at watercolors.  He painted a lot of pictures, but he had one that he was particularly proud of so I'm going to share it with you because it really is great.

A bit of back story.  Our dog is weird.  Unlike most dogs who just squat to "drop a deuce", Cooper walks.  He waddles across the yard dropping little turd nuggets as he walks.  We have had him for six years, but we all still crack up when someone says, "Look!  Cooper's doing the walkin' poop!"  We curse him when it's time to do poop patrol in the yard, but while he's doing it...funny every time.  So now that being said...

Hudson's latest piece of art....

Cooper Doing Walkin' Poops.  In watercolor.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cloth Diapers. Not Too Crappy.

I’ve always been environmentally conscience.  I grew up in Germany where no one asks, “do you recycle?” because of course.  Everyone does.  We usually fill our recycling bag faster than the trash.  I bring my own shopping and produce bags to the store.  When we had to replace our air conditioner and furnace we even shelled out the extra money for the most energy efficient models.  But the one thing I haven’t been able to get down with is cloth diapers.

I know, I know.  I can’t call myself a true tree hugger and use disposable diapers, but it was the poo situation that scared me.  What do you do about the poo?  I’ve lived through some terrible poo-tastrophes with my children.  There was that time with my firstborn when we went to take our very first family pictures.  We dressed in white shirts.  When we went for the oh-so-adorable naked baby in daddy’s hands pic, I got shat on.  Not once, but twice.

Then there was the time with my daughter that we spent one of the first nights home after she was born scrubbing poo out of the carpet and walls.  Projectile poop. It’s a thing.

We’ve had times were we debated cutting the onsie off of our children because it was just that bad.  So with all these mini-disaster scenarios, I couldn’t imagine handling a situation where I also had to get the diaper clean as opposed to just bundling up the mess and sticking it in the Diaper Genie.

I had a friend who made the switch.  She told me all about the liners and how cute the diapers were and “but what do you do with the poop?” I asked.  She assured me it wasn’t that bad.  Dump it in the toilet, spray it if you need to, wash the diaper.

I still couldn’t do it.  I felt guilty and started buying the diapers that are free of dyes and other earth-killing materials.  But I still felt guilty.  I read about how each child will be responsible for 8,000-10,000 diapers ending up in a landfill.  I pictured sea turtles dying because of my poo-filled diapers.  Why sea turtles?  When we went to South Padre we visited a sea turtle rescue.  They told us that most of the sea turtles are harmed by people’s trash.  Choking of bits of trash, getting caught in bottles and pieces of plastic.  Therefore, now if I do anything remotely anti-earth friendly I imagine a sea turtle with a single tear crying, “Why are you doing this too me?!”  I know this has nothing to do with diapers and I live in a landlocked state, but I can’t help it.  My mind goes, where my mind goes.

So I finally broke down.  I bought a pack of six cloth diapers from Target.  And you know what?  It really isn’t bad.  I’m loving not having to go to the store all the time. I love the money saved.  And I love that I’m no longer killing imaginary sea turtles with disposable diapers.  Even the dreaded poop situation is not bad.  Like my friend said, flush it, wash it, go on with your life.

And they really are cute…

Monday, June 17, 2013

At Least I Won't Get Ebola From Nutella

Every morning my kids have whole-grain waffles with Nutella.  Yes, I threw in the whole grain part to somehow make myself feel better about the crap they eat in the morning.  I do really well the rest of the day.  They eat fruits and vegetables.  Lunch and dinner are almost always healthy.  I just don’t have it in me in the morning to have the food battle.  Plus, the lady on the Nutella commercial seems pretty jazzed about the health aspects of hazelnut and whole milk and well, if it’s good enough for commercial mom lady, it’s good enough for me. My daughter will eat bacon though and on occasion they will both eat hard-boiled eggs.

So that is what I made this morning.  Because I dug down deep and churned up some will power to make my kids eat healthy.  That and we ran out of waffles, but whatever.  My picky son will only eat the whites and even at that, he was done after two bites.  Like every mom, my diet consists mainly of leftovers from my children.

“Are you done with that?”
I took a bite just in time for him to say, “That may have germs on it.”

With a mouth full of partially chewed egg I answered, “What do you mean…may have germs?”

There’s a lot of random shit in my house.  I mean we did at one point find an entire Papa John’s breadstick in the couch.  So it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that there is a vat of ebola somewhere in the depths of the playroom.  Kim Jong-un could be planning biological warfare in there and I wouldn’t know it since I never set foot in that room unless I have too.

“I may have coughed on it.”

