Friday, October 15, 2010

And so she blogs.

I gave it up. I gave up the blogging. I couldn't tell you why, other than I was empty. I was trying to be fabulous for the ones of readers, and I had nothing.

Maybe one day I won't struggle with an emotional stasis. However, I don't really expect that.


We are in another new city, another new state. I wonder often if we should have stayed in Alaska.

I do like our new city, Owensboro. A smallish urban center in north-western Kentucky. There is a small mall, museums, parks, Democrats. We have a two-bedroom flat in a group of buildings that houses many families. There are bike paths and friends for Violet and Carli. An oak tree beyond the balcony that is slowly turning orange. Three pumpkin patches within driving distance.


The best feature is the distance to school. It only takes 4 minutes to drive to classes; 6 in traffic.

Jason is near the top of his program, Auto Technology. He doesn't take his General Ed Requirements seriously enough, but he doesn't really have to.

I do, though. The nursing program is highly competitive. More get turned away than accepted. The only way to guarantee the spot is a 4.0; so far, my 88% in math is cancelling out my 103% in Psych.

I'll get it, though.


So, we are good. Happy, even. Dealing with Carli's lactose intolerance and Violet's minor sensory sensitivities. Collecting fallen leaves and painting window catchers. Budgeting 3 months of loan money to last 5 months and folding sweaters to earn money for Christmas. Driving through miles of fall foliage and evading conversations with my parents that steer towards politics or gay rights or wine.

And maybe, finding some time, here in my own space.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fabulous Day 6

Windblown Sea Hair and a Handsome Husband.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fabulous Day 5

My Favorite corner of the kitchen: turquoise breadbox, pink teapot, pear timer.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fabulous Day 4

Violet conquers her fears at the playground...and with style.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fabulous Day 3

SO. Violet hid my camera. So my documented fabuolous things are postponed. Today's fabulous thing will be un-photographed.

I have finally taught Carli to drink out of a straw. Not only do I not have to worry about having a sippy cup Every. Time. I leave the house, but the muscles used to suck on a straw are the same muscles that help a baby learn to talk.

Seriously. This was the most awesome thing to happen this week.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fabulous Day 2

Two beautiful girls in 'party dresses', eating Nutella bread.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fabulous Day 1

The view from my favorite chair:

my first completed afghan; boot-cut blue jeans; orange toenails; and artwork by Violet taped to the front door.

Friday, March 5, 2010

so fabulous.

I am lacking.

I want to be a happy stay-at-home mom more than anything in the world. And I love being with my girls. I got to see Carli's first steps; I get to teach Violet the alphabet. I love being at every appointment, making the meals, giving the baths.

But I have been losing part of myself. Maybe the lack of social interaction is to blame. I left all friends but Jason behind to move here; then, my mother moved to Kentucky, and took the last bit of my sanity with her. I became that person who tells the cashier way too much information, simply because she is the only person I am not related to that I will see for days. I find myself apathetic to how I look, because some switch in my head flipped all my self esteem off.

I changed my anti-depressants. And while I really do love my new medicine, it takes some adjustment time. And in that time, I have had to deal with my ambition being zapped, my energy gone. There are days when I feel like I an encased in a rubber glove, and though I am going through the motions of my day, I can't quite be there, in that moment, fully present. I am removed, watching my day play out on a big screen t.v. Not all the days are like that, and they are lessening; but when they do come, they are disheartening.

The strangest part is that I have a hard time remembering that I was not always this way. That I cared about fashion, that I used a flat iron or curlers every day. That I could carry an interesting conversation, that I didn't feel the beginnings of a panic attack when someone knocked on the door. That I gave dinner parties that people asked to be invited to, that I was someone who people sought out for advice.

I forgot I was fabulous.

I named this blog Rebecca is Fabulous not because I look like Megan Fox or have a sparkling personality or am a trendsetter.

It was because I was well-rounded. I could look at my life and point out the bits that were fabulous. That I could take an ordinary day and make it special. And a little bit of tongue-in-cheek, as well; I am quirky, I am geeky, I am odd, but that can be fabulous.

The thing is, I am still that person. I know that under my lethargy and frustration, I am still the person I was so fond of before. I just need to remember who that is.

So, to that end, I am embarking on Fifty Days of Fabulous. I am setting a personal goal to find and celebrate something in my life that is fabulous every day. Something small, something large, something ordinary, something quirky...anything.

My bloggy friend Jennie sent me a set of champagne flutes for my wedding. They were lovely, and unfortunately met a sad, sad, tinkly demise, but I enjoyed them immensely when I had them. I drank just about anything out of them. They were well-loved.

