April 9, 2011

Bye Bye WordPress!

Posted in Just thinking... at 6:24 PM by Robin

Sorry, WordPress.

It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve changed. I need more.

I was trying to figure out how to break out of the rut we’ve been in for the past few months. I know we’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship, and took a full break for a year or two, but this time, I think this is it.

I’m ready to move on now. I hate to admit it–I know this might hurt–but I’ve decided to start working with your competitor, Blogger. We’ve flirted a little behind your back, and I was always so jealous of how Blogger was treating all my friends, how they were looking so good together, and I finally decided just to take the leap.

Good luck, WordPress. You’ve got a lot going for you. But we’re just not good together anymore.



PS: If any of my four or five faithful followers wishes to check out the new look or keep on following me, you can find the new and improved Robin’s Song at robinbl.blogspot.com. Please change your bookmarks accordingly!


May 18, 2009

Where Did It Go?

Posted in Days of my life, Just thinking... at 9:27 AM by Robin

Things I can never find at my house, no matter how many of them I buy (unless I don’t need them. Then they are always lying around in annoying places):

Nail clippers


Kids’ shoes


Hair brushes

Girl’s hair clippie things in the appropriate matching color


Pens or pencils

Do you think there is a monster living in my house that eats these things?

April 23, 2009

Uglification Update

Posted in Days of my life, Girl Stuff, Just thinking... at 4:02 PM by Robin

Just in case any of you have been staying up nights, concerned about my self esteem levels since you read this post, I just want to assure you all that things are looking up.  My skin has finally decided to clear up (what did I tell you, four months later…), and I’ve been sleeping better, so my dark eye circles are diminished.  I’ve been going to the gym, although not as regularly as I’d like, and I’m down about six or seven pounds, which is not a whole lot, but is better than not losing six or seven pounds. (I actually got down to ten pounds when I was sick, but unfortunately, that’s never permanent.)

My hair is growing out of it’s terrible short do, and can actually be called curly again.  The baby fringe has gotten down to about the top of my ears now, which is long enough that it looks more like curls than a head full of cowlicks.  It also gives me a lot of body. Maybe a little too much body, especially on rainy days.  I kind of look like a poodle then.  But hey, that’s a lifelong battle. I also  just found a couple of cute blouses at Old Navy, and I’m feeling good!  Just wanted to let you all know!

March 15, 2009

The Big Bad Word

Posted in Days of my life, Deep thoughts, Family life, Just thinking..., Mormon life, Parenting tagged , , , , , , at 9:38 PM by Robin


An argument between Lily and Brianna yesterday over computer rights ended with a very distraught Lily pulling on Bri’s hair and saying,” Get out of that chair, you…you b@#$%! (expletive rhyming with a popular Halloween costume.)”  Andrew and I were both standing right there, and instantly we both looked at each other in surprise.

“Did she just say what I think she just said?” we asked each other almost at the same time. Yes, friends, our darling, sweet, innocent little four-year-old girl, had just mouthed a common obscenity.  Now, being a product of our somewhat liberal generation, I suppose, rather than being shocked and outraged, we both had a hard time not bursting out into laughter.  Not that we are trying to encourage our daughter to have a foul mouth, but it just sounds insanely funny to hear a little girl trying out her first swear word.  You could tell she knew that it was a bad name, but I’m sure she didn’t think it any worse than calling her sister an idiot or stupidhead or any of the other charming names my children like to call each other.

Of course, we immediately took her aside and told her that particular word was not a good thing to say and that she shouldn’t say it anymore.  We didn’t punish her or anything, because the concept of swear words is itself a new one for her.  I mean, this is my third verbal child and I know by now that they are just little parrots at this age. If my nine-year-old started spitting out obscenities, there would be a bit more a punishment involved, as he knows full well what words he isn’t supposed to say. My two older kids have of course said swear words before, but I really don’t remember either of them using one in context in that way (although I do remember babysitting one of the girls from my ward when she was about four and she went around the house one day for about two hours straight saying, “Damn you! Damn you!” over and over again. Another time I had a hard time not laughing).