So tomorrow we’re back to whole grain waffles with Nutella.  Reason #1- no food battle.  Less risk of communicable diseases will now be added as reason #2.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

I Am My Father’s Daughter

My dad was a hippie before being a hippie was cool.  My grandmother will still sigh when she tells you about how he grew his hair out and took a date to the prom that wore combat boots with her prom dress.  Then when hippie became mainstream, he bought cowboy boots, started listening to country and became a cowboy instead. He will tell you that he was a psychedelic cowboy.

My dad has never been one for convention.  I never realized until recently that this was one the great lessons he taught me.  There are rules and then there are rules that should be broken.

I didn’t always appreciate this.  When I was 5 years old we moved from Germany to Arkansas.  We moved away from the U.S just before my 2nd birthday so I knew very little about the States.  I spoke English with an accent and was just learning to properly use “fixin’ to” in a sentence.  I was trying to fit in and make friends.  Then one day I found my dad mowing the lawn wearing a navy blue t-shirt, Hawaiian shorts, and cowboy boots.  I didn’t know a lot about American culture, but I knew enough to know that your dad mowing the lawn in Hawaiian shorts and cowboy boots wasn’t the best way to find friends.

But dad has never bent for any fashion rules.  Ironically, he served in the military for over 20 years, the epitome of conformity.  But as soon as he retired, he made sure he presented to the world who he really was.  And that involved walking around on base wearing his fatigues with a “Shit Happens” t-shirt.  Or there was the time he walked into the base clinic wearing a flight suit with a “Participant-Southeast Asia War Games” badge complete with a large peace symbol in the center.  He’s always had streak of ‘let’s stir the pot and see what happens.’

What happened was that he was confronted by a young tech sergeant.
“Sir, do you realize that that is not within regulation?”
“Don’t you think you should be wearing your uniform within regulation?”
“Nope. I can wear whatever I want.”
“What makes you so special?”
And with a grin he answered, “I’m retired” and walked off.

Now here I am today, truly my father’s daughter.  I am a liberal activist living in Oklahoma.  I am trained in healthcare but trying my hand at writing.  I don’t fit into any neat box of who I am or who I should be and I’ve never been happier.  Because boxes are confining.  Life is too short for boxes.  Life is boring with boxes.  My father taught me that.

My father will shake his head when he wonders how he raised a hippie daughter, but really Dad…you only have yourself to blame.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Lot Has Changed And Then Again Not

Nine years.  Yesterday Eric and I have been married nine years.  We’ve been together for 14.  When I think back over that time I think about how much as changed.  We’ve changed.  Yet here we are.  Still getting through it all.

When Eric and I first got married we lived in a trailer.  It was on his grandmother’s property and she graciously lived in it for free, which was awesome.  What wasn’t awesome was the winters when our tiny space heater couldn’t keep up and the temperature sometimes got as low as 45 degrees.  But it’s funny how time changes your perspective.  Now I think about how we bundled up and snuggled on the couch and it’s a good memory.  Not at the time, but now.

There was the time that our old mattress was so jacked up that we would roll into the middle during the night.  We were too broke to buy a new one and spent several weeks sleeping on a mix of couch cushions and blow up mattress on the living room floor.  I don’t know if that’s good memory but it sure has made me appreciate a good mattress.

For a while, we were true rednecks.  We had all our teeth and both were going for graduate degrees, but we did buy a Rottweiler.  A Rottweiler who would get so excited when we came home that she would run laps around our trailer.  It became a game to see how many laps we could get her to run.  When our dryer broke and it sat in the yard for about two weeks we took our redneck-ness to a whole new level.

And here we are 9 years later, so different yet the same.  We still have a Rottweiler, but we have an excellent mattress and working heat and air.  We’ve obtained some degrees and gotten real jobs.  We’ve switched jobs, moved and had children.

We’ve fought.  Sometimes epic fights with yelling and slamming doors.  We’ve stormed out yet always come back.

We have changed.  We’ve grown stronger and calmer.  We’ve learned to fight fairly and love more deeply.  We’ve learned what’s important.  And one of those things if finding the person in life that can laugh with you at a Rottweiler running around a trailer house.

I love you, Eric.  Always have.  Always will.

The night that Eric proposed.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Clever Way To Remember Your Underwear

Getting out of the house can be hectic with small children.  It's easy amidst the chaos to run out and forget things.  That's why it's a good idea to place those easily forgotten items by the door so you see them on your way out.  Car keys-check. Backpacks-check.  Clean underwear-check.  At least I hope those are clean.  Oh, please let those be clean.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Being A Role Model Is Hard

Being a good role model is so hard.  No yelling.  No cursing.

