Monday, June 28, 2010

Not so Surprising to me ...

I have a little inside perspective on cases such as this: Missing Ohio Girl . Sweet, smart, and seemingly together teen girl hooks up with outwardly sweet, very controlling, slightly older boy. You see, I was this girl.

In high school I was the smart one, although not the smartest one. Most academic achievements of mine were not even a challenge. I was definitely compensating for other things I wanted. I was decent looking, but I have a big nose (in my opinion), I was always a little overweight. I never wore fashionable clothes and didn't have a mom who was into make-up or anything all the popular girls had. I was outgoing and very opinionated. I was not a wall flower and made friends pretty easily. I was the funny, smart girl.

I was terribly, awfully, painfully shy with boys though. When I hit puberty, I hit it hard. I went home one summer flat as a board and came back in the fall with curves in all the right places. I was embarrassed by my stretch marks, C cups and hips. I had a figure that would have made Playmates jealous, but I tried to hide it. I wore baggy t-shirts and boys jeans. Hey, it matched my constant ponytail. Sure, I liked boys, but they didn't like me unless they were trying to copy my homework. There were plenty of girls with their goods on display.

So my junior year of high school I got myself my first real boyfriend. He was super smart, like genius level intelligent. He was sweet and kind and patient. He made every day worth getting up. I had a smile on my face constantly. Then I moved ... to Las Vegas (yes Sin City Nevada). I was heartbroken, but ready for a new adventure (I didn't have a choice, right?)

What better way to reinvent yourself than a move in the middle of your junior year? I wore clothing that was a little tighter than it should have been. For the first time in my life, boys were paying attention to me for more reasons than my brains. I reveled in the attention. I had a make out partner almost immediately. I was still a virgin, and I remained that way for the rest of the summer. I was still a good, shy little Catholic girl at heart.

My parents made me get a job my senior year after wasting all my time (and their money) that summer. I started working at a movie theatre, which was awesome! I got to work with kids my age, see free movies and eat all the popcorn I could stomach. That Halloween I met a boy. He was dressed as a woman, go figure. He acted stuck up and distant, which made me interested, of course. I knew how to play the game, made sure I got his interest too. I'd read all the Seventeen articles, dontchaknow? So one day after school I went to my car and noticed an orange piece of construction paper from a "secret admirer". There were little notes there, no matter where I parked, for the rest of the week. Then he called me to meet him at a gas station so we could talk. After several hour long talks, he asked me to be his girlfriend.

I never got to see where he lived or meet his parents. He always came to me. He bought flowers and was everything a teenage girl wants. Then he gave me a promise ring, six weeks into our courtship, right before I went on a trip east. It sent red flags up for my mom; it made me feel wanted.

Six months later I found out he had been living with his "ex-girlfriend" the entire time we'd been together, driving me around in her car. He needed help moving home since she kicked him out. He was so convincing that I stayed. Another red flag right? Well then there was the fact my dad was the mailman for his house. He saw another girl there a few times one week and debated telling me. He had a feeling it wouldn't make any difference. I confronted him and he convinced me this girl was just stalking him. Red flag number three.

I would sneak him into my parents house almost every night, which was a huge issue (as it should have been). He effectively isolated me from my friends and family. Then I moved in with him. At this point my mother barely talked to me and my only friends were his friends. I was completely and totally lost. I hadn't gone to college as planned. I had effectively given up everything I had going for me. The first time he hit me he was so apologetic, so sorry. He told me he only did it because I made him so angry and that he would never do it again. He didn't, for quite some time. I stayed home when he went out. I stayed in the room the night he and a friend decided to call an "entertainer" to our apartment. I devoted my entire life to keeping him happy. If he was happy, then I was happy... or so I thought.