The thing that is troubling about this incident, of course, is trying to figure out where Lily heard that word.  Andrew and I never swear in normal conversation, although a mild expletive has been known to escape both of our lips on rare occasions when we are frustrated.  But neither of us ever uses that word in that way.  I didn’t think we were letting Lily watch any adult shows that included such language, but it’s almost certain that she heard it from some TV show or movie at some time (unless her preschool teacher has a really nasty mouth).  I mention this incident not because I am worried about my children being verbally corrupted by watching TV, as I believe that they learn appropriate language from their parents’ example more than any other source, and even then, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t think swearing is really high on the list of terrible sins, but because it really reminds me how even the most careful parent can’t completely protect their children from all negative wordly experiences.  It’s a little bit scary.

So, what it is a good parent to do?  Obviously, we can’t raise our children in a bubble. They will be exposed to negative influences, sooner or later, and inappropriate language is definitely not the worst of that sort of thing.  It c-young-soldiermakes me think that the best we can do is really teach and prepare our children to face the evils of the world.  Ignorance will not serve them well in the battle ahead.  If you are in a battle, you try to educate your soldiers about the enemy’s tactics and strategies.  Your armor is built to withstand the specific weapons of your opponent.  In the same way, as we put on the armor of God, we should educate our children about the most vulnerable areas that Satan will be aiming for, and how best to deflect those blows. We have to start young, because the enemy starts young.  It’s sad, but it’s true.

I wish I could raise my children in perfect innocence and not open their eyes to the evils of the world until they are more mature.  However, I don’t think this world will allow me that chance.  I am not afraid for them and the future they will face, but I do plan on preparing them and strengthening them for the battle ahead.   My kids are going to hear swear words, whether I want them to or not.  But I as a parent am the stronger influence on them, and my teachings and example are more likely to be what determines whether they will choose to follow the ways of the world or to rise above it.

March 6, 2009

The Things That Scare Us Most

Posted in Artsy Stuff, Days of my life, Deep thoughts, Just thinking..., Parenting, Something exciting! tagged , , , , , , , at 12:35 PM by Robin


As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, in a brazen fit of ambition, I have decided that I am going to write a short story.  Since that first post, I have actually managed to sit down on two separate occasions and begin fleshing out the little idea in my head, turning vague concepts into characters, researching a few things on the internet that reinforced the idea for inspiration, and have gotten to the point where I actually saw the opening scene of my story unfold in my head as if I were watching it on film.  I have written three pages.  It doesn’t seem like a lot, but that’s three more pages of fiction than I have written in twelve years, so I guess I’m off to a good start.

The main obstacle I find myself facing is my own criticism.  I hold pretty high standards for the books that I read. I expect not only a certain level of literary fluency from the authors I enjoy–an ability to describe images, events, and dialogue in a way that you actually forget that your eyes are looking at words on a page and instead, feel like you are “watching a TV in your head”, as Parley put it–but also a bit of meaning, some sort of insight into human nature, or at the very least, something about the characters or story line that I can relate to, that I can see myself in.  It is very hard to write something knowing that what I write might not meet those standards.  I know, I shouldn’t expect to be brilliant at something the first time I try it.  You can’t expect to play “Flight of the Bumblebee” the first time you pick up a violin.  The hurdle is in getting yourself to press forward and do it anyway, even if your first attempt, and even your second or third, totally sucks.

I’ve found that I have this problem in quite a few other parts of my life. I’m pretty adventurous and am always up for trying something new.  But I find that those things that I am most interested in doing, my real dreams, I tend to shy away from. Not because I am scared of the thing itself, but because I am afraid of not being good at it.

For instance, I have always wanted to learn how to paint.  Ever since I took my first “real” art class in seventh grade and learned there was more to artistic expression than crayons, markers, and construction paper, I have longed to be able to use those oil paints and water colors to create something beautiful. When I was in high school, I worked at a hobby and craft store, andpaint there became acquainted with the tools of the trade–cadmium blues and sulfur yellows, different textures of paper and canvas, gesso and turpentine and about a million different kinds of brushes, natural and synthetic.  They all fascinated me, but with no training, they also scared the heck out of me.  I knew I would never be able to do anything right without someone to tell me what everything was for, and since the supplies were so expensive I didn’t want to buy them and just fool around on my own.

