Saturday, December 31, 2011

Owning 2012. LIKE A BOSS.

I rebel against New Year's resolutions.

If my only reason for making change in my life is a somewhat arbitrary day on the calendar, I will likely fail. Then I will feel like a flake. Then I will be mad at myself. Then I will resist change, because trying and failing is exhausting and embarrassing. Then I will become a stereotype of myself, feeling awkward and acting in bizarre ways to maintain what I think is/should be "me," instead of continuing to grow into truer and truer versions of myself.


When I discovered I was carrying my little surprise baby in August of 2010, I only had to think for three-point-seven seconds before I decided our life, our home, our space needed an overhaul if I was going to successfully parent two babies pretty much on my own. (Speaking of which--the end is in sight! My hubby's going to graduate in May. We'll be a two-parent team again!)

I sat in my bed feeling miserable and hormone-y and drew up a list of every part of our messy apartment that needed a good restructure. It mostly had to do with organization and creating systems to help life flow well, but all began with a huge clean sweep of every room. I assigned a major task to each of the eight months in front of me, and broke it down into four weeks of smaller tasks to add up to the main job. My closet, my bedroom, my girls' bedroom, their closet, the hall storage, the living room; they all needed furniture rearranged, junk tossed, new dressers & shelves & other storage pieces; everything taken out and cleaned and given away, or trashed, or put back in a new way that made more sense. I pulled hard on myself and the people around me to get it done. We finished about a week before my due date.

Then Miss Ezra was born at home. She arrived straight into into my little organized, peaceful, settled space. When she got here, even though we couldn't have known how fast she'd come, our process of come-on-Gentrys-let's-get-shit-done-already, cleaning the crap out of ALL THE THINGS (yeah for nesting), had made us ready for her unusual arrival. On my bed.

So here's the deal, 2012. I have a feeling that some pretty awesome and important things are on their way as you run your course. I'm not sure what they'll be or how fast they'll arrive, but one thing I do know is how to make a plan that I can tackle, month by month, that will settle the spaces in my head and heart that need to be ready for radical, beautiful changes arriving more swiftly than I or anyone imagines.

I'm not preparing any New Year's Resolutions. I'm preparing for a year-long-get-even-more-shit-done overhaul. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

moniker

Trying to decide how to describe the event that just took place, and I've narrowed it down to three options:

1. I survived Poosplosion 2011 and all I got was feces on my t-shirt.
2. Poopmageddon.
3. Occupy Diaper. And baby torso. And mom lap. And mom sweater. And couch.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Eight rotations later...

"Ten years from now, you won't know my name."
Sheesh, Roper. Now we'll NEVER KNOW, WILL WE?



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Style Tips for the Time-Challenged

You're a modern, busy woman. Between child-bearing and rearing, workin hard for the money, self-defense and yoga classes, bank deposits and errand trips, learning photography and painting, summiting Mt. Laundry, and reading Yelp two hours a day, you have a lot on your plate, and you're expected to look good getting it all done. It sounds impossible, but lucky for you, I've got a few simple tips.


1. Side-swept Bangs
The next time you change up your hairstyle, acquire some versatile, side-sweeping bangs. They should be just long enough to cover one eyebrow, and therefore negating the need to regularly keep both eyebrows plucked. Just do the one that shows and catch up on the other when you have time.

2. Buy a Wide Belt
Bloaty days. Ugh. Defeat them by defiantly wearing oversized t-shirts for maximum comfort. Keep a wide belt in your car and snap in on over your near dress-proportion of a shirt the moment just before you step out of the vehicle. Mess your hair a bit and throw on a 3XL cardigan to add to the irony, and you're set.

3. Closed-toed Shoes
Pedicures take forever. I'm pretty sure my last pedicure was over six years ago. Once my children are all in school, I'll look into it again. Until then, flat slip-on shoes with closed toes are the daily necessity.

4. Baby Wipes
Just keep packs of baby wipes everywhere. Things in your life are crazy, you will get spilled on, you will forget to put on deodorant, you will apply mascara to your lips, thinking you grabbed the gloss. Buy cases of wipes and never have to rock the 'Accidental Goth' again.

5. Carry a Travel Mug
If you really look terrible, holding a travel mug in your hand sends a strong statement. "I know, but look--I'm on my way to take care of it. Right. Now."