This cycle lasted for years. Even after he left me for another girl, he gave me enough attention and enough bullshit to keep me around. So people wonder how a bright, outgoing, perceptive girl falls into something like this. It is a gradual thing. Men like this know weak spots in the not-so-pretty, slightly awkward, smart girls like me. They know how to break ties. They know how to convince girls that they are the only important person. Trust me, I've been there. I was this girl. Luckily enough, I got out. I am married to a wonderful man who really loves me.

So my words of wisdom? You can't belittle the relationship or the person your loved one is with. He will use it to his advantage (ala Romeo and Juliet). All you can do is continue to be there, to support and encourage her in all the positives in her life (school, church, other friends). The words that broke my cycle came from a friend of his. He told me one night "Give me your mother's phone number. I want to know who to call when you go missing".


Sunday, June 27, 2010

No, Sir, YOU Don't Understand

I had a customer this week, an elderly man, tell me that I did not understand.

I am not exactly sure what he thought or why he said this. I assume it is because his copay was ridiculously high. He was mad, irate even, at the cost. I must say I would have been angry too. I would have been angry with the out-of-touch doctor who prescribe based on what the latest drug rep thought. I would have been mad at the drug company, I may have even been mad at the drugstore... but I would not have been mad at my cashier. You see, I do understand. I understand what it is like to work and work and work and work. I understand what it is like not to have health insurance that properly covers my medical expenses. I understand what it is like to choose between health care and food. I do understand, sir, I do.

What you do not understand, sir, is who I am. You do not understand where I come from. You do not understand my financial, emotional or physical situation.

Let me explain to you where I come from, at least:

I come from a neighborhood called Valley Gardens, in the South Valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the 47th state. Yes, we are a part of the United States thankyouverymuch (here is the Wikipedia: South_Valley). You see, I lived in a very poor community, in a very poor state. I was also, unlike in most of this country, the racial minority. I am Caucasian, white, g├╝era what ever it is you might want to call me. The only African American, Black, whatever other racial term, girl lived next door to me. We were best friends from the time we were three years old. She is still one of the most important people in my life.

Let's top this all off with how smart I was. I was the nerd from day one. I skipped kindergarten for the most part (me and Luis, always competing). I made friends, and enemies, easily. I was naive and sheltered in a pretty harsh environment. I knew girls who were pregnant right after they'd hit puberty, no later than sixth grade. My middle school had no lockers and no unlocked bathrooms -- too much violence. I was both an outcast and a part of the cycle. I was not accepted by all of my classmates, but I was protected all the same as part of the pack. They sure didn't bother with me, but they did not tolerate others bothering me either. I was shit, but I belonged to them, I was their shit.

Then I went to a Catholic high school thinking it would be my out, my salvation. Little did I know I was more outcast than ever. I did not have money. I did not have successful, rich, influential parents. I did not come from a long line of alumni. All I had were my wits, and growing up where I did, I had them in spades. I knew how to charm parents, teachers and fellow students alike. Still, I waited for the bus to take me home, to the same neighborhood, every night.

I would not, sir, trade who I have become, for anything in the world. I owe my existence to that world, to that neighborhood, to that barrio. I am who I am because of, not in spite of, where I am from.

So you, sir, do not understand.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Super

So one of my most recent creative outlets has been super capes, for kids young and old. Inspired by my little monkeys, the venture started to take off.

Then I began to wonder what we teach our children about heroes. They expect them to fly through the sky and rescue people in need. Equipped with a cape and a mask, secret identities intact, these super figures captivate our imaginations from a young age. As girls, we want to be rescued and fall in love with a man like this. We want a man who can solve all of our problems with a kiss, a man who is so in tune with human need that he disappears to save man-kind. As little boys, we want to have all the power in the world to vanquish the bad guys, to get the girl, to leap buildings and see through walls. Some time during adolescence we lose the ability to believe in such things. Reality sets in and we realize that we are mortal. We have our hearts broken, by ordinary men, with ordinary dreams.



