Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter. A.D.D & A Tanning Booth...

It's been a long while since I've blogged. As much as I've missed sharing with ya'll... I just can't seem to get out of my funk long enough to focus on writing anything worthy of reading. (I DO have a ton to share tho!) Anyone who knows me or judging by my past blogs it's safe to say I'm NOT a winter person. I'm not a snow bunny. I'm the one tip toeing and cursing my way through my drive way swatting the snow flakes away from my face. Kids behind me happily catching snowflakes with their tongue.

I absolutely envy those who seem so in tune with the seasons here. Which right now seems to be everyone but me. It was a huge step in my adjustment to New England weather to have been sucked in by the beauty and wonder of Autumn. And while I've absolutely fallen in love with the scenery, the smells in the air and the ever changing colors...


Third year here. Still can't stand it. Love the season. Hate the weather. I attempted living in Pennsylvania between the ages of 19 and 22. I never left my apartment. I'm 30 now. My bones, muscles and MIND can't take it.

Where most people associate the sight of bells and candy canes with the "happiest season of all"... I now associate them it with a deep longing for sunlight, relentless aches and pains, sunset at 4:30 pm, and the strong urge to take a baseball bat to any speaker that dare blast their cheerful Christmas songs as you squander away your life savings on toys and giant bottles of Aleve. (Except for Mariah Carey's, All I Want For Christmas... I like that song.)

No. I'm not an ungrateful person. Yes. I'm extremely blessed. No. I'm not unlovable. Yes. I could be unpleasant to be around when I'm miserable. But I swear... in a few months I'll be dancing with the birds among the trees and kissing butterflies.

It's just that... the Floridian in me, associates "winter" with Christmas Day. Not the whole dang season. Once that one day is done and the presents are ripped apart and all the excitement of breaking the bank is over, that's it! I'm ready to ditch my Santa hat and scarf (worn mostly for shits and giggles) for sunblock and flip flops. I mean.. we DO get a winter. Temperatures drop to 12 degrees and I've dealt with a little frost here and there and even that was pushing it. I'd pull out my credit card, scrape the frost off my glass (feeling a little cheated at the fact that I even HAD to do that living in Florida) and I went about my business.

I can't do that here in Connecticut. The credit card or the flip flops thing. Well... I could but I like having all ten toes. It's also a big ol' fashion no-no. Even worse than wearing the hubs' bleach stained sweatpants to Target. (Which I may, or may not have done.) But that's not what we're discussing right now...

"So... Go back where you came from." You may say. Maybe someday, we will. But it ain't gonna be today.

SO. I'm determined to battle this thingy.

It might be needless to say, but I'll confess it anyway... I struggle a bit with depression and anxiety. I don't take medications. Mostly by choice. That said... I didn't realize until after my move up North just how much I relied on the sun, (yes, the sun) to keep my spirits up. So after last years long bout of the winter blues... I decided to get a gym membership. It had nothing to do with maintaining my Baywatch figure or as an addition to my new strict diet. You try and take and my goodies away you can expect to lose a finger. (Or two.)

And since we don't have the space or funds to convert a room in our house into a light box (used to treat the winter blues... you gotta google it)... it's a good thing my gym membership includes use of their tanning booth. Which I'd read some time last winter that being under the lights of a tanning bed could serve as an instant mood lifter because the rays produce a certain type of effect in the body releasing "feel good" hormones and what not. 

Now, I'll beat most of ya'll to the punch by saying... I know. I too associate the use of tanning booths to skin cancer. I swore no matter how well this works... I absolutely wouldn't use the tanning booth for more than a few minutes once every couple weeks IF that. What's worse, I'm a hypochondriac. A hypochondriac with freckles. I'm almost certain every chest pain, numbness, twinge and new freckle is a sign of impending doom. Yeah... Laugh now!

However... on this particular morning... I was desperate. 

I rolled out of bed at 8 am but from the looks of it, it resembled sun down. It was grey. It was cold. It was ugly. I had to go where I've never gone before to get me out of this funk.

So I walk into my gym that morning and approach the nice lady at the front counter. My fear of sounding like a complete dumb ass for not knowing how to use a tanning booth cause SURELY I was the only person in the northern hemisphere to never use one went out the window. My anxiety over being enclosed in a tiny space, clumsy as I am and surrounded by fragile light bulbs was put on the back burner...

Hello. I need some light. How do I do this thingy? I was getting down to business ya'll.

The nice lady was patient enough to walk me through the steps a little more than once. I asked her to repeat herself in order to ensure the instructions stuck and I wouldn't accidentally fry myself. She assured me the lights will automatically turn off in 3 minutes. 

