Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Makeup Is Not Just For Women

Okay, if you are a bit worried about the title, no fear, I'm not looking into Drag as a career choice or anything, although it is probably more readily available then most jobs at this point. No, that is not what I mean. In order to have Theatre as a college degree minor, you are required to take a Stage Makeup class. I was not excited about this at all. I usually don't touch the stuff and now I was not only required to touch it, but to put it all over my face. Wonderful. But I have since had a lot of fun with it... well, for the most part. The clown day was a bit unnerving (It may look like I'm having fun, but I'm not; I'm quite terrified). Clowns freak me out a bit, especially ever since I saw Poltergeist:

For Injuries day, we had to tell a story to go along with our pain. My went something like this:
Our cat, Polly, was in a bad mood and had broken some of our valuables. I was on the rampage and chased her under the couch. In attempting to pull her out from under the couch, she scratched my forehead and caused my to jerk away in pain, only to end up jerking my face into the couch leg, breaking my nose. (No, that has never really happened):

Other days included me making myself appear middle age and old age:

So, I'll admit that makeup isn't as horrifying for guys as I used to think it was, I still refuse to wear it outside of Halloween, but it has been a fun ride. Jo seems to get a good kick out of this whole thing because she keeps threatening to make me do her makeup all the time now. Note to all you women who think it would be fun to ask me to do your makeup, I'll say "yes", but you'll regret it. And to all you guys who are thinking it would be fun to ask me to do your makeup, don't even come near me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Natural Harassment

As part of my weight-loss quest I'm trying to jog (running is still a bit too ambitious for me at the moment) for at least 45 minutes a day. With Derek's schedule being the way it is, I had to finally bite the bullet and accept that mornings were the only possible opportunity for such exertion. This morning I had to fight my instinct (or personal preference) from automatically siding with the cons of this plan, namely the cold, the effort but mostly my dread of waking up early in the morning, and look at the pros. I get my exercise and potentially more energy, I lose weight, I get outside and all without the worry of taking the baby with me! So, up I got and out I went. Why did I have to start this on a morning that had almost a foot of snow on the ground?

Thankfully, My jog wasn't as hard as I was imagining. I was able to reach a good pace and hold it for longer than expected. I was feeling awesome. I was awesome! After about half-an-hour running streets nearby I decided to turn my shuffling travels toward the nature park. I figured this could be my reward for my awesomeness during my cold morning trudge. An added bonus was that I could walk. Why not? After all, the streets were somewhat plowed while the nature park was not. Walking through snow should keep my heart-rate up enough to count right? This way I was more prepared to enjoy nature, instead of mindlessly shuffling past thinking about my burning calves and cold nose.

Ahhhhhh...nature. Is there anything more beautiful? The snow brightened the landscape and muffled the noxious noise of the nearby commuters with effortless ease. Looking at the tracks on the ground I could tell that someone had walked their dog earlier that morning (earlier? sick), but for the time-being I was the only person there. Solitude in nature can be mesmerizing, and I enjoyed every second. As my walk continued, I could see more tracks. Another dog, a cat, a deer and even duck tracks. I remember thinking, 'ducks, how cute! I wonder if I'll see one.' Have you ever noticed how a duck's webbed foot can look like a blivet or, I should say, a devil's pitchfork?

Those of you who have been to the nature park know that at the back there's a small inlet that dead ends before it reaches around a small, but fat, peninsula of land. Here the water freezes over last, if at all. Here is where ducks collect. As I approached this spot I could see two of them resting peacefully just off the path. 'Please don't go away,' I thought, 'I won't hurt you.' To my delight, they didn't seem afraid at all. My good friend Vicki Matheson , as a feeder of ducks, will not be surprised at what happened next. As I followed the curve of the path it skirted around this inlet. 30 or 40 ducks sat paddling in the water, waiting for me. As soon as they realized I was there the call went out. Squawks and quacks of every octave resonated toward me in a great echoing demand for food. Food? I don't have any food. Big mistake. The longer I walked without forfeiting the goods the louder they became. I think if I would have lingered they would have demanded their bread with more vigor, and maybe more force. One thing was made inescapably clear, they were upset...at me. Needless to say, my lesson is learned. Never go jogging without some bread in your pocket. It could save your life.

Monday, November 16, 2009

How to manage?

I know I've written a post before about learning how to be mom. Every word of that post is as true today as ever, but I'm going to expand upon it a little. This is what's been on my mind lately:

There are emotional phases you experience as you try and adjust to having a child in your life. Most of the time, especially as a mother, you want to devote everything you have to this precious life you are so responsible for. You give them all your attention, all your energy, and all your emotion. This has gotten me into a lot of trouble. The catch is, when you have a baby you become a mother, but you don't stop being a wife, a daughter or sister, a friend, a member of your community, or a woman (although I do wish I could have a break from everything that goes with being a hormonal female sometimes). Yes, I have to take care of Ethan, along with appointments, chores and errands, the housework, visit teaching, and meals most of the time. But when Ethan goes to bed I'm still Derek's wife. And when Derek's gone or occupied, I'm still me.