After that, in college, even though I had chosen an English major, I could still choose a certain number of electives.  My eyes always lingered on the art classes, but there was always a materials fee that seemed too high for my student budget to do just for fun, and so I never took the opportunity.  I’m really kicking myself now.  It would have been worth the $150 or whatever it was.  I mean, it wasn’t like I was paying for tuition or anything! (Seriously, I had two scholarships. )

Anyway, my point is, that I long to take painting lessons now, and yet I’m scared to death to do it in case I’m not very good at it.  Because I’m scared, I use money or lack of child care at the appropriate time as an excuse to avoid having to put myself to the test. I’ll admit, I’ve found that I do this in many areas of my life. The things that I want most are the things that scare me the most.

So, how do we get past this excuse-making and get to the point where we can take that leap to pursue our dreams?  I think the key is having someone who not only says, “I know you can do this,” but who is also willing to give you a kick in the pants and say, “Just do it, already!”  Someone, like the mother bird, who will push us out of our comfort zone in the nest and force us to try out our wings.  We have to stop making excuses and confront our fear of failure.

Most importantly, especially as mothers, we have to remind ourselves that following our dreams is a worthwhile endeavour, and give ourselves permission to do things that may not be practical or essential to our family’s well-being, but will stimulate us personally and allow for our own individual growth and happiness.  I think, sometimes, it is very hard for a stay-at-home mom to separate herself from her home and her role as mother, wife and housekeeper, especially if she’s been doing it and nothing else for several years.  I think that we have a hard time allowing ourselves to have outside interests that take us away from our family for any length of time.  We get out of the habit of doing things just for ourselves.

So, despite my fear that the story I’m writing is a total crock of …ahem… not very good…I am forcing myself to write it.  I am trying to consider it an assignment, like a school project, that I have to get finished.  I’ll do my best, but I’ll try not to worry about what other people will think of it until it’s actually all done.  I have to remember that while making excuses prevents me from failing, it also prevents me from excelling.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.  Do you feel this way?  Do you put off your dreams?  What helps you to overcome your fears?  Thanks!


February 20, 2009

The Nature of Confidence

Posted in Artsy Stuff, Books, Deep thoughts, Just thinking... at 12:08 PM by Robin

Here’s a little deep thinking for you all today…

I’m afraid I’ve gotten caught up in the whole American Idol thing again.  At the beginning of every season, I tell myself that I’m not going to watch it this time, that I’m going to hold myself aloof.  Or at the very least, I’ll wait until they narrow it down to the top twelve before I’ll watchdanny-gokey, or develop a favorite.  And then I violate all my principles and watch all the garbagey audition stuff anyway, although thanks to the magic of the DVR, I do skip through an awful lot of it (2 hour program seen in 45 minutes).  Like I said, I try not to develop a favorite this early, mostly because they really don’t show you all the contestants at first, but I have to admit, I’m really pulling for this Danny Gokey guy. I know, I know, it’s all about the emotional backstory the producers have been pushing–how his wife died four weeks before the audition, how he and his best friend tried out together and nearly made it all the way together.  I fell for it.  But, seriously, he seems like a really cool guy.  I mean I don’t necessarily think he’s incredibly good looking, but check out this picture, and just tell me that those eyes don’t make you melt!  I’m not going gaga over him, but I would introduce him to my single sister, if I knew him!

Anyway, one thing that always kind of bugs me on this show is how they’re always asking people “Are you the next American Idol?”  They love it when people get up there and go on and on about how good they are and how they know this is “their time”.  This is their dream, and we are somehow obligated to let them achieve it.  Usually, we find that those who are most vocal about their abilities don’t have the talent they think they do.  Other times, the judges berate some contestants for their lack of confidence on stage.  Even if they’ve got a great voice, if they don’t have an  interesting stage presence, they don’t cut it as a performer. There is a balance these Idol hopefuls have to find between having the right amount confidence in themselves and their ability to give a good performance, and having that confidence be misplaced, or turned to arrogance.

Now, if you know me, you know I am not the sort of person who will get up and demand the spotlight.  I’m also not the sort of person who will freak out or withdraw in embarssment if the spotlight happens to fall on me.  While there’s no way I would ever try out for a TV talent show (believe me, I know limitations), there are certain areas in which I feel a sort of confidence, a kind of internal swagger, about the quality of my performance.  Writing, for instance.  Writing comes to me very naturally.  I feel like I can express myself in writing as well as, if not better–okay, usually better–in writing than I can speaking in person.  I can analyze literature, write a satiric commentary on motherhood, compose a persuasive essay stating my thesis and supportive arguments in a logical progression, or express my views on LDS doctrine in a clear and interesting manner.  I feel very confident in my writing abilities in this area.

