Monday, November 26, 2012

the lazy girl's cleaning hacks

I am so not a homemaker. I kind of suck at it. If I were left to my own devices, things would be messy and sort of clean most of the time.

Our house is messy. It's actually less messy now that we have a kid though. We kind of figured out we can't just leave random shit around because babies like to stick shit in their face-holes.

I knew how to clean before. I taught myself a lot after I moved in with JP because, quite frankly, the man was messier than me, and sometimes dirty as well, so I had to clean up after him. I taught myself about bleach and borax and all kinds of stuff.

And then Willow happened and I realized I'd rather not have all those unnecessary and unpronounceable chemicals all over stuff that my precious baby would touch. So I discovered vinegar and baking soda.

I didn't believe they would work at first. I thought that if by some miracle they did work, they would work like shit and I'd have to scrub and scrub- and quite honestly, I'd like to spend the least amount of time I possibly can doing something other than being on r/gonewild. Just kidding.

But then I tried them. And holy god did they work. They worked faster and better than conventional cleaners. So, here's the lazy girl's guide to cleaning, aka my favorite cleaning cheats.

1. Microwave:  Put 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar in a glass bowl and nuke it. It doesn't have to be exactly that consistency or measurement. . I usually just pour some vinegar and some water in there and don't really check. Put it in for like 3 minutes. The water and vinegar will boil, steam up and loosen all the gunk stuck to the roof of your microwave from cooking spaghettio's without a paper towel over them. Once it's done, grab a sponge or a paper towel or a clean holey sock that you're gonna throw away anyway and wipe it all off. Much easier than scrubbing and scrubbing.

2. Shower/bath: Sprinkle baking soda on the floor of your bathtub or shower and on the knobs, then lay either paper towels or rags on the baking soda and pour vinegar over them. It helps if your bathtub/shower is plugged, that way you can let the shtuff sit there and soak. Depending on how bad it is, let it soak for a while, adding more vinegar to the rags/paper towels if need be. Sometimes I also add a bit of Dawn dish soap. When I feel like it's soaked enough, I wipe it down with the paper towels/rags, run water over it and voila! Done! If your bathing area is really scummy you can scrub the solution in and then rinse it off.

3. Shower/bath: I always keep a little scrubber full of 1/2 Dawn and 1/2 vinegar in the shower and scrub the walls down while I'm taking a shower. Why not? It takes 2 minutes and saves me a lot of time. I saw this on pinterest, and they were using a long-handled, hollow sponge. I tried that but it failed miserably because it wouldn't go into the small spaces I needed it to go, so I tried one of the little ones, and that worked gobs better.

This kind!

I really use baking soda and vinegar in almost every household task, from dishes that are super nasty (we all know those sippy cups that have been left in the car for too long get stinky and moldy), to laundry (especially diaper laundry), to mopping and disinfecting.

This is so much more convenient I don't know why anyone would spend tons of money on twenty different potentially harmful products.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

13 months!

My baby is not a baby anymore!

She walks, talks so much she can tell me exactly what she wants, and has made messing up the living room into a science.

Tonight is a rare night I got to myself, so I could clear the living room of toys and baby books, and I miss her so much. It's only been 4 hours but I feel like a part of me is missing.

She took her first steps trying to get to the in-law's dog, Buddy. That whole day she walked like a pro, toddling from JP to me and to her toys. The next morning she realized that she could fall, and since then she only takes a few tentative steps. I think she's getting more used to it though, and hopefully soon she'll be running through the house.

She also talks so much more/so much better! I can ask her where her dinosaur is, and she'll show it to me, but if I ask her if she wants to go see her dinosaur, she'll shake her head no or yes (no for the dinosaur because she's still terrified of it!). She understands the difference between going somewhere and knowing what/where it is.
Pip and Willow frolicking in the leaves. 

She's also said more words! Pip, my grandfather's dog, car, nose, toes. . But mostly, she knows what things are and is practicing how to say them. She know's where her hair/hat, belly, vagina (yes, we're teaching her the actual words for her body parts), fingers, eyes, teeth and tongue are.

She knows when she's making a poopoo (hooray for the first steps towards potty training. . Also, did I mention my baby isn't a baby anymore?!?) and has only peed on my mom's bathroom floor when her diaper was off (twice, so maybe it's because the floor is wood and she can see her pee?).

In other news, she's also developed quite an attitude. I've heard about the terrible two's, but I think they start about now and escalate. She's started yelling "no, no, no!" when she doesn't want to do something or knows she's not supposed to do something. . . Which is weird because we rarely yell at her, unless it's something serious and we need her attention right then. She's stopped whining when she doesn't want to do something or is put into her pack and play or excersauser and started talking angrily. It's adorable for about a second. She also goes limp and lays on the floor when we try to get her to go somewhere. But, all in all, her attitude isn't that bad, and really, what can I expect. . She's my kid!!

