Life lessons from a four-year-old and staking claim on 2012

To say my niece is precocious would be an understatement. To say she’s currently a pregnant, bare-chested rockstar would be closer to the truth. Oh and did I mention that my lovable, darling niece is 4 years old? And that for a year she refused to answer to anything other than one of her various aliases (primarily Rebecca). But don’t worry she also renamed my brother and sister-in-law during this time period to alleviate any confusion.

So it really shouldn’t have surprised us when the other weekend she sauntered downstairs after getting ready for bed with her PJ’s on – sans buttons. Then when my sister-in-law sensibly went to help her button up, when Miss Diva proclaimed, “No Mom. I’m a pregnant rockstar and you know how they always keep their shirts unbuttoned.” Four. Years. Old.

You’re probably thinking, “That’s what you get for running nonstop TV and keeping US Weekly for bedtime stories.” I promise you this could not be further from the truth of her zero TV, educational programming during family time only, Spanish immersion, women studies instructor Mom, Cyndi Lauper singing life. But you know who else had an awkward pregnancy phase as a toddler? Dakota Fanning. That’s right folks, I am proud aunt to the next child superstar.

Dontcha wish your family was haute like me?

And on the turning of another year, I can’t help but be a little jealous of my pint-sized rockstar. I mean, here she is in that beautiful phase of life where her imagination has no bounds. The word “impossible” literally reads “I’m possible” and she’s surrounded by adults telling her she can be anything she wants to be. The magic of this glittering bubble is one of the best parts of…And then it hits. At what point did those encouraging adults become the voice of reason politely pointing out that income after taxes makes being a superhero less desirable than an accountant? When did our apostrophes skip from I’m possibles to can’ts, don’ts and won’ts? And who says we can’t reclaim our childhood wonder? Our sense of excitement for all the sparkly promise the world holds. Who said we’re too old? It’s too risky and our time has past? The adults. Us. We. Me.

Well, I can proudly say I don’t much care for the maturity of adults and much rather foster the brilliance of youth. With 2011 as a celebration of this crazy circular life, 2012 will be a continuation to a deeper level. A year for unwavering belief and throwing tantrums (otherwise known as taking a stand) for what I want. Not what I’m told to want. To honoring childhood wonder.

2012 will be the year of making a Reclamation.

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Breaking up and making up. A tale of retail.

I recently did three things I haven’t done in ages (well at least since I met Zee German and happily started co-habitating…aka became the old married couple):

  1. Went shopping
  2. Went drinking
  3. Went “when the hell did I stop being able to drink past 9!?”

The last of which is a sad new found revelation that I’m getting bloody old.  Actually if I’m honest, I’ve known this truth for a long time but happily feigned ignorance until ignorance came to smack me in the face in the form of a GLASS of tequila (apparently Hard Rock Cafe serves glasses NOT shots of liquid pain and regret).

But it was mostly number 1 and 2 that were the entertaining portion of my weekend – though I’m sure some people thought step 3 had it’s humorous moments.

Shopping.

I’m not really a girl that likes to shop.  I like to covet.  I see things on other people, Facebook stalking, random Pinteresting, etc. that I adore but really never have that much fun when I try to go find those items in real life.  Either that or those things look nowhere near the same as when I was coveting from afar.  HOWEVER, my good friend Yuri (who is a shopping maven) pointed me in the direction of Express.  Now, I’m no stranger to Express and in fact my closet is still full from my former days of salestitution, but then there was this awkward breakup.  We both said things we didn’t mean.  And three years later we merely nod and politely look the other way.  That is until they started selling THESE

These my friends will make love to your legs and have you saying things you’ve never thought you’d say, like “can I get these a size smaller?” (thank you Express and your polite upsizing).  Seriously they’re like invisible spanx on steroids and diversified in their ability to flatter, meaning even though I look like I lost my butt in my last pair of jeans when I normally try skinnies, these tighten, tuck and showcase in just the right ways.

THEN of course I had to take part in their buy 1 get 1 50% off deal (if this is still going on, go there. now.).  And with that I felt pretty pleased with myself for breaking my style strike…with twins.

Until I found this at Nordstrom last night

Which just happens to be a Pinterest crush.  So now I’m thinking, I HAVE to buy it.  It’s a sign!  Plus a date with my bridesmaids is coming up to try on dresses and foster our inner tween with Breaking Dawn (but in a theater that serves alcohol, so we’re obviously not the same as the squealing, clapping 12 yr. olds…We’ll be drunk on vampire love AND cocktails).

And what better way to celebrate this reunion with teen angst than to proudly wear THIS LITTLE BAUBLE 

I have an addiction.  It’s name is Pinterest.

I don’t want help.

Confessions of an addict. about that time i stayed up until 2 AM “pinning”. and the next night.

Word of warning, if you do not already know what Pinterest is you may want to stop reading right now.

Seriously.

This is your last warning.

Fine. Well then welcome to the world of so many pretties #IDie. A life in which the hubby-to-be goes to bed alone. Sleep becomes oh so uncreative, and life is a nonstop wedding.

The irony and most Pinteresting part of this addicting site is that it was founded by three dudes. Apparently has one woman (re: “three dudes” link). And yet a barrage of women posting wedding, decorating, styling and cooking boards dominates the space. In fact, when Zee German thought he’d check out his competition, he quickly gave up when the results for “gun” showed up with this…

 

Obviously he’s not the target market (or any “he” for that matter). But that’s quite alright, because that means my own searches are undiluted, beautiful, feeds of

this.

and this.

and THIS!!!!