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Storytelling

This is a not-entirely-fiction story in the works, loosely based on my life:

So where does my life begin? Somewhere after the last left off I suppose. Maybe they all intertwine and I haven’t caught the right rope quite yet.

I am in the midst of an emotionally complex marriage. It is further complicated by the fact that we have a six year old son and a two year old daughter. It seems the only interests my husband (not partner) holds in me are as a babysitter, errand runner and income generator. Sure, there are times he feigns interest to get something he wants (when exactly did gender roles switch?).

This whole epiphany came about quite recently. My husband nonchalantly informed me that some parents on our sons baseball team think we are divorced. These are parents I have met before, to whom I have introduced myself. Nonetheless, he thought it may motivate me somehow? I am not sure exactly how, but I will find out soon enough if I know him so well.

Flash forward a weekend, I have a friend over. There is sexual tension that is quite palpable; more from him than from her, although she is quite in on the joke. We have a few drinks and sit around the television to bullshit. Sure enough the second she leaves, he bolts up and announces he is going to bed. There is no invitation to follow, just a lame attempt to ask for a kiss (another implication he is done with me for the evening). I stew for a few minutes… but I am not good at stewing, so I march to the bedroom and announce that he needn’t do me any favors in the future by staying up. There is some mention of me being irrational and a bitch, which is par for the course. Naturally, my feelings do not matter.

So where do I stand? Well, I think this is the beginning of the end. I will try and stand on my own two feet and support two kids in the process. I can only pray that my drive accelerates and takes me in the directions I need to go.

My family… now that is an entirely different book

1

A gloomy, allergen inducing, wind-ridden, desert day. How fitting it is to my mood. Today I have decided to part paths with someone very instrumental in my life. Sure, this is a technical term for an emotional bond, but how else am I to break free?
I have two small-ish children to attend to. Every day these little birds will depend on me for food, shelter and love. The last I have in spades, but the first two may prove to be a challenge now and again. I am the type of girl who can do anything she puts her mind to (although it is challenging with the attention span of a gnat). I could bartend or belly dance or even balloon. It seems to be the things that keep my attention the longest require a large amount of attention (and money) to begin with.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Style change, New Look, New Attitude

I've been thinking a lot recently about my desire to lose weight. I am overweight for certain, but I have no other medical issues. I have excellent blood pressure and cholesterol, no signs of diabetes or thyroid problems.

I do have the same issues most married mothers my age have, occasional bouts of depression and typical PMS. So why exactly do I want to lose weight?

I am not unhappy with my appearance (other than the occasional new wrinkle or gasp gray hair). I have breasts that fed two happy healthy children (that my husband is still fond of). I have a belly that carried two said children, that will never be quite as taut as it once was. I have thick thighs, which I've always had. I have a curvy figure that some women envy, regardless of the fact that I am a solid 35 pounds over my ideal weight. My sister, who is 115lbs. soaking wet, is and always has been, miserable with her inability to gain weight.

I guess the grass is not always greener on the other side.

My quest this summer is to try and not feel self-conscious. I have dimples in my knees and cellulite on my thighs. Who cares? There are so many women who are gorgeous and not super model skinny. As long as I am healthy, I want to embrace where I am in life right now, at this moment.

Be on the lookout for ways I solve typical fit issues with clothing. From looking shapeless in many of today's shifts and tunics to that ever-lovin' gap in the back of so many jeans. These are my issues, please feel free to share yours too.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Holy smokes Batman!!!

Today is GOLD in the crafty blogosphere.



Look at all the giveaways going on!! 4 winners every hour all day (and it is 3:00pm here so I've missed most of it)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tutu special for blog readers only!!


Petal tutu in your choice of size and color (pink or green only) for $20 shipped! This adorable tutu is 6 layers of shimmer tulle topped with 15 satin petals, with a fully encased waistband and ribbon tie closure. Your little one will want to rock this everywhere (and you'll let her it is that cute).








