So this is it.
As you may have sensed, I've grown weary of blogging. It's not you; it's me. After three long years of being Mrs. Dub, I'm ready to move on to a different medium. I'm hoping to use the time I spent blogging on other writing projects and/or professional thumb wrestling.
I've been overwhelmed, touched, inspired and supported by all of you. I am truly humbled that any of you, particularly strangers, have wanted to read my nonsensical ramblings. Thanks for all your comments, emails and packages. The latter two are still encouraged.
I don't know if this is goodbye forever; I'm too fickle to commit to that. But I do need a break and it could be a long one. I already contribute to a private family blog and may consider creating a private one for friends with photos and occasional updates. We'll see. I just know that it's not that fun for me any more, and that's all that matters.
I've found a lot of joy and creative release from blogging. It helped me through some hard times, improved my writing and allowed me to chronicle my motherhood experience. But I'd be lying if it's all positive. I have an increasing feeling that there is too much noise on the Internet, and I've made the decision to be one less sound. There are scores of wittier writers out there, and I'd rather see you spend your time there. Better yet, I'd like to see us outside or on the floor with our kids.
Good luck to all of you with your lives and endeavors. I'll be checking your blogs on occasion, though I'm hoping to distance myself from my computer in general in the coming year. Time to work on my shorthand.
Merry Christmas, Happy Easter and good luck with that one thing!
p.s. I'm 10 weeks pregnant. Maybe it's the hormones?
p.p.s. No, you can't talk me out of it.
24 December 2008
So this is it.
23 December 2008
From Cooey's Mom: "How 'bout flashing Christmas lights vs. constant? And what about yard ornaments? Are they fun or tacky? My husband and I debate over these every Dec."
This one is easy for me. First, no flashing lights. It can cause seizures and reindeer are already prone to them. Also, they can look tacky, especially when there are multiple strands flashing out of synch. I don't mind some of the more modern light options, like ball ornaments for trees or snowflakes along the porch, but ditch those icicle lights. They scream "1995" to me, but that's a personal issue. I also prefer large lights to small lights and colored lights to white ones, unless you are totally decking your house out, in which case a bold, white display is charming. I also love to drive by super-lit homes, but I have a funny feeling there is something a little bit off with the owners. Maybe a troubled childhood or repressed joy? I'll call Dr. Phil later and get back to you on that one.
Second, I'm not a huge fan of yard ornaments. If it is done well, it works, but usually it's overdone. I particularly loathe blow-up ornaments (no offense to any friends, family or neighbors who own them, as Miss Dub lives to see them), but that's mostly because they are in EVERY yard in certain parts of Wisconsin; the same parts of Wisconsin where you can register for your wedding at a gas station. Seriously. I'm going to make a poor taste correlation there. You should, too.
What do you think?
What is your favorite kind of Christmas display?
Yea or nay to flashing lights?
What about yard ornaments?
Also, should there be a law saying Christmas lights must turned off after January 4th or what? Because I get all ragey when I see them in February.
22 December 2008
From (my lovely, cute, witty SIL) Steph: "To wash hair daily or not to wash hair daily... This is something I struggle with."
OK, I'm putting this one out there for the blog peeps, because I don't know the answer. I've always been a daily hair washer, except for those rare days that I don't shower, in which case I'm usually ponytailing it and void of any beauty efforts. However, I did read a little snippet in Marie Claire recently about Jessica Simpson, where stylist, bestie and chihuaha descendant Ken Paves said that she only washes her hair "two or three times a month." I'd give you the exact quote, but that's the point where I accidentally dropped my magazine into the toilet. Because that seems blatantly digusting. And, yet, the body ... the shine ... the Texas-ness of her golden locks. He did emphasize that you have to RINSE your hair daily, but what exactly does that entail? Because after reading his claim, I boldly went one day without shampooing my hair but styled it as normal ... and about three hours later I felt like I had been in a snowstorm. My hair was a flat, greasy mess. So now I'm wondering if this is another "chicken of the sea" issue, because Jessica might think that "rinsing" means using a clarifying shampoo daily, while "washing" her hair means using a conditioning, fancy-pants shampoo. Because there is NO WAY that her hair looks like that after bimonthly washings. Unless ... she means she only washes it herself two or three times a month, because her stylists, assistants and dad wash it for her every other time. That's probably the explanation. Silly Jess!