She has 7 teeth. Four on the top front, two on the bottom and one molar. It took a few weeks to get used to her having front teeth, but they're adorable and it looks like she'll have a gap in her teeth like I do! (D'awww!)

Edit: Holy god! I forgot to mention that she's sleeping on her own now. Yeah. I finally decided to get it done, so we changed her crib into a toddler bed, put it on bed risers so it was fairly level to our bed (which is on a box spring) and just did it. Obviously, I am against the cry it out method. Not only does it seem heartless, but I must confess that I tried it twice. It was a few months ago and even though I had heard all the bad stuff and really, really didn't agree with it, it was like 4 am and I was at my wits end. But it didn't work. At all.

So, what we did try is I nursed her till she was full, then laid right next to her, but in our bed, and she in her crib. I sang to her, patted her back, let her nurse (while leaning over into her crib) when she was crying harder than I thought was ok and generally comforted her. It took an hour and forty five minutes the first night. An hour and forty five minutes of crying. It was awful. But, I never left her side. I sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Goddamn Star until I honestly didn't even know the meaning of the words anymore. But she fell asleep eventually. The next day it was only about 45 minutes of crying. And now, on a bad night, it'll be 30 minutes of tossing and turning and trying to come into our bed. Usually she tries to make me talk or laugh or distract me. "Mama? Mama? Toes." *Bounces* "Dog." On a good night, she crawls into her crib herself, turns over onto her belly and is out. She actually sleeps better on her own!!!! And so do I!

I'm going to miss sleeping next to her, but it's not that different, because she's only two feet away from me now, and if she or I need cuddles, we have immediate access to them. I don't know if this is considered co sleeping, but it's pretty awesome.

Her sleeping right next to me was awesome in it's own way, but honestly, overall, I don't like co sleeping. (Crunch gasp commence.) Maybe it's because I have a fucked up back but it is uncomfortable and sucks most of the time. But this has all the benefits without being sandwiched between a snoring man and a snoring baby in a full sized bed.

Hanging out at Yiayia's house.

Dogs are still her favorite, and she can identify them, ducks (aka all birds) and cats with ease. She also knows cow, but that one is a little more difficult for her to identify, though she knows the noise they make. We're currently working on elephant, monkey, sheep, and horse.

A picture JP took of us for Sierra DeMulder's upcoming video of one of her poems.
<3 p="p">

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

he's so gay

Ray Boltz, a super, duper popular Christian contemporary music star came out of the closet a few years ago. I only just found out about it because, you know, I don't really follow that scene anymore.

He was one of my favorites as a kid. His lyrics were poetic and usually told a beautiful story. I absolutely loved him. My dad loves him too. Boltz is either his favorite singer, or in the top 2-3.

I hate to admit this, because it's kind of mean-spirited, but goddammit, I'm like a kid at Christmas! I cannot wait to tell him. Why? Because it'll irk him. He may even get rid of his CD's. But most importantly, I'm excited for my dad to think about this. I want to bring up a conversation about it that isn't initiated by him being bigoted and me trying to keep quiet while still defending the LGBT community.

Boltz very much still believes in Jesus. His blog features some of his newer music, very LGBT centered, because he's finally free to admit it, and also because most Christians/Christian radio stations shun him now.

Here's my favorite of his new songs:

I think it is absolutely an amazing story. He was married to his wife for 30 years. They had kids. But he started feeling like he couldn't hide anymore. And now he's a better person. That's really an inspiration to me, especially seeing a Christian be loving, honest and not an asshole.

How will I bring this all up to my dad? I'll probably tell him the news and then ask him to sit down and watch For The Bible Tells Me So, a documentary exploring and challenging fundamentalist Christian's view of homosexuality.

<3 p="p">

Friday, November 9, 2012

and now for our regularly scheduled programming

So, I've had a hard time writing lately because there's so much that I don't feel 100% comfortable sharing on this blog. Not because of my readers, but because of family or acquaintances from my past who may be judgmental or gossipy. I worry a lot about what would happen if someone were to find this blog and tell my parents about it.

I mean, I've told them about it. At some point, before I started sharing personal stuff that went against their beliefs, I even gave my dad the link. But, clueless as he can oftentimes be, he lost it, and my secrets have been safe.

That said, I have relatives who are friends with me on Facebook, and my blog used to feed directly onto my Facebook. My greatest fear is that someone will decide that it's their business to gossip to my parents.

This used to happen to me all the time as a kid. Obviously, it made more sense then. But, if you knew me, it didn't. See, telling my parents just drove me to hide things more. They were the worst people to tell. Now, it really doesn't matter what they know or how they'll react because I can leave. I have a safe place. I should own up to everything I don't want to tell them because it would make me stronger. . 