On the other hand, I admit, I have a fear of writing fiction.  It’s true!  While I wrote quite a few articles for the Friend during my internship, even the stories were based on something sent into the magazine by someone–the “true story” they always tell you their stuff is based on. They would send in a letter saying, “I know someone who had this cool thing happen to them,” or “my daughter had this learning experience.” I would then turn their brief relation of the episode into a full story, adding details and dialogue.  However, I haven’t done any really true all-on-my-own creative fiction writing since high school.

You see, fiction is hard!  You have to not only come up with a plot, but you have to come up with characters, and then you have to figure out what kind of setting they’re in (which, if you like fantasy, like me, is kind of a big deal, because you have to figure out things like magical rules, structure of government, relationships between different countries, racial tensions between different mythological beings, etc).  Then, you have to figure out what style your prose is going to be: simple and straightforward?  Or poetical and descriptive?  How do you use setting to influence the mood of the piece or the way characters relate to each other? 

You see?  Writing fiction is HARD!  Writing like I do when I’m blogging is easy because I just write what I think, and that doesn’t take too much planning.  I have a great deal of confidence in myself as an editor, as well, in my ability to work with someone else’s writing and help them turn their ideas into a more readable, more interesting piece of work.  What I lack confidence in is my own ability to be creative.  Whenever I come up with an idea, I’m too afraid to follow through on that idea and turn it into a real story.  I second guess myself too much.  The funny thing is, I still have this internal sense that I know I could write something good, if I could only get over my insecurities and just DO IT.

So I’ve got an idea I’m working on…We’ll have to see if I can get past the first page this time.  Finding occasion to write is difficult with small children around the house, of course, but I think I want to do it, just so I can prove to myself that I can. That doesn’t mean I’ll let any of you read it, though, so don’t hold your breath!

February 3, 2009

More Stuff About (Who Else?) Me!

Posted in Days of my life, Just thinking... at 2:37 PM by Robin

I just spent half the morning writing up this essay on my life in response to several tags on Facebook (One person gets it started, and then everybody tags you.  It’s like playing tag with twenty “its”).  The request was for “25 Random Things About Me”. So for those of you who didn’t get enough information on me the last time I responded to a tag, here’s the full text, as per Shannon’s request. I think there is some repetition from my “quirky things” blog, but hey, there’s only so much interesting information about myself I can come up with!

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tag anybody else! (At least, not on this blog!)