What about you?
Do you wash your hair daily?
Do you shower daily?
Do you brush your teeth daily?
19 December 2008
From Janaya: Is it kosher to have good friends of the opposite sex after you're married?
This is a loaded question with a loaded answer, because there are a lot of variables and possibilities. On the surface, yes, you can have good friends of the opposite sex after you're married. I mean, I had lots of guy friends growing up and in college, so it's a little weird if I swear off the gender now that I'm married. Plus, it's only natural to want to maintain friendships with any of your good friends.
But what does a friendship entail? The occasional email or phone call? Meeting up for lunch along with your spouse or the guy's spouse? Because all of that is kosher in my opinion. The more alone time and more secrecy involved, the more likely you are putting your friendship and marriage in jeopardy, or at least ticking off someone's spouse. So, as Miss Dub says, "Don't do dat!"
And who is this guy? A former friend or a former flame? Because if he's your former boyfriend of 15 years, who tried to persuade you to break of your engagement with your husband and likes to chat online EVERY DAY, then you are probably better off restricting communications to the annual Christmas letter. (We are clear on how those work, right?)
As for making new guy friends after marriage ... that's a little stranger to me. You are naturally going to become friends with coworkers and other important men in your life, but pursuing good guy buds after marriage is a little weird to me, mostly because I find myself gravitating more towards women now that I'm married. I get plenty of guy time at home and just don't feel comfortable chatting it up with men beyond basic conversation.
Finally, just think of your husband. Mr. Dub has a few old gal pals that he keeps in touch with, but all of them have become my friends, so there's no secrecy. He also has lots of female coworkers, but he doesn't have lunch alone with ONE of them every day, which is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. The thought of him spending large amounts of time with any woman besides me can get me a little hot 'n bothered. I don't want him to do it, so I don't do it myself.
What do you think?
Is it OK to have friends of the opposite sex after marriage?
What is/isn't appropriate? (I'm thinking kissing might be a no-no.)
18 December 2008
From Joey and Megan: How about how much to spend on Christmas? How much is too much? What about the re-gift?
It's hard for me to say since we only have one little'un, and she won't be getting much this Christmas, because, like us, she doesn't need much. But I was talking to an acquaintance recently who told me that she was telling friends they spend about $2,500 a year on Christmas and her friends were SHOCKED ... because they all spend waaaay more. Yeah, we've never gotten close to the $1,000 mark, but we're a family of three. Personally, I think lots of people overdo it at Christmas. If you're going for quantity, the gifts should be inexpensive and simple. If you are going for quality, you should have a few nice things. No one needs that much. Personally, I think one large gift and a few small ones are adequate. (Totaling $150-$350ish a person.) After all, there is always next Christmas (and the next and the next). As for the re-gift, I think it's best to avoid them. At the least, take back the sweater you loathe for something a friend will actually love, not just like. Oh, but homemade goodies are fair game. Just re-plate them and don't say you made them yourself if you didn't. It gets complicated when people ask for recipes.
But what do you think?
How much do you spend on Christmas? (Yes, you can comment anonymously.)
How much is too much?
And what about the re-gift?
p.s. For extra credit, help out Cichelli: Can I please get some advice on Christmas presents? Do I have to give gifts to karate teachers, little gym instructors, and preschool teachers? What? and how much should it cost? And what do I give my nanny?! coworkers? neighbors?
I don't have a lot of parental experience with karate instructors yet, but I think all of the above (minus the nanny) qualify for a plate of homemade/store-bought goodies. I make salsa, but you really aren't obligated to give them anything. The nanny, however, expects a bonus. Trust me.