6. Blame it on Your Children/Work/Pet/The Alcohol
You'll get the most sympathy if you go with 'pet' here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall back

Dear End-of-Daylight-Savings-Time-Extra-Sleep-I-was-Promised,

I wish we could know each other better, but you seem to have forgotten to introduce yourself to my children. I should like you to make their acquaintance as quickly as possible so as to avoid this lack of familiarity in the future.

Yours affectionately,
Krisann

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Misunderstanding

Oh, the old tales of great Leaders-of-Men
have been told to us all again and again.
Now one in particular--take heed to recall
about Captain Odie, bravest of all.

Months into years of repetitive blight
with only his ol' country home in his sight.
For cursed did he the gods of his feats -
they took it as challenge, and arised to meet.

So mere miles from home, they sent a great wind
and against mighty storms he still'd never rescind.
True imps and ill creatures our hero did know.
His worst encounter--the story of this poem.

Like all good seamen, Captain Odie well knew
of the darkly troubled waters they passed through.
How the island off starboard troubled the crew!
-but because he's the hero, he knew what to do.

"Tie me to the mast!" the order came,
"No matter how I may cry out, leave me the same,
and cover up, too, your eyes and your ears.
Then row men, your hearts out; keep safe from your fears."

An eerie silence fell as they row'd along
Then all in a minute, he heard her song.
The power of her call he did not expect.
His courage, his passion! All displaced, to affect.

"Oh, men. She needs me!" He screamed out to his crew.
"And she promises treasure for me and for you!
Chocolate chip cookies, Vanilla Coke galore.
Nutella croissants, root beer floats, and more!

"A cup of espresso, milk perfectly steamed.
Java chip iced lattes, topped with whip'd cream.
Peanut butter dipped into dark chocolate bites.
Go, let us go, men! Fulfill in delights."

The boys rowed on--into safety they passed.
The old captain's senses returning at last.
But a tear did he shed, comprehending her plea.
"She was tied up, too. She just wants to be free."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Momventures.

All of my day happened in a few minutes shy of one hour.

I had a headache, and was in and out of cohesive thinking ability for several straight hours. When I finally beat it into submission (win!), the entire contents of my day needed to be attended to RIGHT THIS SECOND. Here's how that looked:

Congratulations on resting, hydrating, and finding yourself headache-free! Your brain is now free to recognize things it could not before, like the fact that you are unbelievably hungry! Better get dinner started.

Wait a moment... Notice anything? You are hungry. Miss Ezra is hungrier. Feed the bebe.

"Yes, my Miah girl. I'm hungry too. Just as soon as I finish feeding your sister I'm going to start on our dinner."

Baby's done! Have a quick check on the state of her diaper. Status: pooped in.

Okay, self. Quickly gather diaper changing supplies and lay her on the changing mat. (Because she's so dang cute, hug and kiss her for moment.)

Hey, Self, you might want to get the water on and boiling while doing this.

Good idea! Wait here for two seconds, baby. Oh my, the kitchen's quite cluttered. While you're cooking, you should have a clear space on the counter for Ezra to sit in her bumbo seat near you. 

Clear the counter, throw a few dishes into the washer. Get ingredients from the cupboard. Forget to start the water.

"Yes Miah, I'm making gnocchi."

Go to change Ezra. Realize the clean diapers are in the wash. Get a spare from the diaper bag--but she just leaked poop into this cover. EVERY other cover is in that wash. 

"Yes Miah, go potty." 

Go out and throw the load into the dryer.

Put the new clean diaper on the baby and hope she waits a bit to pee. 

Finally  start the water on the stove.

Help miah finish pulling her undies back up.

Go out to the dryer, because the covers take like, two minutes to dry completely. Surely one of them is done.

Something. Is. Not. Right.

Look down and realize the diapers were NOT clean. They had been rinsed, but not washed. 

Curse under your breath. 

"Oh god that smell." Put all the diapers and all but one cover back into the wash, praying the dryer hasn't heat-set the nasty into them. 

Salt the water on the stove.

Take the cover and wash it quickly in the sink. 

Put the cover on. 

Keep Miah from touching the hot stove. Put on music for her to dance & entertain herself.

Finish clearing the counter and put Ezra in her seat to watch. 