1) I am a compulsive comparison shopper. I don’t buy any big ticket item without researching all available alternatives, reading every review ever written on it, and searching every major retail outlet’s prices for it.
2) I love to read, but I never buy books, partly because of the cost, but mostly because I just don’t have room to store all the books I, my husband, and all my children read in my house! The library is my best friend. One that I have to pay off every so often, but a good friend, nonetheless.
3) I love learning about new things. If I could, I would go back to college and audit two or three classes a semester just for fun. I would love to learn more about architecture, music theory, Chinese history, genetics, psychology, archaeology, and plate tectonics, among other things.
4) I am a dedicated fantasy novel reader. Sure, I’ll read other stuff from time to time, mysteries and biographies, some chick lit or whatever, but nothing gets me as excited as a good adventure involving magic and/or some sort of mythological creature.
5) When I first started my college education, I debated between choosing to follow a major that developed my skills in writing or my skills in art. My heart leaned toward art, but my head decided that writing would be a much more marketable skill to develop. So, I went with an English major, which I enjoyed quite a bit, but I really wish I had taken more art classes instead of completely abandoning it altogether.
6) The book I am currently reading is called “The Magicians and Mrs. Quent.” It’s set in a world similar to Jane Austen’s England in style. It’s a little bit Pride and Prejudice, a little bit Turn of the Screw, a little bit Jane Eyre, mixed together with werewolves, witches, and trees that come to life and kill people. Gotta love it.
7) I am a stay-at-home mom of four kids. But I have to admit that I don’t love being a stay-at-home mom. I do it because I chose to have children and I take upon myself the responsiblity to care for my own children. I love them, and I want to be the one to raise them and be with them on a daily basis. However, this is something of a sacrifice for me. I get tired of the isolation, the routine, the tantrums and messes. I miss learning and progressing, having an assignment and doing well on it, and talking to adults on a daily basis.
8) I have a birthmark with a mole in the middle of it on my left arm that looks like a fried egg.
9) As soon as my kids are in school full-time, I plan on going back to school. I already have a Bachelor’s degree in English, and I originally planned to go into book publishing and be an editor, but in the twelve years since I graduated from college with that goal, I have changed my mind about my desired career path. I worked as managing editor on a sci-fi/fantasy magazine staff at BYU, and as an intern at The Friend magazine, and my experience with both of those has made me realize that a) I’m a good writer, but not a good fiction writer, and b) I don’t want to spend my life working on somebody else’s writing. With ten years to think about it, I realized the things that made me happiest were working with my hands on something artistic. I spent several months figuring out how I could make money on that (artists aren’t notorious for earning much) and finally decided on going into interior design. I have absolutely no training in it (besides watching HGTV), and so I will have to start from scratch if I plan on earning a degree in it. It will be weird getting a second Bachelor’s, but hopefully they will at least let me skip Freshman English.
10) I never used to lose my temper until I had kids.
11) I am introvert, although I can hide it pretty well if needed. Having married an extreme extrovert, I find myself pulled into a lot of large social situations I would probably rather not be in. I’ve found if I can plant myself in a chair and find one or two people to chat with, I can get through it. But I never could “work the room” like my husband does. Although I can handle social situations, I usually feel exhausted and out of sorts afterward. Ironically, however, I have no problem with public speaking, or teaching a class, and actually kind of get a thrill from it. Go figure.
12) I love the theatre. In seventh grade, my career goal was to be an actress. However, I have only done a very small amount acting, mainly because I never felt that I had the looks or the singing voice to get away with it. Someday, though, I would like to be in a real play. Maybe when I’m old enough to play the “character” roles.
13) I married an actor. Fortunately, he only does a play every few years, since it’s so time consuming.
14) I love music, but I hardly ever listen to it anymore. However, I plan to get an MP3 player for my birthday, so hopefully I can start listening to music again.
15) I know how to play the piano and the violin, but I hardly ever do anymore. I would love to take lessons in one or the other some time and really make them a part of my life again.
16) I taught piano lessons for six or seven years, up until about a year ago, when I found I just couldn’t balance taking care of four kids and teaching a lesson at the same time. I am trying to teach my two oldest kids, but I get a lot of resistance and only manage to give them a lesson every three weeks or so.
17) I have been overweight most of my life, with the exception of my college years, when I lost about forty pounds due to ballroom dance, fencing classes, and not having a car. However, after eleven years and four kids, I have gained back all of it and quite a bit more.
18) Despite that fact, I actually really enjoy exercising and like to lift weights at the gym. Due to my husband’s work/play/bishopric schedule, plus a lack of available/child care, I have been unable to get regular exercise for the past two years or so, and my figure reflects that. Fortunately, they just opened a 24-hr gym close to our house, which I just joined a couple of weeks ago, and have been really enjoying it. They gave me six free hour-long sessions with a personal trainer as a sign-up bonus, so I hope to start slimming up a bit here. I’m down by two pounds from my previous low, so I guess that’s a start!
19) Despite very good intentions, I am not very good at gardening. I am a floral serial killer.
20) I have a passport, but I have never used it. I got it right before a cruise we were going to go on a couple of years ago. However, it was right when they changed the requirements so that everyone had to have a passport to go to Mexico and Canada, and they got way backlogged and my passport didn’t come in time. Fortunately, they were still in transition, so they let me use my birth certificate and photo ID instead. My passport came two weeks after we got back.
21) I have become something of a chocolate snob. I try not to eat cheap chocolate, like Hershey’s kisses or the cheap Easter bunnies, just because they’re chocolate. Instead, I try to limit myself to eating only chocolate that is a true indulgence. My favorites: Dove chocolate (both milk and dark) and Sees candies. Mmmmm….I don’t know if I end up saving calories, or just spending more money.
22) Despite having been a mother for almost ten years now, I have never had a calling in the Primary, Nursery, or Young Women’s. Well, okay, technically, I guess I do have a Primary calling now, since I am in charge of the Activity Day’s girls (first nine-year-olds, now eleven-year-olds), but I only have to do activities twice a month, not teach a class or go to Opening Exercises, so it doesn’t really feel like a Primary calling. I’ve mostly had music-related callings (choir director, pianst, singing leader) and Relief Society callings.
23) I am a wimp when it comes to the cold. I can handle it if I’m bundled up head to toe in the appropriate gear, but otherwise, I hate being out in cold weather.
24) I like to cook, and am always looking for new and different recipes. I just wish I didn’t have to cook EVERY day, and that my kids were as adventurous in their eating as I am in my cooking!
25) I can’t imagine anyone better to spend the rest of my life with than my husband, Andrew. Despite our ups and downs, and many differences, he is my best friend and I love him lots!

