Friday, April 24, 2015

I'm turning hippie but it's okay because my kid is already there.

It's been an enlightening couple of months to say the least.  Here's some of what's been happening. 

I am turning into a hippie.  Not the braless kind (you can rest easy now).  Just the kind that makes homemade $hit.

I know.  It's kinda weird.  But, don't judge (or at least hold it until the end).

I have stopped shampooing my hair.  Now, I'm only about five years late on this trend, but that's sooner than I jump on most bandwagons.  So, really I'm just in time.

Today this revolution of not shampooing my hair led to cleaning out my fridge which led to cleaning my freezer which led to discovering some meat that I swear had been in there for about three years so I'm gonna call it a win for all of us.

Yes, I have joined the "millions of women" who have said no to shampoo.  I consulted The Google and Say No To 'Poo is almost as scary and ineffective as Say No To Drugs.  All we need is Nancy heading us up (wait, is she dead?).  Had you told me a few weeks ago that I was going to do this I would have said, "Are you high?"  But, now that I am on Day 18 (more or less) it feels like I was born to do this. 

Now, usually I would say Who The F*ck Cares? and I am still inclined to say that - except for the fact that I CLEANED MY FRIDGE, Y'ALL.  And, not just half a$$ the way I usually do - y'know the wipe down while you are holding a cup of coffee?  (Or am I the only one?)  No, today was a full-on clean the freakin' fridge.  (Even the freezer - which happened to be where the suspect meat was hiding - right behind two gallons of ice cream preventing me from putting my homemade shampoo down.)

Which is more riveting for you and completely self-absorbed for me?  The fact that I am no longer shampooing or the old meat?  Okay.  I'll start with the no shampooing.  Yes, it's weird.  Yes, my hair feels like I am a short order cook for McDonald's.  Yes, I might smell a little funky.  Yes, I am still showering.  Yes, strange phenomena have been occurring all over my head.  And, it just gets crazier.

Today I made shampoo (right before I made fire and the wheel).  Say what?  Ms. DayInTheLife made shampoo?  Yes.  I did.  From coconut milk and Aloe Vera Gel.  Then I froze it (because - duh - coconut milk is perishable).  And that's where it got real.  I had no room in my freezer to put the ice trays with shampoo in them.  (If it sounds like I am high right about now, it's because I am.)  I decided then that it was time to clean out the fridge and freezer. 

Now here's the thing.  I hate to clean (a well documented fact on this blog)I hate to clean appliances even more than stuff like toilets.  Exactly how much do I hate to clean?  Well, I'm gonna put the Last Cleaning Of The Fridge at somewhere around the time my six year old was born? 

See, I've been REALLY wanting a new fridge because this:
Yeah.  With that for a front it's just pointless to ever clean it.
Don't worry.  I keep all that yuck covered with this magnets like this:

Just like when a light is on on my dashboard and I put a little toy up there to cover it.  This method works like a charm.
But, because I needed to make room for the poo, I bit the bullet and cleaned that fridge out.  That's when I found the Old Meat.  It was liberating to throw that meat in the trash.  Heck, I don't even like meat now that I'm a hippie.  That made it even better.

And, now that the inside of the fridge is really, really clean and there is nothing in there that I didn't just buy (or make) this morning I am really feeling high (on life).  Oh, and also my earth friendly (albeit weirda$$) shampoo is in there for the next time I decide to shampoo my hair. 

Homemade shampoo in ice trays.  Did I just type that?
What could be better?  It's one of those days where I feel like I am making a difference for the world.

So, how does my kid factor into this equation?  Well, in the most unexpected way.

I got home from work last night and my six year old told me she made this for Jesus.

"It's a STAR."  (Obviously.  We knew that.)
Super!  Turns out I'm not the only one becoming a hippie in our family. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In Which I Go To A Movie Theatre

I am not being paid by Disney to do this review, but really I should be.

Mr. DayInTheLife and I took two of our kids to see a movie last night.  We are not movie theatre goers.  So I am proud to say that if this is the only theatre movie we see in all of 2015, we made an excellent choice.