“Damnit, Cooper!” I yelled at the dog who had just knocked my coffee cup spilling hot coffee all over my lap.  I did this in front of my son who I am constantly reminding that yelling is not how we solve problems.  The cursing was just an added bonus.

I did catch myself.   I took a deep breath and said, “It’s no big deal.  I’ll just get a towel and wipe it up.”  I took my scalded lap to the laundry room and got a towel. As I was wiping up coffee from the floor where my son was sitting at the computer, I tried to use this as a teaching moment about human nature and admitting mistakes.  “Hudson, I’m sorry I yelled.  I shouldn’t have done that.  It’s not a big deal and I should have just got a towel.  See, everyone messes up sometimes.”

Crisis everted.  Parenting credentials left in tact.  Until my daughter cursed in the middle of Barnes & Noble later that day.  Well, shit.

We had just come from the children’s section.  They had each picked out one book. Hudson had wanted a journal like Morris Lessmore in “The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore” and we got that too.  We had just wandered into the learning section and were picking out some Kumon books for them both.  So far I’m sounding pretty good, right?  Wait for it…

“Damnit!” yelled Kenzie in her high pitched voice as she dropped the book she was carrying.
“Kenzie, that is not a nice word!  Do not use that word!”
“Ok, Momma.”

We walked to the next aisle.

“Damnit!” as she dropped her book again.  This time there were two ladies in the aisle with us and I felt the blood rush to my face.
“Kenzie, stop saying that word.”
“What word is she saying?” asked Hudson.
“It’s just not a nice word.”
“It’s not a nice word?  What word is she saying?”
“Hudson, I’m not going to repeat it.  It’s just not nice.”
“DAMNIT!” said Kenzie dropping her book for the third time.
“Damnit, Kenzie!” So no, I didn’t really say that.  I thought it.  In my head, I thought it, but I didn’t say it.  I conjured up some zen and said through clenched teeth, “Stop. Saying. That. Word.”  Then we quickly proceeded to the check-out and got the hell out of there.

I try to be good role model.  I really do try.  But sometimes it’s so hard, damnit.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Photo Friday: Let me level with you

Guest Post from Ann

In general, getting on the same level as your subjects is a good idea. Don't you feel like you're right there in the chair with my daughter and our dog? In which case, pay no attention to the assorted clutter. (I totally need three diaper bags full of stuff, a ladder in the hallway and 15 books about assorted cute animals ready for easy access.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Death by Cow Farts

Nine years of marriage have changed our conversations.  We’ve heard our life stories.  We’ve told the same stories over and over.  That is how we found ourselves discussing cow farts.

“I met someone at the spa today that’s a peschetarian.  Have you ever heard of that?”  (See, lash extensions lead to increased vocabulary.)
“What’s that?”
“A peschetarian doesn’t eat anything that walks on land.  So only seafood for meat.”
“That’s stupid.”
“Why is it stupid?  It’s actually good for the environment.”
If Eric didn’t actually roll his eyes, he virtually rolled them as he said, “How is that good for the environment?”

I had just read an article about the carbon footprint of various meats.  I explained to him how beef has a bigger carbon footprint than pork, which has a bigger footprint than chicken, which has a bigger footprint (in general) than seafood.

“Ergo it is better for the environment.”  Ok, I may not have used the word “ergo” but I’m a) trying to prove that my vocabulary expands at the spa and b) sound smarter since I’m about to get to the cow fart part of this conversation which is coming now…

“What about methane gas?”
“What about it?”
“If we don’t eat the cows then there will just be more of them to release methane gas which is also bad for the environment.”
“So you’re saying that if we all become peschetarians the world will end by cow farts?”
“I’m saying there’s a natural order of things.”
“I guess someone would have to do a study to see which is worse for the environment…CO2 or cow farts…and the CO2 to cow fart equivalency…”
“Can we please end this conversation?”

I’m pretty sure I’m right about this.  If for no other reason than “The Day After the Cow Farted” just doesn’t have the same sense of doom as other apocalyptic movies.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hamsters Are Not Whores

Hudson has been using ABC Mouse.  ABC Mouse is the online learning tool for children up to 6 years old advertised on Nick Jr. and the Disney channel.  It promises parents that your child will kick the academic asses of all other children whose parents did not sign them up for ABC Mouse.  It also implies that if you don’t sign your child up for ABC Mouse they will grow up forever making their living as a contestant on Wipeout.  Seriously.  Read the fine print.

Hudson was doing his lessons one afternoon when he excitedly announced, “A group of hamsters is called a whore!”