17 December 2008
To increase your holiday spunk, I've decided to gift you with an entire week of Hot Topics suggested by you, culminating on Wednesday with a special post of my own. Yeah, I'm giggling, too.
I don't have time to address all of your hot topic suggestions this week, but I will go for the most requested and/or interesting and/or easiest and/or most fragrant. Unlike our Christmas tree, which does NOT smell very strong. I'm going to kick it in the shins.
From Julie: "It's not juicy, but I'd like to hear people's views on PC vs. Mac. We're trying to decide!"
This one is easy, interesting and possibly fragrant. Go with the Mac, Julie, and never look back.
I mean, are there PC people out there any more? We own one, but it's merely an economic issue. I feel like we have come together as a nation to agree that Macs are prettier, smarter, cooler, faster and better. (Next up, political unity!)
As a career lass, I always worked on a Mac, mostly because publishing software is way more compatible with the creative-minded Mac. There were times I lamented this - like when I would go to CTRL-C something after a night at home, only to remember those functions must be tweaked on a Mac - but that was about the extent of my frustration.
There was also a time when popular programs like Microsoft Office were only available for PCs. That sucked. But now everything is available for Mac and compatible with either, so emails and attachments are no longer a big issue.
It's kind of like owning a Zune when you could have an iPod. Seriously?
But I want to hear what other people say. Are there PC lovers left out there, or have you all been swayed by Apple's youthful, musical advertising? I know I have.
Is your house a PC or Mac household?
Which do you prefer/want/covet?
p.s. Please do email Apple and let them know that I just gave them some blatant advertising and will humbly accept a small token of appreciation. (By small token, I mean an iPhone, iMac, MacBook Pro and Apple TV.)
p.p.s. Some of you requested Hot Topics that have already been vented on me olde blog:
For circumcision, go here.
For immunizations, go here.
For potty training, go here.
For working moms, go here.
16 December 2008
First, Mr. Dub and I don't do Christmas cards. I could say it's an ethical issue, but it's really more about laziness. Plus, we've been moving or pregnant (or fat) several Christmases past, so we just aren't in the habit. Maybe next year. (You know, when I'm a best-selling novelist, and we have fifteen kids and really hot bods.)
Second, thanks to all of you who have sent Christmas cards to me, because I love 'em. You are currently brightening my fridge, because I'm too (you guessed it) lazy to come up with a more clever way to display them.
* Look, should laziness ever become an Olympic sport, as I've suggested in many letters to the IOC, I am in competitive shape*
Third, I'm no Christmas card expert, but I have been reading them for years. As a wee lass, I loved to devour the Christmas update letters, and I still head for them as soon as I walk into my parent's home. That said, I think I can make some suggestions about whether you should brag or not about your life and kids. Short answer: Yes ... and no. Long answer: It depends on three things - tone, length and content.
TONE - Please make your Christmas card funny. Please do not take yourself too seriously or intentionally try to impress us. Please do not write about your son's fourth grade spelling bee as if it was an international event. It's not. I personally prefer a little sarcasm, but that's me. Did I mention it should be funny?
LENGTH - Number of kids, pets and accomplishments aside, do not exceed two pages (front and back preferred). Any longer and you are boring everyone, even your grandma. She told me. Plus, length and bragginess are in direct proportion. A few key accomplishments and family highlights are one thing; a detailed trip itinerary is another. If we cared, we would call you. No offense.
CONTENT - Year-end highlights include things like births, moves, major accomplishments, life updates, etc. That does not include your menu for Christmas dinner. That does not include an excerpt from your recent public address. That does not include a paragraph about your appliance woes. And, yes, I have read all these things in letters, and I am still mocking them years later. Be warned.
Other things that bug me - people who write in a quirky third person, like the baby wrote it, or devote an entire page to the dog. Oh, and if you are going to the trouble to write a letter, please include a picture.
What about you?
Do you think it's OK to brag about your family in a Christmas card?
What's the best/worst letter you've ever read?