I step in to the booth... make sure my door is locked... get nakey... and stepped through the chamber door into this little light capsule.

This massive, loud fan starts up above my head. And because I'm 250% sure I have some sort of adult A.D.D... The thoughts in my head went a little something like this...

Sounds like it's gonna suck me right outta here. I shoulda googled this before I did it. But what would I have searched? 'What to expect when tanning'? 'Tanning booth 101'? 'tanning booth parts'? If my hair were down... would that fan suck it up into those blades??? Is that even possible. 3 minutes... Ok 3 minutes... 

The blinding lights come on...

Should I be looking into these bulbs? Should I be wearing something over my eyes? Shouldn't the lady have TOLD me that I should wear some sorta SOMETHING on my eyes??? I mean... you should never look directly at the sun right? So is that what I'm doing now? Looking into the sun. 

I look down at my toes. I look up. I turn about 180 degrees...

Should I turn? For an even tan you need to turn. But I'm SURROUNDED by lights! Gosh Jess are you kiddin me... I laugh at myself a little.

Yup. Just me and the lights. Just me and the lights and I'm naked. I'm standing naked freakishly close to the front desk at the gym. I swear I should be wearing something over my eyes. Close your eyes, Jess... DUH! Get it together... You got 3 minutes of this to go... 3 minutes is a long time... right? Close my eyes, I gotta close my eyes. 

But before I close my eyes... I notice handles up over my head...

Is that an escape route?! Wait... it couldn't be. Could it? Let's say I get locked in this thing and I need to escape... I'd be trapped in the ceiling... so it CAN'T be an escape door. Wait... the lady said there was no way of getting locked in here. *sigh of relief*

I reach up and grab the handles...

I bet these handles are here to avoid tan lines huh? Yup. I bet they are. So do I hold on to them for the whole 3 minutes? But I'm naked. I'm naked with my arms up holding these handles. Omg... did I lock the door?! (Double check the door...) Dude OMG... that woulda sucked!!! Has anyone ever walked in on anyone standing in buck naked holding on the these handles like this *chuckle* Glad it ain't gonna be me... Okay, Okay... 3 minutes of this is nice... I can do this for 3 minutes...

Just as I start to feel that all too familiar toastiness on my skin that I normally get from the sun...

Aah yes... I could feel them happiness chemicals running through my veins now. Smiles to self...

Is it... a little... TOO warm in here? Is that normal? If I've only been standing here about a minute, does that mean people sweat in here standing for 10 minutes?! From light bulbs??? That can't be good. I hope this floor was cleaned right. What's TOO warm tho??? Seriously... it's freezing out but it's warm in here it's WEIRD. Jess... relax. Enjoy it. You get these 3 minutes to relax and enjoy the lights... *relaxing*

I got this. Okay... This actually feels kinda nice. I can do this for 3 minutes EVERYDAY! Okay Jess... shut your brain up and relax. You have 3 minutes...

And just as I got the hang of this whole tanning thing...

The lights turn off.

Dangit! Has it been 3 minutes already!?

I walked out of the gym that day feeling like a brand new woman.

I went home and googled 'Tanning booth without goggles'....

"You should NEVER enter a tanning booth without eye gear!!!"

"You'll go blind!"

"You can burn your cornea and damage your sight!"


"Closing your eyes won't help! You'll burn your eye lids!"

"Good luck with your new cancer!"

Oh shit. Wait a minute... My vision HAS been a little blurry come to think of it...

Omg, Omg... I'M GONNA GO BLIND!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

10 Reasons Why I Love/Hate Winter

1. LOVE: Winter fashion.

HATE: No matter how desperate my attempt at keeping up with winter fashion, I ALWAYS manage to look and feel more like this...

2. LOVE: I have a valid excuse to spend my day in these...

HATE: My excuse is to prevent damage to our wood floors.

3. LOVE: The idea of this...

 HATE: How everyone seems so blissfully unaware that sledding leads to this...

And ultimately this.

4. LOVE: The view...

 HATE: ... From indoors. 

6. LOVE: That we have these kind folks around to clear the roads for us...

HATE: Asshole.

7. LOVE: Searching for and planning the PERFECT Pinterest-worthy Christmas tree!!!
YES! Let's get it!!!


8. LOVE: Holiday food...

HATE: The consequences of loving Holiday food.

 9. LOVE: How excited the kids are on snow day...

 HATE: That I can't join the kids in their excitement about snow day...

No matter how hard I try.

10. LOVE: Holiday shopping!

HATE: Holiday shopping.