Not the best picture of me, but not the worst either!

Not the best picture of me, but not the worst either!

December 14, 2008

My Christmas List

Posted in Just thinking..., Something exciting! tagged , , , , , , at 4:28 PM by Robin


Dear Santa,

 First of all, I’m sorry for not writing to you for all these years.  I hope you’re not offended, but once you get to be a mom, you really do come to understand that Christmas is more about giving than about receiving.  I’ve been much more concerned about what my kids want (and what I want them to want) than about what I want for Christmas.  And although I haven’t had a delivery from you in quite a few years, I want you to know that thanks to my generous parents and in-laws, my Christmases have not suffered from lack of incoming goods, although often in the form of direct financial donations. 

But you see, that’s kind of what I wanted to talk to you about, Santa.  You see, I pretty much know what I’m getting for Christmas weeks before Christmas morning arrives.  I would say that I personally select and purchase probably 90% of my own Christmas presents.  And while that has the definite benefit of getting exactly what I want, I find myself really missing the anticipation and excitement of not knowing what is in the wrapped boxes with my name on them under the tree.  

I know, I know, it’s hard to shop for presents for our friends and family members, especially if it’s an in-law whose name you’ve drawn that you don’t know very well.  Very often, we spend a lot of time coming up with what we think is the perfect gift, only to have it be a complete dud on Christmas morning.  This is why gift cards are so popular these days, and why our parents like to just give us a nice envelope stuffed with a check for our Christmas present.  It’s a lot easier all around; nobody stresses, and everybody gets what they want.  But don’t you think that you lose out on a lot of the fun of Christmas that way?

Well, Santa, I’ve figured out a solution to this problem.  Adults need to write Christmas lists. I know this is kind of frowned upon in society. Kids can draw up a list that goes on longer than Harry Potter #5 and everyone just chuckles and grins at their unbridled avarice, but if someone over the age of 18 has an itemized list for you to shop from, they are greedy, unsophisticated, and lack fundamental people skills.  Also, there’s not really much fun in telling someone to go out and buy you a specific item and it’s size and color.  There’s no anticipation, no surprise, no excitement when you already know what’s hiding under the wrapping paper.  You might as well have bought it yourself. 

But… if you give someone some several options to choose from, any of which would make you deliriously happy, you can’t go wrong!  Right?  See, most kids don’t actually expect to get every little thing they put down on those lists.  They’d probably be happy with that ONE thing they REALLY want, and maybe one or two others, and then the rest of the presents under the tree are fairly negotiable.  I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be acceptable for grown-ups to do this as well.  And so, dear Santa, I would like to humbly request the following things for Christmas this year.

*The Josh Groban Christmas CD

*New CLOSED-TOE church shoes, in either black or brown. (Had to go to church today wearing sandal-type shoes in the snow.  Brrrr….)

*One or two SMALL casserole dishes with lids that can fit in the microwave but are nice-looking enough to serve at the table.

*Any of those fancy scented candles, lotions or handsoaps that I love but can never justify spending money on.

*A gift certificate of at least $30 to spend on home decor of my choosing.

*New sheets for my bed.

*New furniture for my entire house.

*While I’m asking…how about a new house?  You don’t have to wrap that for me on Christmas morning, I’d just like to get it sometime before next Christmas, OK?

Of course, posting this list now doesn’t do me any good, Santa, since I have already bought the gifts for myself that my mother-in-law is giving me, and I pretty much told Andrew exactly what to get me at JC Penney, how much it was, where it was located at the store, and gave him a coupon for it, and all of our sibling gift exchanges are white elephants this year.  But I still hope that somehow there will be at least a little surprise at Christmas for me this year, and that’s why I’m writing you, Santa.  I know I’m a bit old for it, but just in case, I’ll leave a few extra cookies out on the table this Christmas Eve.   Thank you in advance!