 

Oh Pinterest. You had me at hello…just don’t tell my fiance.

childhood nostalgia and parent traps

Whenever my mom would make huckleberry muffins it was like Christmas morning. No matter how tired we were, or how much we didn’t want to get up because it meant our last ditch efforts in playing sick would be up, my brothers and I would stampede to the kitchen. And there they’d be in all their huckleberry glory with melting butter (Mom was is a big fan of butter – I’m actually surprised I made it out of the house under 200 lbs.) dripping from there perfectly baked domes.

So this morning I decided to make Zee German (read: myself) some of my mom’s muffins. And though they looked and tasted yummy, they still didn’t produce quite the same mouthgasmic experience as when my mom makes them (I’m pretty sure this may have something to do with an obscene quantity of butter that I’m only okay with if I don’t add it myself). Didn’t crumble in quite the same way, and definitely don’t make me feel warm, safe and giddy as when my mom makes them.

Damn you mom and your magic muffins. I realize this is part of an evil ploy to keep me in driving distance to home. Well played. Well played my friend.

airplane etiquette…or lack of and a time to speak up

At what point did it start being okay for people to just lay diagonally in their seat on a fully packed airplane (AKA diagonally all over the people sitting on either side of them)?  I’m sorry did I miss the memo or did their mothers completely FAIL in her duty to teach them how not to be a horrible, inconsiderate person.  Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but seriously a five hour flight with a teenage boy draped over you isn’t that much fun…unless I guess you’re a cougar…

But in my five hours of “I’m going to drop kick you in the face if you put your elbow in my stomach one more time” running through my head I realized that part of my nun chuck to your head feelings may be of my own doing.  Looking back over the last week I may or may not have been a little on edge. I might have road raged on the car that interpreted merge to oncoming traffic as drive faster to try to cut into the tiny spot that person has between themselves and the car ahead.  I may or may not have visualized running over the teenage boys in neon vests trying to tell me where I can and cannot park at the grocery store.  But really just because you’re wearing a bright yellow vest, it doesn’t mean you get to put even further delay in my path to get dinner and get home after working all day.  And who decided that Safeway checkout boys have the authority to direct traffic in the parking lot anyway!?  But the point being I may have had a little stress and frustration building up.

And as I sat quietly contemplating the ways in which I could dislocate said airplane neighbor’s arms and tie them together in a manner that would ensure they stay within the barriers of his own seat, I realized that this wasn’t the first time in life I hold myself back.  And no, I don’t mean hold myself from committing aggravated assault on an airplane, I mean holding myself back from just telling him, “Listen, I know that you’re in full on teenage mode where you think you just have to lay out over all three seats to obtain the perfect “cool lounge” position, but do you think you could keep yourself from manhandling me for the next 4 hours.”  Or something a little more polite, but the point being I didn’t SAY anything.  I nudged.  I “ahem’d”.  I coughed.  I gave the evil, Asian death stare.  But I did not just SAY to move the %$#& off.

Which I now realize happens a lot in life.  I’m so afraid of coming off as a bitch or being judged that I often just keep things inside and LET things happen, rather than MAKE things happen.  Promotion?  What?  No, please just keep having me do 3 different roles without a promotion, raise or even acknowledgement that I’m saving you from having to hire more people.  And in relationships?  I’m a total case of dodge the confrontation.  But where has that gotten me?  Happy and fulfilled?  Or wishing death by nun chuck on teenage boys?

So the goal is to start talking the talk.  And maybe, just maybe, I can stop hating the existence of all teenage boys.  But seriously STOP telling me I can’t drive out that way!!!  THERE IS AN ARROW THAT SAYS OTHERWISE!!!

“Well this has really been a waste of my time” and other genius of a 5 year old…

On the last day of Kindergarten I turned from my Crayola masterpiece to my parents and told them, “Well this has really been a waste of my time.”

In all fairness my parents had indulged me the year before and let me drop out of preschool, but then for some reason had determined that Kindergarten made it legit.  That I had to completely finish Kindergarten before moving on to 1st grade, then 2nd and some day (far, far away in a far, far off land, or so it seemed to me at that time) college.  And while I love and respect my parents, 21 years later I have to say, “Says who!?”

Who made it mandatory that we lay our lives out in a line, starting with grade school, moving through high school, college and up the ladder right to the glass ceiling (if you’re still employing that line of thought)?  In real life people don’t live in lines.  I mean sure some of us planned on being cops and robbers as 5 yr. olds then ran the lines to become exactly those things (see parents of the latter, linear living ain’t so great now huh?).  But in most cases I would say a good percentage of us aren’t even using our undergrad degrees and have ran the professional gamut leaving us in a completely different career than we started with our first job.  It’s not because we’re all having identity crises (well…) or because we think it’s fun to spend thousands of dollars to become more well-rounded.  It’s because you can’t predict life.  You have to live it.

As a 5 yr. old I knew that secret which I then spent the next 21 years being brainwashed into forgetting.  I knew that sometimes I might have to leap, skip or dance in circles to get to where I’m going else spend a ridiculous amount of time walking the line.  I had sass and spunk and I spoke up.  I had opinions.  I made decisions.  I was a flipping little 5 yr. old version of the self I keep trying to become (well with hopefully a little better fashion sense…and boobs – albeit small, Asian cursed ones).  So here’s to a little circular living and getting back some of that 5 yr. old swagger.  And this time I’m not wasting my time.

[Photo Credit: luigi diamanti]