What the F is he learning on this site?  Did he accidentally click over to ABC Hamster Porn?

We’ve already had a birds and bees talk.  I’m not ready for hamsters.  I mean, I don’t even know anything about hamster sexuality.  They look so innocent and cute. Who knew they were the sluts of the rodent world when they get together in a group?

Hudson had two Hamsters in his preschool class.  I was a little bummed about not having had the opportunity to take advantage of my newfound knowledge and one day during a parent night saying “Oh, look a whore!” and responding to the shocked looks with “No, really.  It’s science.  God, don’t your kids use ABC Mouse?”

It’s a good thing I never had an opportunity to act on this thought.  Turns out, when I snapped out of this train of thought and actually looked at the screen, a group of hamsters is called a horde.


I guess hamsters are no more promiscuous than the rest of us.

Not a whore.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Learning to Laugh at Yourself and Other Things

I feel like so far parenthood has been one long string of I can’t believe’s.  I can’t believe I’m pregnant.  I can’t believe I’m a mother.  I can’t believe he’s starting preschool.  And now, I can’t believe Hudson’s starting kindergarten.

I’m nervous for him.  I’m nervous for him because he is usually nervous about everything.  I’ve been trying to talk it up and get him excited about it.

One night I was tucking him into bed and we were talking about kindergarten.
“It’s going to be so much fun!  You’re going to learn so much and make so many new friends.”
Then he said this thing that was so innocent and cute and adorable and I can’t tell you what it was because after he said this cute adorable thing I laughed and he buried his face in his arm.
“What’s wrong?  Are you embarrassed?”
“Don’t tell anyone I said that.”
Oh, how it hurt to see my child upset that I had laughed at something that I just thought was precious and sweet in its child-like innocence.

The most difficult thing about being a parent is seeing your own childhood repeated for your children.  It’s seeing your children struggle with the same thing that you struggled with.  The thing that took you your whole 34 years of life to overcome and really you still work at it everyday.

I completely understand his need to be perfect, to never mess up, to never look or say something silly.  I spent my whole childhood trying not to mess up.

When I was in 5th grade, we had punch cards.  If you got in trouble you got a punch in your card.  After so many, something bad would happen.  I don’t remember what that thing was because I never got punches.  Until one day I did.  I forgot to bring my Social Studies book to class.  I got one measly punch on my card and you would have thought I got thrown in jail.  I came home sobbing.  I went to school the next day still sobbing.  Even my mother finally said, “Sabine, it’s one punch.  It’s nothing.”  But to me, it was everything.  I messed up.  I don’t mess up.

Really, it’s not like I didn’t know I messed up sometimes.  I messed up a lot.  I said things that were silly and sometimes I was clumsy, but I didn’t want anyone else to know that.  It’s taken me my entire adult life to be okay with being human and now I see my son starting down that same road.

It’s painful.

I told him that an important part of life is learning to laugh at yourself.
“You know what? People like people that are honest and that can laugh at themselves.  And you know what else?  People that say they never mess up, they’re lying.”

I shared my own stories of silliness and embarrassing things I had done.  I told him about the time I put bananas and honey in my hair.  I told him about the time a lady in the Chinese grocery shop in NYC had to stop me from eating a raw dumpling (I thought it was cooked).  I told him about the time in high school when I walked into a glass door in front of a grocery store full of people.

I got my husband to share his own embarrassing stories.

“Momma, when I was at Kye’s house I saw a pretend snake and I almost yelled out because I thought it was real.  That was silly.”

That night he must have gotten out of bed at least 5 times to tell me stories of something that he did or said that he thought was silly or embarrassing.

So we’re getting there.  I think I’ve realized that this is more than a lesson in learning to laugh at yourself.  It’s a lesson in learning that he can be anything he wants.  Not that he can be an astronaut or the president of the United States (although I certainly hope that he knows he could be if he wants and if he works hard enough), but that he can be the kind of person he wants to be.  He may not be the kind of guy that’s comfortable laughing at himself or that comfortable around new people, but he can become that person.  He just has to be willing to work at it, to do it anyway even when it’s uncomfortable.

There are some things that he will have to learn to accept about himself.  Like that he will inevitably go through a lot of sunscreen.  Or maybe one day he will have to accept that he is too tall or too short for his liking.  These things I want him to embrace.  He can’t change these things.

The need to be perfect, to never say something wrong, that he can change.  You can learn to laugh at yourself.  You can learn to be ok with messing up.  You can learn to fail and not have it crush you.

I just hope it doesn’t take him 34 years to figure that out.