And because most of these feelings are due to the fact that I'm a Northerner turned Southern girl at 8 years old and will ALWAYS be one at heart for the rest of my LIFE no matter HOW HARD I'm trying to adjust...      

I couldn't relate to this reaction more... 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

This Is 30

You know that moment when you realize you've hit rock bottom?

I had that moment last night.

Now, when I say "rock bottom", I'm not referring to my family life, my man, or my kids and all the good stuff and feelings that come along with that. In retrospect I'm almost positive I'll remember this time as one of the sweetest times of my life. STRESSFUL... draining... sometimes monotone... mostly chaotic... But sweet. Let me explain...

Last night I was cuddled up on the couch with the babe watching This Is 40.

As depressing as it was that I was able to relate so well to the life of a 40 year old as portrayed in this movie (I just turned 30.)... It sucked a little bit more noticing that this 40 year old couple are still a pretty cute and trendy couple in pretty good shape. (Minus the meatless boobs.) And here I am laying around in my loves NY Yankee crop neck shirt (which does nothing but make me look wider) and a pair of painted on grey yoga capris. (I don't do yoga.) I was already feeling a certain type of way [QUEEN OF FRUMP] about the fact that I have started digging into my babes drawers for clothes. But it's freezing out. There's nothing I wanna do in this cold...nowhere to go... nobody to do anything with so I've checked in a little early into my winter 'I don't give a f@%#' mode. Anyway... Halfway into the movie the hubs is tugging at the back of my capris..

OMG Jess really??? He says... Is this a lollipop?!

What? Where? What are you doing??

He rips the bright red lollipop off the back of my leg. 

We both broke out laughing. Except my laughter quickly turned into a laugh/cry because it was funny as shit wondering how long I had been walking around with a bright red lollipop stuck to the back of my leg but at the same time so incredibly SHAMEFUL.

This is a new level of pathetic for me... Dropping lollipop in a cup. 

I fought my laugh/cry turning into an uncontrollable sob. I was seriously mourning the loss of what I used to be. A girl obsessed with natural body scrubs, bangle bracelets and maintaining my French pedicure.  I had one night each week reserved for "beautifying" which involved all the routine stuff girls do but no one knows they actually make the effort to care about those things. I concerned myself with the size of my pores, face exercises and making sure blood circulates to the tip of my fingers cause it helps my nails grow. It's crazy to think I once gave damn about those things. Granted, when I cared about these things, I was still the mom of an 8 and 5 year old. I can't pull out the 'Mommy Card' to excuse this one... I'm using the "Floridian now residing in Connecticut & Also Mom of a Toddler Card".

I should have considered my all time low to be last week while I was shopping for party supplies and the gentleman in line in front of me had to clarify whether it was my "daughters or my GRANDDAUGHTERS birthday I'm celebrating?" WAT??!! Is he really asking ME that question??? I froze for a second from the initial shock... I smiled and did my best to hide my emotions as I answered him...

She's my daughter. I'm only 30.

I couldn't be too hard on myself though. My eyeliner from the night before had run down my face and I was exhausted from having been dragged to a concert in New York the night before with my oldest daughter. I had about 3 hours of sleep under my belt and it was too early after my coffee for the whole espresso part of it to have kicked in. Besides, judging by the look of humiliation on his wife's face when he initially asked that question... I'm sure he heard about it later. 

On the bright side... According to the movie, the happiest time in a persons life is between the ages of 40 and 60. Considering I had a head start at this whole MOM thing... I like to think my happiest years will be sometime between now and 50... Maybe 60. I would assume that part of being happy is having your shit together, taking better care of yourself, kids are a little older and more independent, and from having learned from experience that no one can care for you as well as YOU can. Prior to watching this movie, I read that a tip to becoming a better parent is to make YOURSELF [and your relationship] the #1 priority. In other words once I decide to put my needs before the needs and wants of the tribe and stop draining my energy with worrying about ALL the shit we want to do for them... It will only get better from here. I will only get better from here... right? I mean... RIGHT?! 

Well... I don't know that I'm able to make those adjustments just yet, but I def need to work on getting my sexy back. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our Baby is Two!

This past weekend was a special one. The little one officially crossed over from the somewhat in between baby/tot stage to full blown TODDLER. Which also means, when people now ask me her age I will no longer answer in months...

Kind stranger: Oh how adorable... How old is she???
Me: 22 months,18 days, 4 minutes & 56 seconds old.