Why Seeing a Pre-Screening of McFarland USA Yesterday Evening With My Family Was The Best Decision I've Made Since Earlier Yesterday When I Ate a Whole Not a Half of a Cinnamon Roll

"McFarland, USA poster" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -,_USA_poster.jpg#mediaviewer/File:McFarland,_USA_poster.jpg

I encourage you to click the link, but if you are not inclined to do so here is the premise of the movie from The Google: 

Track coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) is a newcomer to a predominantly Latino high-school in California's Central Valley. Coach White and his new students find that they have much to learn about one another, but things begin to change when White realizes the boys' exceptional running ability. More than just physical prowess drives the teens to succeed; their strong family ties, incredible work ethic and commitment to their team all play a factor in forging these novice runners into champions.
1.  The boys' families in the movie are migrant workers.  Nearly all of our kids' grandparents were migrant workers at some point in their lives and just like the families in the movie they worked hard to ensure a better life for their kids.  I am not sure my kids knew what exactly migrant workers were until last night.  Now, they know.  Don't worry, I am not that naïve to think that a Disney portrayal of migrant life would nail it completely, but at least we are further along in the explanation than we were before the movie. 

2.  This movie borders on sappy a few times, but it is a great family movie that, unless you are completely heartless, will have you cheering.

3.  There is no sex, no violence, no drugs, and nothing really of questionable content.  And yet, it tells a pretty amazing story of perseverance in the face of incredible odds.

4.  I am an ex-teacher and I will always have a special place in my heart for teachers.  As rainbows and unicorns as this sounds, I truly believe teachers can change lives for the better.  Of course, there is the flip-side of that coin and I believe whole-heartedly in that, too.  This is a story in which the teacher/coach changes lives for the good.  And, yet (as you will see at the end of the movie when script is run about what happened to all the real life characters) life still happens and just because you are a high school phenomena does not mean you will not still make some poor decisions.

5.  I ran cross country track in high school.  I can't say this brought back any fond memories for me.  I mostly hated cross country track and I wasn't fast.  And, now I think you know I run because I love to eat.  Despite that, I thought about these boys today on my run.  I tried not to because I really hate sentimentality.  But I couldn't help it.  They made me not be so whiny in my head.  Me not whiny?  That's powerful stuff.

This movie made me happy.  It's the right stuff.  It's based on events that really happened that make for a great story.  It's about real people that worked amazingly hard and it paid off for them. 

McFarland USA premieres February 20.  Get yer' butts off the sofa and take some loved ones to see it!  You'll thank me after.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Didn't we do this already?

My kids are freaking me out.

I was at a conference the other day and the speaker said that middle school students and preteens behave a lot like toddlers.  Yes and yesser. 

I made you a list because I can't think about some of these things for too long or I think my head will explode or I will have to sanitize myself head to foot.

1.  Toddlers need their butts wiped.  My teenage/preteen bathroom is constantly out of toilet paperUntil I replace it.  This begs the critical question:  How are they wiping their butts?

2.  Ditto for toothpaste.

3.  Meltdowns.  Toddlers meltdown because you won't let them play with sharp scissors.  My thirteen year old and preteens meltdown because I won't let them see The Interview.

4.  Food issues.  Toddlers just want to eat hot dogs and Polly Pocket accessories.  My teenagers just want to eat carbs and Lindt  chocolates.

5.  Clothing issues.  Toddler girls want to wear the Snow White dress everywhere.  All the time.  If you say no, see #3.  Teenagers and preteens have to do their own laundry and when there is no more underwear instead of doing their laundry see #3.

6.  Which brings me to Clean Up, Clean Up, This is How We Clean Up.  Remember that?  Toddlers hate it.  Usually it's like the Clean Up music cues #3.  Ditto for teenagers.  I tell them to do their chores and it's like I am saying, "Katy Perry is dead.  Now, move on with your lives." 

7.  Toddlers will make you a faithful follower in the religion of Reverse Psychology.  If you say, "Do NOT put that in your mouth," said item will immediately go in their mouth.  I scream to my teens, "TURN THAT MUSIC DOWN RIGHT NOW."  Immediately the volume raises a number.  Your sanity is called into question daily because you want to just say, "Y'know what?  PLAY YOUR MUSIC AT FULL VOLUME AND PRESS YOUR EAR RIGHT TO THE SPEAKER.  YOU WILL NOT BE DEAF IN A MATTER OF SECONDS."

8.  Pushing my buttons.  Scientifically based on my six years raising toddlers, they are born with an instinctive ability to know what will make you plumb crazy and they do it 24/7.  With a smile usually.  Ditto for teenagers/preteens.  Daily I say through gritted teeth, "Do not roll your eyes at me."  Usually this is met with another eye roll (add a smirk).