Lately, Derek's been a lot busier than usual, and I don't like it. We've been really lucky, in the past, that Derek had been able to spend so much time at home. Now, with the end of the semester approaching, its crunch time. School is more demanding, work is more demanding, and homework is as annoying as ever. Then there's always the film club. I'm not adjusting well to having less attention, which may explain some of my moodiness. I understand that he has demands on his time, I support him and I want to help him in any way I can, but I also want him here. I want his attention for Ethan but I want it for me too. This tug-of-war leads to bi-polar emotions if I let my guard down, which is more often than I like to admit.

I'm told that I need to get out of the house. Unfortunately, its getting colder and me leaving means Ethan's coming with me. My friends are mostly married students, or married and working, or single and a student and working, so visiting is extremely limited. So, Where can we go without spending money? There's only so many times you can stroll around Walmart.

OK, so I need a hobby. Great idea. I would love to learn to play the cello (I've been trying off and on now for a while), write, learn how to paint, practice drawing and sketching, learn a new language, the list goes on. When can I try my hand at any of this? When all of my responsibilities are done for the day I just want to sit and do nothing. That's where movies come in. Why movies? Because there's no effort involved. Derek and I are trying a new schedule that will allow him and me to get more things done during the day (especially the morning), but for me that includes working out, taking a shower, and personal study time. I somehow need to fit a cardio workout in during the day too. While Derek wants to help around the house, and with Ethan, as much as possible he's mainly claimed by other objectives. This means that my free time is when Ethan goes to bed around 8pm, if I've gotten everything else done.

So why make things complicated and try to fit it all in? I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but for my sanity! Also, because it took me a really long time, and a lot of effort, to discover myself. I don't want to lose my identity. When I do have time away from everything else, I still have to deal with me. When my children have grown and left the house, I still have to deal with me. I don't know what would happen if, at those times, I'm faced with nothing, with a blank. I also have a huge desire to learn as much as possible. I know its important to balance the different parts of me, but I'm having trouble figuring out how. How do you fit it all in? On my scale of importance I come last, but I still need to be on the list. You never find out how many selfish tendencies you have until you become a parent, but where is the line between selfishness and necessity?

I don't want to give the impression that I'm unhappy. I love my life. I love my husband, my son, my family and my friends. I just needed to let some of this out. I'm always open to suggestions from those more wise and experienced than me. That would be everyone, so bring it on!

Laugh Attacks

Ethan's always had a wonderful laugh. Its contagious! The only problem was that Derek and I were the only ones that ever got to hear it. Whenever anyone else came over he stopped being vocal, and he goes mute when we get the camera out. Finally we've been able to catch some of his elusive laughs on video.

Not much upsets Ethan. He's pretty much fearless. Now its a good thing, but I'm probably going to have ulcers when he becomes an active little boy tearing around the neighborhood. One night Derek went into the back and then popped out at Ethan suddenly. Whenever he's startled his entire body does a convulsion. After this shock passed I was convinced we had gone too far and screaming sobs were on their way. Instead, Ethan started busting up laughing. He loved it! He even loved it enough to let us get it on video. Sorry it's a bit dark:

Old Man Ethan!

Now the moment you've all been waiting for! More pictures of Ethan! And mom, his hat fits now, but sadly he's already starting to grow out of it.

Ethan's last check-up revealed his weight to be 16lbs 10oz, and he was 25 1/2 " long at six months old. He's finally catching up! Now he's in the 75% for his age range. And he's becoming more handsome everyday! He's hitting a lot of milestones as well.

He can almost sit up by himself (we're working on that) and he's really good at holding his head up. He can scoot while on his tummy; unfortunately its backwards, but knowing his parents I have a feeling he's going to do a lot of things the hard way. He's starting to put his knees under him now so he'll probably be crawling soon. Polly better watch it because he loves soft things and has become very interested in her. Imagine a life-size soft toy that moves on its own! Yea baby! She treats him with the same disdain she shows us, but thankfully no more, so we'll have to see how their relationship progresses.

We started him on solid foods (if you can call baby food that) last week and he's discovering food can taste differently than formula and grape flavored Tylenol (although he really likes the Tylenol). I think he likes applesauce. I'll have to see if that face he makes while eating it gets worse with other foods to be sure. This probably means we'll have pictures of him smeared in colorful, gooey, wonderful messes soon. Stay Tuned!