Monday, March 8, 2010

Accessory Holder tutorial- Part 2

OK, now for the second half. There is some simple sewing involved in these steps. I used a 3/4" blue grossgrain ribbon and a 1/4" pink satin ribbon to coordinate with my paper print. I cut these to approximately 27 inches (to allow 2 feet of hanging space).


Line up your ribbon ends, with the smaller ribbon in the center.
Fold over twice on one end. Once about 1/4" and the second about 1" to form a loop at the bottom. You will slip a ring to hold ponies on through here (or to anchor your ribbons)
Sew the velcro to the front side of the ribbon (this will face the back of your frame where the other strip of velcro is):

Make sure your ribbon is centered and doesn't slip before you make your line across:


I used a zig-zag stitch and went over it 3 times to secure it. You can use a straight or a applique stitch depending on your preference:

I varied the distance between some of the lines. 3 inches for sunglasses (you have to get them through somehow. It is also better for the kind that fold flat.

Teeth, meet fuzz:


Just stick that velcro on to your strip, no complicated gluing and you can reposition it! lol


All finished: Now just to hang it and add pretties!

A ring (that came with some ponies) that I added to hold them all. You could also use a ring for stretchy/knit headbands:

A cute (Gymboree FFM) headband:


The top half:



All hung on the wall (not the prettiest picture, since light is waning). It gives you an idea though. I added a bracelet to the pushpin, a pair of glasses, a headband and a jump ring with ponies. If you add more ribbons you can alter them to have clippies and curlies too (I will get to that some other time).

Have fun! Leave questions or comments, please.

Hair accessories (and sunglasses) storage tutorial

This is my first attempt at a tutorial, so bare with me. I would appreciate any feedback!

I have seen tons of cute holders out there, but some of them are well over $40 and don't quite serve the purposes I need them for. So, being the insomniac that I am I came up with this nifty little number that cost about $10 (assuming you have some basics).


Materials:
  • $1 wooden frame (from craft store)
  • Modge Podge
  • Xacto knife
  • Hot glue/glue gun
  • decorative paper (12x12 or [2] 8.5 x 11)
  • grossgrain ribbon in 2 widths (9 yards each)
  • sewing machine (and thread)
  • pushpins
  • *other decorative items
  1. Make sure your wooden frame has the hole (where the peg would go) at the top. This means it is essentially upside down

2. Paint your frames edges and center in a color to match your chosen paper. There is no need to paint the back or front since they won't be seen

3. Cut your paper to size (in this case 8x8"). Coat your frame with Mod Podge and smooth paper with a credit card or other smoothing device (I used a handy metal bookmark).

4. Cut the excess out of the middle and from around the edges with your exacto knife (yes, there is velcro on the back of this frame already, but that will be in Part II). Go over the surface with at least one coat of Mod Podge to seal. Let it dry (takes 30 minutes or so for 2 coats).

5. Cover the center of your frame with a pieve of the leftover paper

6. Insert the center back into the frame.

7. Attach your pushpins and chipboard letters to the frame. The pushpins can be used to bracelets or necklaces or elastic/knit headbands (add as many as you like/need).

8. Add the rest of your decorative elements (like a daisy and rhintestones).

Please come back tomorrow to learn how to attach your sunglass and headband/bow holders.!




Sunday, February 28, 2010

Who's your daddy? (and how'd he get mommy?)

Claire, over at Are muffins just ugly cupcakes?

inspired me to write this post. I think it is one of those things that is slightly unbelievable. It also tells what a different person each of us is now.

Matt, what can I say-- he is H-O-T hot! I dare someone to disagree, I mean look at him:


So, I went to pick up my sister from work at OfficeMax one day in my brand.spanking.new TransAm. What color was it you ask? It was white. It had T-tops and was a RamAir. That thing was faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast. Yeah, it is hot too:


BUT then again, so was I:


(that is me on the left)

Anyway, back to the story...