9.  Toddlers do this thing where they become limp in the grocery store.  Like a cat who has been given a sedative.  Teenagers do that same thing.  Often times in the morning when it's time to get up for school.  Or sometimes when they have to do #6 and they don't go straight to #3.

10.  I'm pretty sure it's based on science that toddlers can melt your heart in less than a nanosecond (and if you are not a rocket scientist, that's pretty damn fast).  Surprise, surprise.  Teenagers can do the same.

Aw!  Happy endings, y'all!  Turns out my teenager and preteens have not made me totally bitter yet.  I still have a heart!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I needed something else to do.

This is my brain on "serious."
Did you see the new badge in my sidebar?  I'm pretty excited about it.  My four kids, three jobs, and one husband have left me with plenty of time (and money) and I was looking for something to do.  Wait.  No.  That's not how it happened.

I was feeling somewhat depressed the other night while I was ignoring the pile of work on my desk and blog reading.  In the hopes that I'd won a Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, I decided to check my email one last time before heading to bed.  Better than a sweepstakes, I had an email from BlogHer about an opportunity to participate in an initiative called #womenslives.  After I did a little research into this project, I thought probably they had mistaken me for someone a bit more influential.  But, no.  I am a woman after all.  And, turns out, my voice matters.

#womenslives is an amazing venture.  SheKnows Media and Public Radio International are partnering to produce in-depth reporting about women and engage communities in discussions.  You can read more about its inception here.

This may seem like a crazy thing for me to want to participate in when my blog is mostly about putting my pants on one leg at a time and trying to cook a meal without the smoke alarm going off. 

Don't worry.  I'm not changing and to prove it I made you a list of why it's not really that crazy.

1.  They want me to contribute to the conversation!?  For once I did not have to complete an eight page application, or have my blood type tested, or hand over my 25 year old GPAs, or write down my ever dwindling income level.  Being a woman is what has qualified me.  How great is that?

2.  I am a quality news junkie.  I am addicted to NPR.  I shush people (mostly my own family) when I am listening to a good show.  Most of my sentences begin like this:  The other day I heard this show on NPR...

3.  Did you know only 24% of news stories are about women?  That's shocking news for a news junkie.  This project affects all women (and men).  If we can change that statistic (and more importantly, people's mindsets) by this initiative - I'm all in.

4.  This affects me.  I've been thinking a lot lately about my life choices.  I had a career and then I left it to raise my family.  Now I am trying to make a Come-back and it's not easy.  In the past six months I think I've read everything the Internet has to offer on How to Re-enter the Work Force After Taking Time Off to Raise Your Family and I can't help but think there's got to be an easier way.  Everything from decent affordable child-care, health-care, and career choices have taken the fore-front in my brain.  To complicate matters - it turns out the successful career I had is not really the one I want now and I'm not sure it was the one I ever really wanted.  I want my girls to be able to do this thing called work and family better than I have and with more support from the community. 

5.  This affects my family.  I have three girls (and one boy that will someday, possibly like a girl?  gah!) who I am trying to raise the best way that I know how.  I try not to, but I worry about all sorts of things when it comes to my girls.  Some days my thoughts hover around:  How will I protect them from date rape? to I hope they make wiser career choices than I did. to I hope they have great affordable child care and wonderful health benefits. to Are they getting the education they need?  Participating in expanding the news coverage on topics that affect women is something I can share with my girls and actually do because worrying is a waste of time.

7.  Sometimes when I hear shows from PRI about women I'm left with a feeling of wanting to discuss this more with someone or I'm left wondering What can I do?  Here's my opportunity and I'm pretty psyched about it.

There you go.  I'm looking forward to the discussions and conversations.  I'll be posting some articles here and over on the Day In The Life Facebook page that I'd like to share with you or better yet, discuss with you.  And I'll be tweeting about it, too.  Grab some coffee or a beer.  Change starts here, right? 

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Internet might be trying to break up with me.

Lately the Internet has been so passive aggressive.

Usually I say to the Interwebs, LYLAS.  Or actually LYLAB since the Internet is masculine (naturally because he sucks at honestly expressing his feelings).  But, lately it seems like he's mad at me.  (But, of course, he won't come right out and tell me what I did to piss him off.)

Instead he's all, "Prove you're not a robot."  (In a hateful voice.  In places where it's clear he's mocking me - like my own blog.)  Then when I'm all, "Dude, how long have we known each other?  You know I'm not a robot."  He's still all, "PROVE IT."