Now it's simply: Two. Cause once they reach this magical age there's no need to specify how far into two they are. As far as everyone is concerned ANY kid at age 2 is in exactly the same stage as every other 2 year old they've encountered. Cause when you come across a two year old... you know it. That child at the mall rolling on the floor screaming bloody murder, kicking and flailing around wildly, noticeable traces of the bright red lollipop across his face [evidence of moms desperate attempt at bribery] as the sweetest looking of moms drags him off muttering death threats (not caring that she's in public)...

Ah, yes... he's two.

She reached this milestone complete with every symptom you would associate with the 'terrible twos' which includes the excessive use of her new fave word, 'NO!' Yet, I can't help being a little devastated at the thought that this is going to be my last go at the terrible twos. A few days prior to her birthday party, I drove around CT lost and sobbing at the realization. And it wasn't just any sobbing... it was like, that dramatic Spanish novela sobbing...

Coincidentally it was raining that day too.

For the record... she really isn't that 'terrible'. She's the second best two year old I've ever had. <3

And now to sharing Mayah's 2nd Birthday with ya'll!

As for my DIY projects:

I made these really cute tassels from pink, blue & yellow plastic table covers using this >>tutorial<< from Lilyshop...

And the idea for this adorable gumball necklace came from One Charming Party. You can find that tutorial >>here<<.

A birthday party as sweet as she is =] Get it? A candy theme cause you know...
She's SWEET! tee hee.

So. One down... 5 more birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas still to go! Wish us luck!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

When It Rains It Pours...

I was trying super hard to stick to a schedule when it came to my blogging. After all... consistency is key. But since we've been CONSISTENTLY dealing with one crappy situation after the other... I haven't been so consistent.

I recently expressed my gratefulness on the realization that sometimes we need to face the unexpected challenges that come our way in order to really appreciate the little things that we normally take for granted. That's great and I appreciate it and all but as of this very moment...

WHAT THA F%#@!!!???

This time of year is stressful for most everybody with the holidays and the turkey cookin' and the agonizing over weight gain on top of the frustration of finding the one bulb that's not working on a string of 200... Inlaws. (Not referring to mine, of course.) But in this house... Halloween marks the first day of nonstop planning, prepping, cooking, baking, penny pinching, last minute errand running, second guessing, self doubting, stressing, and convincing ourselves we're doing the best we can. 

Speaking of Halloween... here's a little look at our night...

 Our little fairy princess.
 The whole gang in their disguises.
The girls keeping up with Dad.
Jesus & His disciples (Insider)

The kids did great and had good time. The doors they knocked on were answered by some super sweet inhabitants. The littlest one got the hang of trick or treating after the first house. And we decided after walking what seemed half of Connecticut looking for lit porches and getting a total of about five mini candy bars... We might just buy our own candy next year and do our own Halloween party. I mean... we have enough kids to make a party out of it.

Great, but damn near candyless Halloween aside... My focus has been distracted from birthday and holiday preparation to address the never ending crap that keeps getting thrown our direction. Crap all of which could be better dealt with during the spring or summer but nothing ever breaks down when you have nothing to do. But then again... there's never not anything that doesn't need to be done around here.

So getting back to that whole WHAT THA F%#@!!!??? part... After my window was busted in by the weed whacking city worker and the pebble... A week or so later we found ourselves sitting in the E.R. waiting on a diagnoses for the little one. She's now being treated for pneumonia. Thank God, she's much, much better now.

A day or two later... The brakes on the van totally gave out and had to be addressed right away. On that same day, a family friend was in my kitchen replacing a huge chunk of our kitchen wall in order to correct a massive crack that kept spreading across the wall. Which considering I'm supposed to be entertaining in the next week... now left us with the added task of painting the dang kitchen. (Which the babe is doing now.) The change of seasons and growing children also calls for an entirely new wardrobe for 4 out of 6 kids which means Santa will be cashing in on his Kohls bucks this Christmas this year. ::Burning our Toys R Us catalog:: 

Soon as the brakes were fixed... our refrigerator decides it no longer wants to refrigerate. Our Sunday consisted of refrigerator shopping on Craigslist and jumping at the first available option. Soon there after our apartment and two refrigerators were completely taken apart, dragged and rebuilt in their new homes. Now that we're happy with our semi-new refrigerator... 2 tires need replacing on the babes car. And I think my scale is lying to me again... I hope

::Kicking my scale away:: Bitch.

Yet, no matter how shitty things get... I always try to keep in mind that there are others who are going through much worse. I still have more reasons to smile than I do not to. Granted... with each hurdle... that's getting harder to do. 

David and I sat across the table from each other after dinner... both looking a little more worn out than usual but enjoying our conversation despite the shitty luck we were discussing. He pointed out that some of things that are happening or breaking down were things that had probably been screaming out for attention for some time. Things that are now getting done.