I asked my sister who the hot guy in the stationary aisle was, then dragged her over. She said simply "oh, that's Matt" and we left.

You see, I was in a relationship, sort of. K had a girlfriend, sometimes. Sometimes we were all together at the same time. I was living with a pharmacist I worked for. Well, she lived with her boyfriend and I lived in her house. Anyway, this is getting complicated...

Fast forward a month or two. I went to see my parents one night and as I was saying goodbye, I gave everyone a kiss on the forehead. Matt was there, drinking with my parents (who are cooler to everyone else than they were to me! lol). My sister said "where's Matt's kiss" So I kissed him on the forehead too (He later admitted looking down my shirt at this point).

Sara then tried to get me to go out with Matt every chance she got. I was too hung up on whatshisface (oh, they have the same name Claire!) to give it a go.

Then one night, I decided to call Sara up. I wanted to go out for my 22nd birthday. I needed her to come and watch my new puppy. Matt came up with her! I was a few drinks in already and told him just what I thought of him (hey, you are really, really hot). So my friends and I took him with us for the night. We went to a strip club, then to a few bars.

When we got back to my house (I had my own apartment at this point), I was all sorts of hot and bothered. There was only one problem... yep, ol' whatshisface. Matt told him in no uncertain terms that he needed to stay out of my life. Well, that sealed it for me.

I definitely put out on the first date. I moved in within a week, was pregnant within a month and married and a mom within the year.

Almost 7 years (OMG, I am almost 29!!) and another baby later, we are still going strong. Good thing we had a lot more than chemistry in common. It is amazing how things work out in the long run!









Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Made by you Monday (yes, it's Tuesday)



Ok, I am participating this week... but no guarantee I will consistently (you know me, I am easily distracted). What was I doing again? Oh yes...


I made the pants this little sleep bug is wearing. I made her a top too, but she would rather wear her brothers old t-shirt with it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lovies

My kids, they do love each other.

Aubrey adores RJ and tries to protect him. We were wrestling on the floor and she came and pulled my hair (ouch!) and told me "get off my bruddah!!" in a very serious tone. Then she, of course, tackled him herself.

RJ is sweet enough to let her win (sometimes) and play babies with her, very tenderly. He plays daddy and she mommies very well.

They both play Star Wars. Who knew it would be popular as ever almost 30 years after the fact? She sings the imperial march:

and he tells her which droid to be, or which darth whatever she needs to kill. It is hysterical, and I know it is only for a fleeting amount of time. I hope they will remember, one day when they are fighting, that they had so much fun together. If not, I will remind them (not so gently).



Friday, February 19, 2010

Morning conversations

Some days Aubrey wakes up RJ and some days it is the other way around. I am not sure who woke up first this morning, but the conversation was pretty darned hysterical.

RJ: "Good morning Aubrey, let's stretch"
Aubrey: "Okay bruddah, jump jacks, jump jacks, fall down"
RJ: "Aubrey, stretch your arms and touch your toes, push up time"
Aubrey: "one, two, five, fourteen"
RJ: "Okay, now jumping jacks again, touch your toes, act like a droid"
Aubrey: "I am a droid!!"

It went on for some time like that. Then they heard me and came running out. I love mornings like this. They are content, they are loving each other. Now they are racing like nascar around the coffee table being silly.

I think I will honor the pancake requests now. What a wonderful morning!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Take that, 12th grade!

I had to take computer science my senior year since I was a transfer student. There were 2 seniors in a sea of freshman. Beau (the other senior) and I had a ton of fun, but never got much done. The teacher let me get away with pretty much anything (yeah I had a DD rack back then too). He told me that I would need to learn all this coding at some point down the road. Yeah... sure! lol

So, tonight I taught myself to make a button to link people to my Etsy shop. Take that!! It took me 30 minutes to do what a teacher tried (unsuccessfully) to teach in a whole semester.

Here it is:


Are you ready to fly?