Thanks – giving

Every year around this time I start remembering things from when I was little. A certain scent will entice my nose and a memory will hit me hard and fast. I will try to stay in the moment – to linger with the images and scent longer – but it never lasts. It never lasts long enough.

With a small child in the house, I now am starting to understand I am part of her forming memories and images that she will have later in life. Those fleeting moments of wondering, did that really happen?  Or, if over time, the idea of it was what really happened and stories, embellishments and childhood had just gotten in the way of the real thing.

The other day my mother sent me a bag of one of my favorite snacks that she always seems to make around this time of year. She is a great mother who is full of smiles and love, but can’t cook anything without a recipe – even something she has made over and over, and over again. A packed full plastic bag of home made Chex Mix was tucked in with a box of baby clothes for my wee one.

It was eaten within the hour.

While eating it, memories of my earliest early childhood came to mind. Was it real or just ideas of memories? Rocky and Bullwinkle at my Grammy’s house, the really long stairs that were covered in that amazing red, brown and black shag carpet going down to the basement of my childhood house, and the smell of meatballs. I know – not the things you might think of during the holidays, but there it is. That bag of Chex Mix brought that all to my mind.

I gave a hand full of crumbled Chex Mix to my daughter and told her Oma made it. We both smiled as we ate.

The Twilight rage

I have a shocking confession to make. For those of you that know me, it might be a bit surprising to hear. But, I can’t keep this bottled up inside shaking around anymore.

I read the Twilight saga. Each and every book. All four of the tween scream series.

At first I was just going to read them for research. Everyone was talking about it. They were all gushing and swooning over what great books they were – how they couldn’t DO anything because they had to read, read, read the Twilight books. Seriously? These were grown women talking like this. I decided I had to read them – at least just the first one.

I picked up Twilight on a Monday. By Friday I had read the entire saga – all of them.

I wasn’t really sure why I read them. The plot line was pretty pathetic, the language full of crappy descriptive words glorifying the dead calling them “beautiful” (this word was used lots) vampires and it wasn’t hard to figure out what was going to happen next. But, I continued to read and read and read until there was no more. I can’t explain it. I can’t at all.

So, with the second installment of the Twilight saga coming out in theaters (New Moon) I am slightly conflicted. I haven’t made the foray into the movies yet, and not sure if I want to. But, it is tempting. It sure is. I’m just don’t know if I want Twilight to suck up any more of my brain time that I would rather spend enjoying better things.

Now, where can I rent Twilight on Blu Ray?

My life is not a Kay Jewelry commercial

Last night it happened. The commercial came on and both my husband and I groaned. Every Kiss Begins with Kay. It’s that time of year again – every kiss begins with Kay is pushed down my throat making me realize over and over again that my life is not a Kay Jewelry commercial.

There’s a new one this year – and it is my absolute favorite!  Do you know the one I am talking about? Have you seen it? If you haven’t you probably don’t own a TV.

I don’t even know people like that – the ones in the commercial – or I’m just not friends with them. My husband isn’t going to hide a perfectly wrapped Kay Jewelers’ package under the tree to pull out at 3 am on Christmas morning to present to me as I look perfectly cozy while feeding the perfectly quiet (yet awake at 3 am) baby for our first Christmas as a perfect new family.

WOW. And I thought airbrushing models was bad for developing girls’ images of women. This blows young couples’ images of their lives to hell. Totally unobtainable.

But jewelry solves all problems, right? We women go mad with love and happiness when presented with some little sparkly thing.

What about the happiness one has when they finally sit down on the couch with a glass of wine after putting the screaming baby to bed (and she’s actually fallen asleep) and your adoring but not-really-helping-all-the-time partner or husband gives you a kiss and rubs your shoulders as you realize you didn’t even get a chance to shower, and you really do smell, but you don’t care because you are happy. I want to see that happiness expressed in a commercial.

So I’m totally looking forward to seeing the commercial over and over during the Holiday Season. At least it will remind me that my life is definitely not a Kay Jewelry commercial – and I am really okay with that.

Is baby too young for the SFMOMA?

