Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

There is no such thing as natural beauty*

I have always loved makeup.  When we were little, my sister and I of course did the Bonnie Bell lipsmacker route, but we were not allowed to really wear makeup until we were in junior high. At which point, the sky was the limit, meaning that I layered blue eye shadow with blue eyeliner and blue mascara. (Don't judge, it was the 80s.) (Although come to think of it, I would wear blue mascara today.) For years, I wore a full face of makeup every day to school, up to and including lip liner. (Don't judge, by that point, it was the 90s.)(That I would not do today - if you knew me in real life, you know my lips are big enough - they don't need any more outlining.)

It helped that one of my closest friends in high school worked at a local MAC counter. She was often bored when working weekday shifts so I would go over and have her give me a makeover just so that she would look busy. I of course would then want to buy something so her manager wouldn't take me for a plant. For a while, MAC had this deal where if you turned in 10 used lipstick containers for recycling, they would give you a free one. I never had trouble coming up with 10 lipsticks.

When I moved to DC, the much more humid climate meant that I had to change some aspects of my makeup but I still wore it all the time.  What can I say, I'm one of those people who needs it to look alert and healthy. When I don't, even strangers will sympathetically comment to me that I must not have gotten a lot of sleep the night before. 

So no surprise that my daughter knows about my makeup routine: take a shower, then get dressed and do makeup. She still is in a major mama phase where she wants to sit with me any time I am sitting down (except for on the toilet, and knock wood that that never changes), so she sits in my lap and dabs herself with brushes and chews on compacts while I get ready.  I enjoy it and it keeps her happy and quiet - the latter of which is the end goal of any parent to a toddler.

It has gotten to the point where when I announce that I'm going to take a shower, she starts chanting, "Bake-up! Bake-up! BAKE-UUUUUUUP" and doesn't let up until it is indeed time to put on makeup.  No big.  Even on the weekends, when I would pre-kid go make-up free, she wants to do it, so I oblige her.

What I take umbrage at is when I get makeup suggestions from her. Yesterday, we were running late for her playgroup, so I didn't have time to shower or put on makeup.  On the way home from playgroup, we were waiting in the metro and she looked at me and asked very hopefully, "Bake-up?"  Everyone's a critic these days.

* I finally saw the Lifetime version of "Steel Magnolias."  I have thoughts about how they redid it, not all complementary. But at least they kept in most of the good lines from the original.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In my defense, you can't do that in the States

I am in Tokyo this week for work. When I checked into the hotel last night, my room was stifling hot, so I asked the hotel employee* who insisted on walking my bag up with me how to turn on the a/c.  She informed me that it's winter and so heat is the only option.  I just stared at her in angry silence. Then she added, "You can open the window if you want."  Dumb-ass was not said but it was certainly implied.  This is the second time that this has happened to me - the first time was in Geneva.  I always try to laugh it off, hahaha, in America we can't open hotel windows, but the hotel employees always seem not to be buying it. 

* The employee spoke excellent English. I asked her where she'd learned it.  She said North Carolina. When asked what she thought about it, she paused and said, "It's very green." Word. 

Sunday, February 02, 2014


So I was taking La Principessa and our dog Che for a walk today. Of course, we brought one of her beloved Wubanubs with us*, and of course, she decided to toss it out of her stroller at a time where the stroller wheel would then roll over it. It was right before we were going to cross the street, so I stopped short to pick up the Wubanub.  As always, ** I sucked on it to clean it off, except this time, I puckered up. The stroller wheel had picked up salt from the streets and imparted it to the pacifier.  Even I didn't like the idea of La Principessa imbibing that so I licked the pacifier thoroughly clean before getting ready to move on. It was then that I looked up and saw that there had been a car waiting for us to cross the street and its driver had sat there and watched the whole thing, no doubt stunned by the klassiness of it all.

* Have I ranted here before about sensational Wubanubs are?  My god.  Changed our lives.  They're soothie pacifiers attached to stuffed animals, which means that they are easier for the kiddos to hold onto and hard to lose.  We bought one on a whim and then immediately bought two more so we'd always have one close in hand.

** I always think of a woman I met at a BBQ when La Principessa was maybe seven months old. This woman was a few months pregnant and asked me a lot of questions about having a baby. The one thing that completely grossed her out was how I told her that we just pick up the baby's pacifiers and suck them clean instead of washing them. She was worried about getting germs. HAHAHAHA boy I think of her often and hope that her awakening wasn't too rude.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Hitting the reset button

Saturday night, I went out with some friends for a few drinks and because of the thoughtful, loving wife that I am, I brought home some deep-fried snacks for The Texan.  He was very appreciative, until about 2am that night, when he got very, very sick from them. Well, live and learn, we thought. I let the restaurant know the next day and tried to make it up to The Texan by helping him rehydrate.

However, Monday night, I got sick, and we probably couldn't blame the restaurant food for that. Then Tuesday night, La Principessa got sick, and we definitely couldn't blame the restaurant food for that. 