Add gnocchi to boiling water. 
Open can of sauce. 
Strain gnocchi and call Miah over for dinner. Feed/eat.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Haters Gonna Hate

Sorry I couldn't hear you criticizing me; the sound of my own awesomeness was ringing too loudly in my ears. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Imagine That

I started to dramatically recite the hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah, and was rather tickled at Miss M's choosing to follow me with her own, passionate, "Hal-ah-you-ah!"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Important Letters

Dear Freshly-washed Baby,

You are the softest thing I have ever snuggled, and I love you for it.

Love, me.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stress Eating on a Budget: A How-To Guide.

Ah, stress eating. What a glorious part of human tradition. Our ancestral genetics communicate the fear of death or pain and trigger our bodies to store up some insulation for coping with the terrors of pre-industrialized life. Things to be truly frightened of - killer diseases like colds and diarrhea, or natural predators like raging fires burning our twig huts, and the sabre-toothed cat attacks that are sure to follow - are defended by adding carbs and fat for energy and healing surpluses. The same fantastic impulses periodically race efficaciously through your brain's survival response too, the only difference being our stressors now are more like break ups, taxes, and failing at the same Angry Birds level 37 times and counting (10-1 of Chapter 4--curse those hateful boomerang birds. I'm glad your offspring were stolen from you to be devoured by swine; you certainly don't deserve to reproduce!).

Since you recently paid your taxes and you're too busy pursuing vengeance on behalf of our avian compadres to work much, you're going to need to handle all your stress ingestion on the cheap. Not to worry; the following shopping list will show you how to do just that. Ready? Next time you go to the store, buy:

1. Pasta
Most places still offer a 1-lb bag of carbalicious heaven for around a buck. Stock well. Add butter sauce, tomato sauce, a handful of shredded cheese, or any combination of those, all for mere cents per serving. Change it up often; we don't want you burning out on your carbo-loading.

2. Chocolate.
Combine with just about any fruit for maximum caloric intake on that stress-gorging streak. Bananas are a good choice because they are cheaper than dirt. In fact, now that you mention it...

3. Bananas.
Ice cream is expensive. Buy an unholy amount of bananas. Freeze some when they turn solid brown and mushy. Mash some frozen banans up with some cocoa powder. 30¢ Dessert. Done. Eat fifty of these in a week if you want, I don't care.

4. In'n'Out Burger.
For the splurgey days. Get a shake (chocolate or vanilla--not strawberry) and a burger & fries. Dip your fries in your shake. Don't ask questions, just do it. You'll see.

5. Mashed Potatoes.
Keep potatoes on hand. When you're stressed, mash them by hand. Don't let machines do the work for you; really dig into whatever's making you uppity and picture it in there with those potatoes, being destroyed by your brute strength. Then eat the whole bowl of potatoes with your bare hands. Who's going to stop you? Nobody. Grab a spoon if you add gravy, though... nobody likes a slob.


Take these simple tips to heart next time you need to show those little green pigs you're serious about coming after them and destroying their thieving, greedy colony with the raw power of your potato-mashing muscles.

Speaking of angry birds, though, have you guys seen this?

They already haunt me on my phone; why in 3D too?
Curse you, Angry Birds.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shameless plug

but I'm not even getting paid...

I am utterly addicted to Pinterest these days (hit me up if you would like to try it; they are still granting (FREE!) accounts on an invite-only basis).

It's simply ingenious.

What is it? The old concept of keeping an inspiration board/book/notepad now in the place you could use it the most: the internet. Keep images with descriptions (as opposed to pages and pages of links stored someplace; formerly google notebook, in my case) at your fingertips--quite literally, if you have an iPhone and download the app. I totally have the app.

Have a Spring fashions shopping list you want to remember for you next run to the mall? Pin photos of your favorite threads to have handy for your splurge. Planning a bathroom remodel? Start an ideas board of all the new design elements, keeping track of price and item location. Everything is right in front of you, and you can narrow down the choices as you go.