15 December 2008
Oh my, where to start? I have so many thoughts in my head lately. It could be brilliance, or it could be madness. I never know with myself. I almost started this post with, "This is going to be the best work of my life." Because then whatever I said would seem deeper, wouldn't it? But I flatter myself a humble blogger, so I'm settling for this:
I'm going through a mid(ish)-life crisis.
Blame childbirth, blame infant loss - whatever the cause, I'm am no longer invincible. I no longer think that my bad physical luck + parasailing = big owie. No, it would be my death. (Mark my words.) Because we are all marching to our deaths. I know, it sounds morbid. I almost didn't leave the house for a few days, because I really, really want to live to kiss my great-grandlings at their weddings, but then we needed milk, and I realized my clock was still ticking, even inside. Yeah, there's no hiding. Death will find us all and sometimes we won't see it coming. At some point you have to come to grips with that and then get over it.
In a way, it's terribly depressing. I mean, this life seemed so limitless for my younger years. All the boys to crush on, all the books to read, all the countries to see. But now I've accomplished many of my major life milestones - college, marriage, children - and I realize that reading can be too consuming for me and traveling costs a lot of cash. So really life is just about the day-to-day monotony.
When I recognized that most of my life, most of my mortal existence, is going to be simple, I had some regrets. Not that my life won't be the whirlwind mixture of adventure, success, fame and spontaneity that I once assumed it would be, but that I haven't been glorying in the simplicity; that I've taken steps down my hallway each day when I could have leaped. After all, how many steps do I have left in this life? Why not dance? Why not add panache to my mundane tasks?
I also felt bad that I don't cry more. That when it's time to hurt - whether major loss or small upset - that I don't really, really let myself feel it. I think if someone were to take away my emotions, I would almost miss sadness as much as happiness. And really, isn't joy a combination of the two? A recognition that hard times makes good times even sweeter? That's true joy, in my opinion. So next time I'm hurting, I'm going to feel it to its gut-wrenching core. And when I start to feel better, I'm going to laugh until it hurts. Why not?
Finally, isn't it great that this life - our imperfect sojourns on earth - isn't eternal? That there is an end? That we all go out in a dramatic puff, whether it's unexpectedly or after long descent? Isn't there some dramatic flourish to that? I think it's poetic. (Even though I kind of think poets are narcissists - and that's OK. I choose not to like a lot of poetry! The freedom!)
I also think I'm starting to sound like someone who might have a fridge magnet that boasts, "Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt." (Or worse, a Garfield poster that says, "Hang in there.")
And that, my friends, is the scariest part of this whole post.
p.s. Not my best work.
p.p.s. Not even close.
p.p.p.s. We put up our tree.
12 December 2008
11 December 2008
10 December 2008
Pardon my blog funk, but my once indomitably cute daughter has embraced her toddlerhood with full force. Her once quirky stories are just not as funny when they involve defacing our property or whining until my eardrums explode. Seriously, that just happened.
The other day, Miss Dub was coloring with some markers when she said, "Mommy, come see!" She was holding the market in her hand, so I assumed the worst. She brought me to the glider in her room and said, "Look!" And there was nothing. Not a mark. Until she started to draw giant circles ALL OVER THE OTTOMAN. Right in front of me - the audacity!
In any event, I know that 90 percent of you tune in to see and hear about the quirky and affable Miss Dub, so I apologize for the recent lack of Miss-centric posts. I'll try to find some humor in the incessant warnings and timeouts. (Maybe the fact that she comes out and says, "Ta-da!"??)
The other 10 percent of you should take heart, however, because I believe you tune in to revel in my mothering disasters and give me detailed parenting advice. Sounds like I'm going to need it.
Good thing she is so unbelievably cute and funny.
09 December 2008
I just got back from some important early morning errands, it's heaving snow outside and my child just told me she's sad that I don't have any cute jeans like her. Seriously, sister.
So I'm going to use this opportunity to generate ideas for future Hot Topics. Dish out the dirt in your comments below.
And make 'em juicy.
** For vintage HTTs, go here.
** For MTTs, go here.