Also, lately he's constantly taunting me with, "Leave this page or stay on this page?  You are not finished commenting yet."  Even when I say, "Yes.  Yes, I am done commenting.  Let me leave."  He insists that I'm not.  He's become that friend who tries to know me better than I know myself.  That friend that gives me unsolicited advice.  Whattup?

He's kinda been that friend that ignores my texts, too.  I'm all clicking "log on" and he's clearly all, "Not now," and "I don't think so," and "You really don't want to do this."

It's pissing me off.  I want us to be like we used to be.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I won a birthday, y'all!

I am editing this post because after you win something (including when I won a fully decorated one foot tall Christmas tree in Mexico in the sixth grade ((true story))) friends and relatives come out of the woodwork to claim they had something to do with your winning and why didn't you thank them and give them some of your birthday.  Edited on 1-21-15 (pre-coffee).

So, it's my birthday.  And, I don't have many friends because I'm socially awkward and an introvert, but when you are on Facebook and it's your birthday it's pretty easy to feel like the head of the cheerleading squad in high school.  And by that I mean "a big deal."  With all this popularity (and on the heels of the Grammys which I was awake to watch this year for the first time in........ever) comes the need to write an acceptance speech. 

If that seems weird to you, I don't care.  It's my birthday and I'll write an acceptance speech if I want to.

So, without further ado, my acceptance speech:

I would like to thank my parents for potty training me.  Well, probably just my mom because I remember one time in first grade I wet my pants on the way home because it was about ten degrees below zero and I think your pee freezes right on to your skin when it's that cold and she yelled out the backdoor, "YOU BETTER NOT BE WETTING YOUR PANTS AGAIN, GIRL OR I WILL SPANK YOUR BUTT!"  So, yes.  I thank my mom for potty training me and sticking with it because apparently I did not like to "go at school" (I vaguely remember there being a curse word written in black Sharpie on the bathroom stall and that scared me).  Potty training was definitely one step along the way to many a successful birthday party!

I would like to also thank my dad for having the decency to make me accept my first job at Baskin Robbins.  It was there that I learned the importance of eating all the profits and the delightful sinfulness of eating all the profits............on your birthday.

I would like to thank my kids.  Without them I would be able to vacation for less than $10,000.  Which would totally degrade the value of a vacation for me.  And if I did not value a vacation then the commercial where they say, "One plane ticket - $650, one ticket to Disney - $400, one princess with a pirate - $8,000, two hotel rooms (one for you and one for your kids) - $2,000.  The shock on your husband's face when he gets the bill - priceless," would mean absolutely nothing to me.  I'm not sure what that has to do with birthdays, but after four kids I rarely make sense.

I would like to thank my entire staff (see above) who encouraged me to work in order to win this birthday "someday."

I would like to thank my older sister, Billy Jean, who I know is reading tonight from home because she couldn't fly down here to see me accept my birthday in person (see above for the cost of a plane ticket).  Billy Jean - I love you.  You taught me about negotiation, bribery, and maybe smuggling also?  Was that you?  Anyway!  I couldn't have done all these flippin' birthdays without you!

I would be remiss (and apparently I was) if I did not mention the rest of my wonderful siblings.  Without them I would be one of those weird people with only one sibling who share and cooperate barely better than only children.

I would like to thank my friends - real and virtual - for encouraging me to keep having birthdays and for feeding me cake and beer over the years.  Particularly one friend who dressed me for the after-parties and who sent me this card which I think explains my life:
Naturally it is Swiss cheese holding mine together so I am screwed
I'd like to thank my ancestors, the Mayans, for inventing the calendar and birthdays. 

And how could I forget my wonderful husband, Mr. DayInTheLife!  If you hadn't discovered me and gone on to be my manager, we wouldn't have made all those movies.............wait............I'm sorry I got confused.  This is my birthday acceptance speech.  Sorry!  Thanks Mr. DayInTheLife for all of my presents you are going to buy me.

And, lastly I'd like to thank God for sending me down here in my birthday suit.  Although, I question why you didn't send me in flannel P.J.'s with matching bunny head slippers since I am much more comfortable in that.

If I forgot anyone else know that this is just like a chain email that says you will die in seven days if you don't get it.  I'm sure I forgot people.  I have a really bad memory.  Forward it to people that you think I left out inadvertently!  Then they will feel good and they won't die!