It's interactive, too. I can follow various boards you curate, and you can track mine. We can pin from one another and from total strangers, as well as comment on pins and steal inspiration from our most creative friends' best stuff. Not forgetting that they are just starting out; who knows what kind of incredible features they'll add as time goes on. What is not to love here?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The 5 Stages of Grief, Abridged

We parked just outside the front doors of the Mexican Mercado where Aaron was acquiring the groceries for tonight's dinner. Miss M spotted him approaching the line, and excitedly yelled, "I see my daddy!"
A moment later he was hidden behind a long line of other shoppers, disappearing from our sight. "Where is he? He went away! Well, I guess I have to get a different daddy."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quick! The Baby's Asleep!

You have between ten and eighty-five minutes to:


-Eat something! Bonus points if it's healthy and nutritious.
-Take a shower! Being clean may revitalize you enough to keep going.
-Play with Big Sister! All this transition means she could use a little extra love.
-Tackle any one of the five chores nearest you! That number keeps getting longer, doesn't it?
-Stare at the baby! You know this is going to happen anyway.
-Glance at a mirror! Promptly ignore what it tells you.
-Put on some clean clothes! When did sitting down a lot become such a smelly activity?
-Take a nap! Sleep depravation leads to clinical insanity, which is the last thing you need.

You must choose, but choose wisely.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Legend of the Arrival that Fooled All

I didn't even get to use my rockin' playlist...

A solid contraction woke me out of a seemingly-solid sleep just after 5am. A grand notion or two crossed my mind, as I let myself settle back into rest, not wanting to get prematurely excited. Not ten minutes later, an equally strong contraction jolted me out of my state yet again, and with that, I picked up my iPhone, opened the Contraction Timer app, sat down at a chair in the living room, and started keeping track of the notably stronger-than-last-time, ouch-a-lot muscle spams my uterus was producing.

Initially I paced the kitchen floor every contraction--it seemed to alleviate the intensity pretty well, but I was a bit startled by how quickly they became too much for me to handle alone. I woke Aaron at 5:40, requesting he shower and come support me. It took him a moment, but he forced himself awake and joined me in the living room shortly before 6am. He began to browse Netflix offerings, intending to pick something to watch in between the action to help him stay awake. He never did decide on anything, instead quickly picking up on the fact that this was not a quiet, early-labor-like experience. He astutely kept an eye on the time; Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women, a facility 40 minutes away on a clear stretch, was to be our destination, and Aaron deemed it necessary to be on the road by 7am so as not to participate in Friday morning commuter traffic. It was just before 7am, in fact, that we were calling the after-hours service of our OB, letting him know the contractions were averaging 3-6 minutes apart, and rather aggressive.

At the doctor's advice we decided to continue to labor at home, waiting for the timing to draw closer together. Roughly ten minutes later, Aaron was on the phone again, saying, "Yeah, they're two-three minutes apart now."
"Time to go! Quickly," came the response.

I moved to the restroom and sat on the toilet, deciding to quickly relieve myself before leaving, and to wait for Allie, who had agreed to come and sit with the still-sleeping Miah while we went to the hospital. 

Aaron tried to accomplish several things to help ready us for departure, but I kept calling him back to help me through another contraction. I was genuinely concerned at this point that I was facing another several hours of this kind of intensity. We stopped timing around 7:40, when each contraction lasted almost a minute, with about a one-two minute break in between. It felt like they were right on top of each other. 

At this point, I clung to that blessed toilet. The towel bar at my left hand was perfect for gripping, and I leaned into Aaron at my right through each wave of body-shaking madness. Here I encountered a problem: Allie had arrived and Aaron was anxious to get underway, but each time I tried to stand and walk to the bed, where my clothes lay waiting, everything intensified, and I'd have to sit back down, wade through it, and try again. I finally found a break long enough to get to my bed--sort of. I had just traversed the longest ten steps of my life and started to climb onto my bed when a big one arrived, bringing me to all fours in the middle of my laundry. Aaron was one-track minded on a mission: get our arses to the hospital! Something was slowly becoming apparent to me, though, and I struggled to access language in order to communicate it. Turns out I didn't have to. Aaron stepped out to refill my water bottle and I, still on all fours, finally came to the realization we were at the point of no return when at the next contraction, my water broke all over my bed. 

Back on the phone, Aaron was updating our doctor with the latest, and we were given three options: 
1. Get in the car and start driving; our OB promising to follow and assist if we needed to pull over.
2. Call an ambulance and have them take us to the nearer hospital, where a doctor strange to us would deliver.
3. Have the baby at home, then call the ambulance to take us into the hospital to be checked.