We are all slowly recovering at various speeds, but are all still quite under the weather. That's particularly fun when it's in the teens out and the howling winds bring the windchill to the minus side.  Universe, I'd like an option to start 2014 over, please. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snow dog

Our dog, Che, is an Australian cattle dog mix, which is another way to say we have no clue what he is. But he was found in the rural countryside outside of San Antonio, so it's a pretty good guess that his background included working dogs of a sort.  He is a sweet and smart dog and, I don't mean to brag or anything, but he is pretty enough that the paper *did* put his picture up on their homepage after a big snowstorm a few years back (when people were no doubt filling their in-box with pictures of their dogs in the snow).

In the neighborhood where we live, people don't know what to make of him, as there are mostly pit bull mixes around here.  People who don't know dogs think he is a wolf. Yes, an honest to god wolf. Because so many of them have been domesticized into pets.  People who do know dogs usually guess Husky. That has always made the Texan and me roll our eyes because if you put him up against an actual Husky, he looks nothing like one. They're bigger, fluffier, and have different coloring.

And yet. Lately, he has turned into a real cold weather dog. He will go outside and sit for hours in our yard, just soaking up the cold air, even though he is getting old enough that he will have to pay the price for stiff limbs later on.  It's 26 degrees on our front porch with a windchill of who knows what, and I had to force him to come in just now. Maybe the Husky enthusiasts were onto something after all. Or maybe Che is just that ready to get a break from La Principessa.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

To Scorpios everywhere

Happy birthday! You share your sign with both the Texan and La Principessa.*

Today is La Principessa's 1st birthday and Monday was the Texan's *cough*.  People were asking me if I was going to organize a party for the baby. My thinking is that the 1st birthday is really for the parents and we already were planning on celebrating for the Texan's.**  I did want to have the stereotypical picture of La Principessa wearing a birthday hat and staring confusedly at a cupcake with a candle in it. So after work today, I got some cupcakes and then went to the good CVS by us to grab the rest of what we needed. Their birthday section was decimated. Weird, I thought, so I went to the crap Rite Aid by us. Nope, they were out too. So was the good Safeway and the CVS across the street from it.  Apparently every Scorpio in DC bought birthday hats to celebrate.  So instead, we put a pirate hat on her - which she hated - and dipped some frosting in her mouth - which she LOVED.  At least we got something right!

* I know, having two Scorpios in the house.  We were half-joking when my water broke that all I needed to do was hang on until I reached 32 weeks - that would have gotten us safely to Sagittarius.  Alas, no luck.  As it is, they totally feed off each other. If one is in a good mood, so is the other, which is nice. If one is in a bad mood, though, look out. 

** I picked a restaurant whose happy hour I thought ran from 5-7, so our friends could meet up with us for cheap drinks before our dinner at a South American steakhouse.  Instead, the happy hour ran until 6, at which point the price of our margaritas all doubled. Do I know how to pick them. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

International Preemie Day

Nov. 17, FYI.  Mark your calendars. The only reason why I know this is because my water broke on that day. As I was being wheeled into Georgetown's Labor and Delivery ward, that sign caught my eye. It seemed rather appropriate, since I was 31 weeks pregnant on the nose that day.

For reasons too boring to go into, my doctor was worried that I would give birth early. So starting at 20 weeks, I had weekly transvaginal ultrasounds to keep an eye on things. And yes, they are just as much fun as you might imagine. I learned that the technician can make or break the experience. 

At 23.5 weeks, it started to look like things were going to start moving along despite the calendar, so I underwent an emergency surgery to try to close everything up to buy some time. I didn't go on bed rest, but I was on a greatly reduced schedule, meaning I could get up to go to work but otherwise was not to do anything that involved staying on my feet, including walking the dog.  Plus I got weekly hormone shots to try and slow things down as well.  Pregnancy is fun!

At my last ultrasound, the technician told me that she thought I was going to make it all the way through and that maybe I'm just one of those people who just teeter on the edge of an early delivery the whole pregnancy. That was Thursday, Nov. 15.  On Friday, Nov. 16, I had my weekly check-in with my OB. She told me that she thought I was going to make it as well. We both should have knocked wood.

Sat., Nov. 17, I had planned a birthday party for the Texan. However, I woke up at 4:45 am with fluid coming out of me. I was 90% asleep and 100% confused, but the Texan immediately knew what it was: my water breaking. I called my doctor and she confirmed it, and sent me on to Georgetown. 

Pro tip: just because your water breaks, contrary to what you see on TV and movies, you do not immediately go into labor.  I kept being asked if I was sure I wasn't having any contractions. I kept telling everyone that this was my first baby so there was definitely a learning curve, but from what I understood, you pretty much knew when you were feeling contractions.  So they checked me into the hospital, shot me up with antibiotics to strengthen the baby's lungs, and gave me some magnesium to prevent me from going into labor long enough for the antibiotics to kick in.  They told me that I would be there until I gave birth or until I hit 34 weeks, whichever came first.  I made it to 31.5 weeks.  And the Texan never did get his birthday party, which I'm trying to rectify this year.