And, that's all.  Again, this is such an honor and I will cherish this birthday forever!

(Cue the birthday music.)  (Me turning to exit the stage - the wrong way.  Ladies who we don't know, but who all look like Vanna White gently guiding me by the elbow to the other direction.  Why do they not just change the way people exit the stage?  In fact, I am changing that $hit right now.  Exit the way it feels natural after you accept your birthday.)

Happy Birthday, me! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

If I die, you guys can have my blog.

So, I've been fairly busy playing a doctor the past few weeks.  And a specialist at that.  Put some initials behind my name (and pay me lots of money) because it's exhausting.

With considerable help from Mr. DayInTheLife, I've diagnosed myself with BPPV.  (And "they" named it that to f*ck with people who have trouble pronouncing things - which may or may not be a symptom of the actual condition.  Damn it).  Or I may have had a stroke, or I may have Meniere's disease.  (When you self-diagnose it's a crap shoot.  But, it turns out when you pay lots of money to specialists it's a crap shoot, too.)

Regardless, I've decided to write it all down.  If I am having a stroke this will be the first chapter of my yet untitled novel about my life after stroke.  And if I am not having a stroke, this will just be another gratuitous blog post about nothing.

So, I woke up a few weeks ago and immediately face-planted into my dresser.  This was quite unexpected and kind of unsettling.  It may come as a surprise that I don't usually do this.  I am quite clumsy, but I can normally maintain some semblance of balance (when not totally inebriated - which only happens at Christmas parties and other times when I invariably need to make a good impression). 

If you've never experienced vertigo, it feels a little like being on a treadmill (presumably without the purported health benefits).  I continued to experience dizziness (minus the blonde) and vomited immediately after drinking a cup of coffee (boo, hiss).  I will spare you the medical minute by minute but I ended up at my doctor the next day.

It was determined (after a full check-up during which - thankfully - I did not have to remove my clothes and don one of those attractive gowns that don't fully close) that I had excessive wax build-up in my ears which may or may not be causing a feeling of imbalance.  Sexy, I know.  I had my ears plunged but alas I had wax directly on my ear drum and I was referred to an ENT.

I guess I should have said this may be more information than you will ever want to know about me.  But, since my stats show that I am the only person reading this blog I figure I am quite safe exposing myself to myself.

I went to an ENT this past week.  He vacuumed my ear with the world's tiniest vacuum. 

(Photo courtesty:  No, it didn't look like this dog, "Milly" whose photo came up when I Googled 'world's tiniest vacuum.'  But, I kinda wish it had?
Then he gave me a hearing test.  If you've never had a hearing test at the ENT, here's the thing about it:  It makes you feel totally hard of hearing.  And just a little nuts.

So, you are in a sound proof room with a headset on.  I'm not sure why, but this kind of made me feel like Buzz Lightyear.  Then, you have to raise your hand when you hear a sound. 

What they don't tell you is that the sounds are not going to be like your kid calling you from upstairs.  They are going to be sounds that only dogs (like Milly) can hear.  So, it kind of turns into a Rorschach test for hearing.  First if you're like me, you get incredibly distracted waiting for the test to start.  Then, when it starts you immediately second guess yourself as to whether or not what you heard was a sound.  Then, you begin to think you heard a sound when in fact there was no sound.  Then you begin to think you are going completely mad.  And deaf.  It was almost as disarming as the vertigo itself.

After I convinced myself that I was totally deaf and that was the root of my fact-planting, it was discovered (thankfully) that I have hearing within the normal range.  (Except for hearing hubby and my kids which I rarely do.)

So, approximately one and half weeks after vertigo, I am still unbalanced (mentally and physically) and experiencing dizziness.  The experts have charged me $173, removed the wax covering my ear drum, pronounced me "hearing", and told me they are not sure what caused my vertigo, they are not sure if it will reoccur, they are not sure if it will subside, and to take two aspirins and come back in a week if I do not feel better.

Hubby and Google thankfully have been much more helpful.  It seems I have something called BPPV although without further testing a brain tumor, stroke, and Meniere's Disease cannot be ruled out.  Hubby is working on constructing a homemade MRI machine as I type. 

I'm not worried.  I have four more days to feel better before I need to consult another "specialist." 

And, since I am so good at this, if you need a diagnosis, or hell, a prescription, give me a call.  I'm currently accepting new patients.