Though not yet obvious to everyone else, I knew three was our only real option. Thankfully, we had an Ace up our sleeve. Allie called my friend and her sister, Kaydee, a midwife-in-training, who raced over to help with the rescue. 

With every contraction my body was now involuntarily pushing, and I tried desperately to keep it from progressing until Kaydee could arrive. It was no use, though--she was crowning. With instructions from over the phone with her sister, Allie caught and handed over a pink, screaming infant sporting a full head of long dark, mussed hair. Sweet little Miss Ezra Flynn Gentry, whose name means "Yahweh Will Help," and "Fire," charged forth into the world at 8:23am, weighing 7lbs. 15oz., and measuring 20 inches long, though we wouldn't learn these stats until after a short and pleasant ambulance ride to Pomerado Hospital, where my doctor could be found.

I am almost sure it may just have taken longer to write this than the event itself.

And then there was the matter of convincing everyone it wasn't an elaborate April Fool's day prank... on anyone but, perhaps, her parents. :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sometimes Chores are Hard

Once, Aaron and I got locked out of our apartment in the middle of the night, when we lived in the ghetto-with-a-capitol-G of Redding. We were stepping out just for a moment to run some last-minute laundry down to the laundry room in preparation for going out of town the next day, and Aaron, out of reflex, locked the door behind him. Funny thing was, since it was laundry time, we were both half-naked; neither of us had any pockets, which meant no keys. We climbed back up to the stairs to our front door to try and solve the puzzle before us. First we tried messing with the door and window but couldn't break ourselves back in, a partially reassuring discovery, considering the reason he was so accustomed to constantly locking the door in the first place. We waked around the back of the building and discovered the bedroom window to our apartment was still open, so all we needed was a ladder! We called our apartment's emergency services line, and left a message, knowing they would likely get it on Monday. Not knowing where else to turn, we called the fire department. They offered no help, telling us, "If we did it for you, we'd have to do it for everyone." Aaron was so irritated! He ranted for awhile about how unsafe it was to have his cute wife was trapped outside her ghetto apartment, braless and in tiny shorts--all we needed was a ladder, not a parade, and what else did the fire dept. of a tiny city have to do in the middle of the night? We ended up hiking over to a nearby waterpark where thankfully, there was a maintenance crew working on some equipment (a lawn mower, I think?). They laughed as they passed a rather tall ladder over the fence and the two of us trotted back through the weeds to the back wall of our little place, awkwardly swaying as the ladder jostled between us. Aaron scrambled up the rungs, hopped through the window and let us back in, then I put some more clothes on and we returned the ladder, along with some baked goods we happened to have made.

To this day, I have a great deal of faith in lawn mower maintenance and repair men.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Drafting an Important Letter

I'm trying to decide which of these messages will be most effective. Feel free to weigh-in in the comments.

Dear Baby,
Your mother is tired of being huge. Please make your way to the exit.
Sincerely,
Krisann's body

Dear Daughter,
We are impatient to see your face and snuggle you all day long. Also, it's pretty nice out here. Join us, won't you?
-Mama

Attn: Tiny Person
This is your eviction notice. You no longer fit within the confines of the womb, and must now evacuate. A larger home has been provided for you, and is now ready to be inhabited.
-Management

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Creativity Breeds Creativity

I put on some music and started a painting project I've been hoping to get to for weeks now, and while I was working, the words to a poem boiled up inside me so powerfully, I had to stop painting and run to my desk to write them all down. The poem has been rolling around in there for a couple of weeks too, but they are completely unrelated... I'm amazed at how the simple act of steadily adding brushstrokes unlocked and rush-delivered the words to the front of my thoughts.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Tale of the Reservoir

She hadn't slept much the night before. A few scant hours between 2 and 6:30am, not nearly enough for a woman who could go into labor any day, but nevertheless she was wide awake. She decided on a lengthy shower, reminding herself how rare such a thing would be in the coming days. The quiet time in the stillness of the morning was invigorating.

Aaron rose at 9:00, begrudgingly. They had both stayed up late, far too late each night for the past two weeks, working against that delivery clock, trying to finish deep cleaning every pocket of the apartment, making ready for the new baby. He left for his meeting and she prepared breakfast, anticipating their toddler would wander in at any moment, sporting her usual slightly sleepy, but happy, morning face.