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

The other day some fellow friends along with my husband and I took our wee ones to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I have wanted to visit the SFMOMA for years but for some reason,  just haven’t made it. They have a Richard Avedon exhibit right now (and only a bit longer) so we all really wanted to go. We assumed the babies did too (even though they couldn’t say so).

I loaded up the stroller (do they even allow strollers at the SFMOMA?), packed a pacifier, a collection of easy to eat foods and we headed out. At no point did I stop to think about what would happen inside the museum – what would happen if my precious baby decided she DIDN’T want to see Richard Avedon at the SFMOMA. I was only thinking of myself and how excited I was to go to the museum and hang with my friends. So selfish I am.

We strollered on into the museum, all agape at the amazing artwork and architecture. The babies were doing just fine and seemed pretty content to just roll along and take it all in. Then, we got into the special Avedon exhibit. For absolutely no reason, my wee baby decided she had had enough. The tears were streaming and the cries were loud. I waited for the upset stares and the security people to usher me out. I pressed a hand over my wailing baby’s mouth and headed for an exit. Surprisingly, a guard just smiled at me and told me to not worry about it – she is just a baby after all. Wow!

What a fabulous day we all had! It was awesome to see artwork up close and personal that I knew so well from textbooks. My baby might not be able to distinguish between a Picasso and a Rivera after her visit to the SFMOMA, but she did get a good wave in at the Magritte.

We went a walking, well not really

I was really looking forward to a nice long walk to ease the mind and get some fresh air. The exercise part of it isn’t so bad either. Getting a good walk in helps me think things out properly and also just zone out. The other day I had  found a great place to walk with wonderful views and a nice paved path, which is beneficial when walking with a baby in a big ol’ stroller.

We packed up and I noticed a few clouds rolling in. I grabbed sweatshirts and figured we would head out anyway. I was determined to go for a walk. By the time we got to my perfect walking spot, it was raining. We are talking a distance of about 3 miles from house to walk location. Raining. So, we turned around and headed home, our walk plans over.

By the time we turned in the driveway, it had stopped raining. I literally put my head down on the steering wheel and laughed. I laughed and laughed. I know I could have tossed the baby into the stroller and walked around the neighborhood, but the time for a walk had passed – and I was determined to walk along my favorite path. When I am determined, I am determined. I continued to laugh.

I really wanted to go for a walk.

I decided to console myself by spending the day cooking and letting the baby taste test for me.

Hiding in the bathroom

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

I have been doing it now for a couple of weeks. I don’t think anyone has caught on, at least not yet. I guess I am outing myself by writing this, although I don’t think my husband will read this. Here goes.

I have been hiding in the bathroom.

I am not hiding from anything really, just hanging out hiding. After spending the entire day following around a wee baby, only having conversation with people via email or check out lines and being a feeding machine, I need a bit of me time. It seems the only place I can really safely get that is in the bathroom.

You see, a man isn’t going to mess with a woman who goes into a bathroom and shuts the door. That seems to be the big signal of needing some privacy. I try to time it just right – wait until my husband has had a bit of time after getting home to chill for a moment and get re-acquainted with the little one and then I make my getaway. I head off to the bathroom, gently shut the door and take a couple deep breaths.

I have plucked my eyebrows to perfection, trimmed my bangs, cut and buffed my toenails, filed my nails, applied layers of hand cream and also seriously cleaned the bathroom. As I said, I don’t think my husband has figured it out yet – but the other night he did ask, “what are you doing in there?”

I dropped the tweezers and felt like I had been caught smoking behind the high school. I will have to be more careful and make sure I don’t get overzealous with the amount of time I spend in my oasis, my bathroom sanctuary.

With that said, I know my bathroom time is limited. The day will come when the wee baby will be walking and doors will be able to be opened. My bathroom hiding will be over and a new location will have to be discovered. Why don’t I just fess up and tell the hubby what I am up to? Because then it wouldn’t be so secretive, so special. And, he would pound on the door with baby in hand. So, until the doors can be opened or I am discovered, I will continue to look forward to my five minutes of zen each evening.

I am already looking forward to having a couple extra minutes to paint my toenails tonight – they have gotten pretty sad.