December 11, 2008

The Uglies

Posted in Beauty, Days of my life, Girl Stuff, Just thinking... tagged , , , , , at 11:34 AM by Robin


Boy, have I got ’em bad.  The evil One-Year-Postpartum Uglies.  The signs are all there.  The ridiculously frizzy can’t-do-anything-with-it-unless-you-completely-iron-it-into-submission hair.  The acne that is ten times worse than anything I had as a teenager (OK, so I was a fairly lucky teenager).  The extra weight that will not budge so much as a centimeter.  The dark circles under the eyes.  The pasty skin that I swear does not match any shade of foundation ever invented.  Please, please, PLEASE, do NOT, under any circumstances, point a camera anywhere near me right now!

I would be completely and utterly depressed right now if I didn’t know that this is really a continuation of the whole motherhood-makes-you-ugly trend that begins with pregnancy.  This descent into bitter unattractiveness has occurred to me after each and every one of my four children, creeping up on me a full year after giving birth.  Since it usually happened around the time I weaned my other children, I used to attribute it to hormonal changes from stopping breastfeeding.  However, this time, I am at a loss to explain it, since I stopped nursing like nine months ago.  And yet, here I am, fourteen months postpartum, completely uglified.

I can comfort myself with the knowledge gained from experience, however, that the whole situation is somewhat temporary.  It seems like when I’d suffered through the uglies for three or four months and was just on the verge of sending out for my free sample of ProActive, things began to get better.  My skin would finally clear up, making zits once more a semi-annual occurrence, my postpartum fringe would finally grow out enough that my hair would actually lay flat without the persuasion of a flat-iron, and I would get so absolutely disgusted with myself (and sick of being home all the time) that I would finally sign up for the gym and manage to become only marginally instead of morbidly obese.  Unfortunately, the signs are indicating that my eventual recuperation from this terrible onslaught will not occur for several more weeks.  In the meantime, there’s nothing more fun than going to millions of parties looking like something the cat dragged in (I can vouch from personal experience that that is not a pretty sight).  So, Happy Holidays, everybody.  If you want me, I’ll be hiding behind the Christmas tree.

December 5, 2008

Chick Lit

Posted in Books, Girl Stuff, Just thinking... tagged , , , , at 9:45 AM by Robin


friday 5 december

Have just started reading Bridget Jones’ Diary, thanks to suggestion (and loaning of book) by sister-in-law Liz.  Can no longer think or write in complete sentences. Adding that extra first person pronoun wastes far too much time.

Am depressed that Bridget, who is supposed to be charmingly plump, only weighs 131 at her highest point.  Can’t remember ever weighing 130 lbs in entire life.  I think I was born weighing 150.  Poor mum. (Adoption of British terminology to match imitation of Jones’ writing style).  Am even more depressed that Renee Zellweger had to gain something like 30 pounds in order to play Bridget Jones at her scale-topping weight of 130 lbs.

Am glad I am LDS and can therefore not have to worry about additional vices of cigarette and alcohol consumption in addition to calorie consumption. 

Laugh that sister-in-law gave me book with swear words in it.  But come on, don’t they sound a lot less offensive when it’s British people saying it?  Like how “bloody” to them is really offensive and to us it just sounds charmingly British? (sorry, any British readers I may have collected)  Which reminds me of the time I happened upon an Irish blog in which the f-word was used profusely, but they actually spelled it every time “-ook”, or “-ooking”, which made me laugh a lot, and also think about the arbitrary nature of swear words.

Think to self, must really finish silly chick lit book and get around to reading serious literary stuff for Book Club.  If I can remember what it is I’m supposed to read.  Because I never write things down.  And then I have to ask my neighbor what the name of the book was.  Think it was french. Or was that the book they suggested reading, but didn’t officially assign?  Can’t remember.  Oh well.

In other news: Christmas shopping 85% accomlished.  So far, so good.  Now I need to clean my house for when my mother-in-law babysits tonight.  Difficult task as 1-yr-old is running from room to room systematically emptying every single cupboard, drawer, and bookshelf within his reach.  Christmas tree ornaments have been migrating higher and higher every day.  Actually not that bad, since I threw out all the ugly old plastic ornaments and now have just enough nice new ornaments that I bought on clearance last year to decorate upper half of Christmas tree most abundantly.  Would look awfully sparse if we had to decorate the whole tree, though.

Must go rescue my can opener now.  Ta!

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