Miah popped out of her room a few minutes later. "Good morning, Mama. I'm hungry!" Her sweet greeting came through rubbed eyes and disheveled hair. Miah happily sat down to her traditional breakfast, but adorably requested the peanut butter jar, asking, "Can I lick it wis my fingers?"

The woman was quickly growing weary, and knew her body would beg of her a reprieve, and soon. The lady and her daughter shared their breakfast, and then, both still in their pajamas, headed back to her bed. She planned to settle in to a by-now very familiar snuggle routine. She would recover some of the rest she missed the night before while her daughter snuggled up to her, watching a cartoon about spelling. Forty-six minutes of catch-up sleep were about to be hers.

They had just settled in under the covers, her eyes already dropping into sweet slumber, when her phone rang. She started awake and checked the caller ID: a local number, but one she didn't recognize.

"Hello?"
"Hi babe, it's me."
"Oh, hi."
"Sooooo, the motorcycle doesn't have a gas gauge. Can you bring me the gas can?"
"Ooooookay... where are you?"
"The parking lot of The Movement church."
"Okay, it'll just be a few minutes."

She looked down at her sweet daughter, all snuggled up against her, engrossed in her show. She looked at her fluffy blanket. She ignored her sinking heart as she sat up in her bed. A strategy was necessary to pry them both away from their comforts. She knew of one tactic that was sure to make the transition from peaceful rest to quick action successful, but it was one she hesitated to employ. This was the unmentionable, unplayable card. Was it worth it, to bring the forbidden tool into play?

The clock was ticking. It was already ten to 11:00. She needed to get up and out the door, and quickly. There was no choice. She'd have to use it.

"Miah, did you hear, the phone was ringing? That was Daddy. ...He's in trouble! The motorcycle is stuck." She took a deep breath, and sang, "This is sewious! We have to help him!"

Miah's eyes lit up. She jumped up from her spot and immediately responded, finishing the song with a robust, "Let's save the Daddy! Let's save the Daddy!"

They both dressed quickly, rehashing the song and circumstances again and again. Miah revelled in repeating the song over as they prepared to leave.
"We are the Wonder Pets, mama?"
"Yes, sweetheart. Right now, you and me are the Wonder Pets."

They arrived at the parking lot, having sung through their rescue plan at least sixteen times. She rolled down the window to instruct Aaron to jump in; the gas station wasn't far, and they could be back before noon.

"Hey."
"Hi."
"DADDY! We're here for the rescue!"
"Sooooo... the motorcycle has a reserve tank. I tried to call you."
"... Uh huh."
"Since you're here, do you want to follow me to the gas station, just in case?"
"Sure."
"Daddy! We saved the Daddy!"

The rest of the trip was finished with the corresponding success song on repeat. "Wonder Pets! Wonder Pets! We found a way, to help the Daddy and save the day! We're not too big and we're not too tough, but when we work together, we've got the right stuff! Goooooo Wonder Pets! Hooray!"

Another sixteen times.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Adopt-a-Closet Program: A How-To Guide

Congratulations on choosing to make a healthy, well-balanced closet a part of your home! When a person chooses a closet, they may not realize the huge commitment to care, maintenance, and love they are signing up for, and before you know it, things can fall into terrible disarray.

I'm here to tell you all about how you can help your closet. How do I know so much about closet care? I myself once adopted a sweet little closet, and unfortunately, my assumptions about closets' needs brought my new friend, over time, to a very ill state. Thankfully, I got the training and help I needed before it was too late, and I'm now the proud owner of two beautiful, vivacious closets: Ike and Gilly. After all I've learned, I'd like to help you save your closets from the suffering mine felt.

Closets are a beautiful breed of creatures, and I'm passionate about their care. This is my first closet, and today we share a bond built on weeks of hard work and rehabilitation, after I rescued it from very nearly becoming a Closet Monster.



1. Dietary Needs
The first step to caring for a closet is loving it well, and that means a good diet. Take it from me, you simply can not just feed it every scrap you have lying around. This will lead to bloating and terrible indigestion, not to mention some perplexing smells. A closet is a lot like you; if you stuff yourself with junk, you too will emit noxious gasses, be sluggish and irritable, and suffer long-term health problems. Thoughtfully consider what you put in your closet's diet. Does it need to be in there, or is it just convenient? Set up a diet plan that works for your family, and stick to it!