Anyway, the note attached to them said, "Celebrate every day."

So that is what I plan to do. Find a way to celebrate each day, each detail. Join me if you like.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Violet has short, short hair.

And I love it. She hacked into her hair one day last fall, and it resulted in a short pixie with longer bits in the front.

She is a beautiful girl, and the fact that she wears pink or purple every day keeps her from being mistaken for a boy. But, truthfully, the style is reminiscent of Justin Beiber; dye it black, and she'd be Pete Wentz.

The pink and the purple is her thing, not mine. She chooses her own clothes, and has since she was a year old.

Violet is a princess. She plays with Barbies. She watches Enchanted and Beauty and the Beast. She is obsessed with Princess Tiana and Dorothy Gale. She freaks over tea sets and cooking instruments; she loves to vacuum and wash the dishes and peel vegetables. She loves to be active and play Kung Fu, but only if she can be Tigress. She is much more likely to make up a dance or a song than kick a ball.

(Though in our house, this has little to do with gender: Jason cleans and cooks as much as I do, and in reality, is much better than I am in these areas.)

Frankly, I feel like people need to get over celebrity kids. Sure, they are adorable, and they have awesome clothes and really cool strollers and look! Tea Leoni wears her robe to drop her kids at school! I am way better than her in my jeans and t-shirt! I even comb my hair almost every day!

I am tired of hearing about Suri's high heels and lipgloss; Violet got these for Christmas, and wore them until she grew out of them. And I am sure that the Sephora makeup Suri gets is a lot less unhealthy than the Dora lipgloss that Violet uses.

I am tired of hearing about Shiloh's identity crisis. Today, Violet is wearing purple striped pants, a pink flowered shirt, pink Dora skater shoes, and a pink velvet sweatshirt. Does the fact that her clothes don't match make me a bad mother? She picked out each item herself. She put it on herself. And when she takes it off, she will put it in the hamper. Shouldn't we be focused more on the fact that Shiloh seems healthy, happy, well cared for? And stylish, even?

In reality, it is none of our business. As long as a child is fed, clothed, sheltered, and loved, then what right do we have to question their parenting choices?

I don't really have a point. I just know that Katie and Angelina sure handle the judgment a lot better than I would.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I wake up this morning because your father has plopped you on the bed beside me. You grin, you laugh, you make a beeline for me and cover me with your open-mouthed kisses. The clock says 7:30.

This time one year ago, I was pacing through empty hospital corridors, trying to increase my contractions from the 3 minutes apart they are at. There isn’t a delivery room open yet, and the nurses are skeptical that you are actually coming today. But I know.

I heft myself out of bed and carry you downstairs to greet your sister. You squeal when you see her: she is your favorite person. You spend your days chasing her, mimicking her, trying to steal her Little Pet Shop figures and Barbie shoes. She tires of you occasionally, but never misses an opportunity to tell anyone who will listen about ‘her baby’. We all dress and head to the grocery store. The clock says 10:30.

This time one year ago, I was finally checking into a room. I had been in various stages of labor for about 9 hours at this point, and told the nurse to get the epidural ordered as soon as possible. You dad settled into the couch beside my bed to watch the Powder Puff Girls and lament the fact that he hadn’t bought more tacos on our stop on the way to the hospital. I adjust my bed and think, “This has got to be over soon. Second births are faster. She will be here soon.” Little did I know that you do things on your own time.

Today has passed in a blur. You are so active, so busy, that the days fly by. You started walking in earnest last week, and have already progressed to running. You don’t talk much, but you squeal with joy, you chortle, you snort…you are a little bulldog. Your father let you walk through the store today, and you smiled your huge, gap-toothed smile the entire time. People cannot resist you; I am often told how blessed I am. It is true. Now, I put lotion on your freshly bathed tummy, and give you a raspberry; you laugh, dimples flashing. You gulp your sippy of milk in record time; you know you have precious few moments of play time before bed. It is now 7:30.

This time one year ago, I am finally dilated enough to push. I am only at 9.5, but the midwife is sure that won’t be a problem. And it isn’t. At least, I think it isn’t, until many moments have passed, and I am still pushing, pushing. At one point, my midwife won’t give me a break; I don’t just push through a contraction, I push for a solid ten minutes, grunting, gasping. I ache, I beg Jason to make her stop, but he keeps coaxing me as well. I find out much later that your head was stuck, and you were turning a bit purplish. But your mama’s kegels paid off, and with the help of my vigilant Tanya, and my calm-in-the-storm Jason, you were free. And returning to a normal color. And as is the case with most babies, the rest went rather quickly. And soon you were on my chest, lovely and slimy and squeakily squalling. Gazing at me. And I fell in love.