But I'd rather not. I'm a pussy. I don't want judgement, or tears, or talks, or having to get mad at them, or having to try to reason with them, or getting up and exercising my right to leave. It makes things messy.

I am my mother's lifeline. I hate it. But, I can honestly say that she very well might die with out me. Like, if I were to say, "hey, mom, you kind of fucked my life up a lot and I hate how you excuse it by saying that everyone makes mistakes", and then I left, she'd curl up on the couch and probably never move. I hope I'm exaggerating. I might be making this up. But I have seen her fall apart and I have heard her tell me that I will be the death of her, and that I will cause her heart to stop and her mind to break too many times to dismiss her words. 

So, to recap, I am terrified of my parents finding out about my blog and "you like girls?" "you smoke weed?" "you hate us?". . But, that said, it's really hard for me to not say what's on my heart. And there's a lot on my heart.

This blog is sort of my sounding board. I love it when people read it but I would keep writing if no one saw it but me. This is how I straighten my ideas out. This is how the clusterfuck tumbleweed that is my brain starts unraveling. I get stuck when I can't blog about things. 

So, for my own sort of peace of mind, I'm going to offer a disclaimer here: If you don't want to read about my fuckedupness, leave. If you're related to me, you do not want to be reading this. Why would you even be here in the first place? This is the corner of Bad Childhood and WTF Boulevard. If you decide this makes good gossip and I hear about it, then karma. Don't fuck with it. Also, I might just fucking decide to go all Kali witchy on you and if I do, it will not be pretty. 

I've been debating writing this blog for about a year and a half. Forgive me if I stall or repeat myself.

Lately I've been feeling broken. Abnormal. Even unfixable. I see the world and how it reacts to things and I feel so far removed. I don't/can't enjoy sex. 

Let me pause a moment and elaborate on how fucking embarrassed this makes me feel. As I mentioned, it makes me feel broken, but to make matters worse it's not a normal type of broken. When I was depressed or suicidal or had an eating disorder I guess I subconsciously took some sort of solace in the fact that this was normal. . At least for people my age. It wasn't that wierd. But this is. 

I sat on the exam table at my gynecologist and tried and tried to figure out some way to mention it offhandedly or even grow the balls to mention it straight up, but instead I just made small talk and told her that next time she should take me out to dinner first.

I pride myself in being an open book to pretty much anyone but my parents, people who tell my parents things, and my relatives. Anything. Seriously. Rape? Cutting? The shame I felt while binging? I find that the less secrets I have the less complicated life is. I also find that it opens people up to me and allows them to feel more comfortable asking for help or relating their own horror, or not horror, stories.

But this is haaaaaard. This is the first time I've really had to force myself to share. 

I'm not going to get into the details, because that's fucking weird, but it's forced JP and I to take a step back. Before we even started talking about marriage, we knew that we had backed ourselves up into a corner, and the only steps were to take the exit door or fight the Orc with the bulging forehead veins. So, we're at this point where we're fighting for our relationship. We're either going to fix our problems and start fucking like bunnies and get married, or we're going to take a step back in our relationship, at least for a period of time.

This has caused me a lot of anxiety. I realize that there's really no way out of this. I also realize that it isn't either of our faults. But it breaks my heart because my romantic, air balloon dreams of the pre-engagement, engagement and wedding period of my life have turned into this weird, awkward ultimatum. 

Sometimes I think we're being too intense. I've had people tell me that sex isn't everything, and I wholeheartedly agree! But, promising to be with someone for 80 years without an orgasm is daunting. There are greater women than me out there, obviously, because I couldn't do it. I would try, and I would, but after a few years I would get bitter and frustrated and we'd end up leaving each other anyways. 

We're young. And though we're each others best friends, partners, confidantes, and are always there for each other, there has to be more than that. At least for me. . .

I've struggled a lot about why I don't enjoy sex. I started going back to counseling, and ultimately have been dragging JP with me every week. There has been some talk of going from a regular ole grad-student-in-psych-interning-at-the-local-health-department to a full fledged sex therapist. 

There have been theories tossed around, from plain jane trust issues to remnants of sexual abuse to the weird way my parents raised me and how they completely refused to tell me that humans are sexual beings. Who knows what caused it? All I know it sucks really, really huge balls.

Now, the fact that this makes me feel abnormal and broken does not mean I'm depressed. I mean, yes, I am depressed about this certain topic, but for the first time in my life I am dealing with a major problem and not letting it control my entire view and way of life. 

I am fine. I enjoy life. I'm happy. I laugh, and play with Willow, and absolutely annihilate JP at Mario Kart on the '64. There are nights when I feel really, really sad and really, really broken. But overall, it's just a bump in the road. I finally feel like I know myself well enough that I am confident that I will beat the living shit out of this problem. I've been through worse. 

So, now that that's over, enjoy this not depressing picture:

You're welcome.