Also consider: most breeds of closet will need additional dietary supplements to support their bone structure. Even closets with very high pedigree will need a little extra support to truly be at their best.
For Ike, our elder closet, we use a Bone Support formula very similar to this one, ClosetMaid 899800 8-Cube Stackable Laminate Organizer, Espresso which helps meet it's special needs. Many varieties exist on the market today, one of the most popular being the Dresser Boosters System, which we use on our pup closet, Gilly. She functions really well on this system, and we feel assured, every time we look at her, that she's got what she needs to stay strong and fit for the duration of her life.

Whatever brand you choose, know that this is truly what gives your little closet friend the start it needs to enjoy a long, healthy, happy life. I recommend adding such a formula to your closet as early as possible in it's life with you, to help avoid health complications later.

2. Routine Workouts
Now that you understand the basics of a closet's diet, you can start working on rehabilitating yours. You will need to start with an intense cleansing period. It may seem harsh, but it is your closet's only hope for recovery. Begin by deciding what your closet truly needs to thrive. Find a different home for the rest, or throw it out if it's garbage.

Regularly re-vist this process as your closet grows. It's needs will change as it ages, and it will reward you with it's companionship if you loving make adjustments as time goes on. Leave a little room for improvement, always.

Monthly work-outs will ensure your closet stays fit and healthy. Revisit diet plans if need-be, and ensure that your closet has plenty of access to fresh air, daily.

3. Be a Team
Make sure everyone in your family is on board with the closet care plan you create. It won't help if someone is still regularly sneaking junk in, will it? Work together to truly love your closet, and you will feel loved in return, every time you open the door.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Local Woman Sets Example, Eats Dinner, Dessert.

A San Diego County woman is hoping to set a good example for her three-year-old daughter by eating all of dinner before dessert.

Krisann Gentry explained in an interview Tuesday evening, "I'm nine months pregnant, and all I really wanted was this delicious frozen yogurt thing I make. I take an all-fruit popsicle and mix it with some yogurt, and it's just so good. Creamy, but lighter on the stomach than ice cream, because there's less sugar, and stuff. I thought about it all day and didn't really want anything else. But I have to think about my little girl--she watches me, you know."

Gentry, against every instinct, made and then shared a full dinner of bow tie pasta with a peppery marinara sauce and a small side salad, before indulging in her craving.

Health experts agree that establishing good routines at mealtime could be key to battling childhood obesity and other eating problems in the child's future.

But Gentry, who said she considers herself a fairly health-conscious person, still had to battle the overwhelming urges to succumb to her hormonal demands for sweets.

"Thank God there wasn't any chocolate in the house, or I for sure would have been sneaking bits of it while I was making dinner, just praying my daughter wouldn't find me," she added, noting afterward that even though she ate the full meal and dessert, she was hungry again and ate a bowl of tuna salad, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, just two hours later.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Closet Purge

The things I've learned while nesting...

1. Throw stuff away right away, or else.
2. Giving gifts of small forgotten odds and ends to children can and will instantly brighten your day. (I gave Miah a shell from who-knows-when, and she gasped in delight, put her hand on her cheek and said, "I can't believe this. A present, for me? A shell from the beach? I can't believe this.")
3. Pregnancy hormones make you emotional, which in turn makes it tough to toss sentimental junk. These urges are at battle with the same pregnancy hormones that make you want to clean and organize everything until your fingers bleed. There is no winner of this battle.
4. Three-year-old Starbursts do not hold up as well as three-year-old Tootsie Rolls.
5. Organization is worth the work. Guaranteed.

Two Boxes in Two Days

I am convinced that all cereals are loaded with addictive substances.

It's natural to assume that someone like me, with zero interest in cooking, would reach often for ease, convenience, and deliciousness in a bowl. When I tumble out of bed in the morning with leaded eyelids, dragging myself into the kitchen to make breakfast for my bright-eyed and bracingly chipper toddler, cereal is my godsend. My repertoire for late night snacks may include a plethora of fattening and delicious brownie, cookie, or ice creamy options (and other chocolatey, pastry temptations), so if I'm trying to reign in the sweet tooth a bit, why wouldn't I go more often for a small bowl of cereal? I can see how readily and happily I lean on it, like a meal time crutch made of sweet, pressed flakes of various grains, but considering my options, surely I'm excused from the cereal over-consumption equation.