My life is richer because of you. You make things shiny; you remind us to smile. I adore you, baby turtle.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Broke as Heck.

A couple of weeks ago, Swistle, whom I love like Diet Wild Cherry
Pepsi (aka LOADS), came out as plus size. There was much controversy, many people cheering her own. Of course, there were a few haters, but it seemed to me that there was overwhelming support. Score one for the big girls!

It has inspired me to honesty. I am quite open about being a bona fide Big Girl, so obviously that is not what I keep hidden. Quite possibly every who has ever come across this blog has been bombarded with me babbling on about being zaftig. The thing I tend to sweep under the rug is the dismal state of my finances.

Part of what drove us from Alaska was the recession. We left before it hit hard, but barely. Jason's job was being eliminated shortly after we left, and the company I worked for was projected to do a fraction of the work it had the year before. We never lived the high life in Anchorage, but if we were comfy. We went to the theatre when we liked; we ate in hipster-yuppie restaurants on a whim, whenever we felt the need for some stuffed french toast or salmon eggs benedict. And the COFFEE. Oh, the coffee. Toasted marshmallow lattes, and triple shot soy iced kaladi's, and chocolate croissant on the side, and a raspberry Italian soda for Violet. Locally roasted specialty beans to grind ourselves for use at home. We easily spent $40 a week on coffee.

I now spend about that on groceries.

Jason has a good job. Just not a well paying job. I stay at home with my girls and pick up tutoring jobs. The cost of day care would well outweigh what I could make on the salary offered to someone who has one year towards a theatre degree under their belts. We are stuck in the vicious cycle of hand-to-mouth, working hard with little reward, and yes, even a little government assistance thrown in.

We live highly budget conscious. True, I have the internet; however, it is a requirement to pick up tutoring jobs with private school kids. Yes, we make lovely, wonderful food - with cheap groceries from discount stores and a lot of help from Food Christmas was only possible with careful saving. Even at that, we spent less than $300 in total for presents this year, including extended family.

I grew up poor. Backroads Kentucky, Aldi shopping, missionary barrel poor. My mother made it work; no one would know the lack of finances, no one would realize how below the poverty line we were. She had the touch. She makes everything special.

I don't have the touch. I do better than some, but I fall well below Ma. Jason and I want to do better. We want possibilities for our girls. We want comfort and luxuries and place firmly in the middle class. Which is why we are going back to school.

Which is going to make us even poorer for a while. We have to save the money to get to school, then the money to stay there. We will make it work, because we are that kind of people: we are survivors, strong-willed and ambitious. Eventually, Jason will have his doctorate. I will have my master's.

But in the meantime, there will be a lot of beans, a lot of thrift stores, a lot of making do. And I hope, in the interim, I am teaching my girls something much better, much more important than how to live in the middle class. I hope I am showing them how to achieve their dreams, how to handle obstacles with elan and grace. How to not give up.

Even with a belly full of beans and ratty Salvation Army cardigan.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Watch out, 2010!

I realize this post is very similar to the one 3 or 4 previous...things I want to be, ways I want to change. However, if I learned anything as a kindergarten teacher or tutor... REPETITION is key. So, without further ado:

2010 is the year I will:

*get healthy. Not skinny. Healthy.

*teach Violet to read.

*finish writing a book. Any book.

*get my hair to its natural color.

*be the best mother and wife I can be.

2009 was a mixed bag. I had some lows - such as staying in bed for weeks after Carli was born, deeply relapsed into PPD, and my parents moving 500 miles away. I had some highs - my gorgeous CJ was born, and I feel like I am starting to get myself back. I had the bittersweet moment of CJ turning 9 months old on the day Max would have turned 1. I had moments when I wondered if my marriage would survive the girl's early childhood. I went to a church that I loved because my parents were there, and hated because so many of the people attending were bigots. I had the joy of leaving that one for a church I love, completely. I have had the privilege of watching my eldest start to turn into an amazing person. I have enjoyed a new freshness to my marriage, where we enjoy, and even SEEK OUT, each other's company.

I suppose a lot of this comes with nearing 30. I have been told by many wonderful woman that a women's thirties are when she comes into her own, when she truly finds herself and becomes content. And I look forward to this. I feel the beginnings of this. Of wanting to be no more that what I am. I know there have been times in this past year I have been less than I could be, when I have not fully realized my potential as a mother, as a wife, as a person. And I am eager to embrace myself this year, to be more fully Rebecca than I have ever been.

Here's to keeping New Year's Day high as long as possible.