Nope. We have absolutely no excuse. My husband is a chef. He loves to cook, and regularly makes incredible dishes. Dishes which result in leftovers. Leftovers are just as easy as a bowl of cereal, sometimes easier. And yet...

Cereal casts a spell of beckoning on the human brain. A thousand options might stand before you, but one mention of cereal and suddenly nothing else sounds delicious. When you need to eat, but just can't seem to decide what you're hungry for, throw the cereal option into the ring, and watch how fast all hands reach for their spoons. Little-known fact: the Sirens in The Odyssey were actually not such great singers; their alluring power came from waving boxes and bowls of cereal at passing ships. Those little devils.

Have you ever read the ingredients on the average box of cereal? We tend to buy the more health-oriented ones, all grainy and branny and wholesomer than Lepro-charms and such. Even so, what is Thiamin Mononitrate, or Niacinamide? These could very well be crack, people.

(This illustration is my little tribute to a favorite blog: Hyperbole and a Half, which you should definitely be reading.)

I've decided to begin a quest to respect the power of cereal. I imagine I might go through some pretty intense withdrawal symptoms if I cut it out entirely, so I'm just going to wean and see what happens. I may check myself into a celebrity rehab/spa, too, just to be safe.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You had to know it was only a matter of time...

Pregnancy rant:

I practically suffocate at the sight of pregnancy-related reading materials. All the reproduction related books, guides, and websites seem to cling to one of two philosophies: incredibly clinical or overly-warm and endearing. I really must take a minute each day to revel in my own snarky brand of embracing the incredible conundrum that is my body, building a little human, lest I go insane.

Case in point: I cannot say how many times I've read or heard someone spouting about how beautiful, thick, and luscious their hair was during pregnancy. This is partially true, but the reality is not that your hair itself gets thicker. Rather, the surge of hormones communicates to the body that the normal amount of "shedding" should cease and the body should hang onto as much of that hair as possible, likely for strategic heating purposes, intended to protect mothers who gave birth while living in the dark ages, or Alaska. So, a fuller mane is something to be appreciated, yes?

Ugh. No.

First and foremost, these hormones don't last forever, so you can expect a mass exodus of your prized locks (if that's even how it worked out for you; it tends for most to be more awkward than anything) sometime after delivery. Picture yourself sneaking away from all the new mothering world entails for a quick, refreshing shower. As you shampoo your hair, gobs and gobs of it begin to rinse out into your hands. This can happen several times before you're finished with your hormone purge. Sounds delightful, doesn't it?

Additionally, hair does not only grow on heads, ladies, and this hormone hair-retention mandate affects you from head to toe. I pluck my eyebrows four times more often when pregnant than when not pregnant. Shaving is an utter nightmare; equilibrium goes out the window, and successfully bending and stretching around the belly to try and commence with a deforestation operation on the legs is notoriously challenging. The activity is currently under consideration by the International Olympic Committee to be added as a new event in the Summer games. I'm a modest and compassionate person, so I'll save you from the description of what it's like to try and groom those "hard to reach" places with a bowling ball sized obstruction keeping quarters in your midsection.


Nevertheless, I do my best to make building a baby, and all the stuff and nonsense that entails, look good.

37.5 weeks down, roughly 17 days to go. I wonder how many more pregnancy rants will find their way to this blog before she's delivered?

Time to make something to be placed directly into the filing cabinet, never to be seen again.

Remarkability. That's what I've been waiting for.

I've started and maintained several bogs in the past, with a range of themes and purposes, and with a degree of success. It is important to note here that success is defined as not-forgetting-about-that-blog-I-have-and-should-really-post-on-regularly. Each has inevitably fallen into disuse and some time passes before I find myself with an itch to communicate in this format once again.

About what?

Good question, self.

Months have been lost in the quiet wait for something remarkable or inspiring enough to happen; a sudden occurrence to spur me into a dazzling display of creative genius can be waited upon no longer. Genius has not offered itself to me, so I will have to capture it. Process pending. I'll keep you posted.

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