Habit Class + Working with Assistants Ages Me

I took the hair color class of my dreams over the weekend, and I am still nerding out about it.

Habit Salon in Arizona has been pumping out my most requested Pinterest photos from clients, and I have been dying to know their secrets for years. By some kind of magical luck, they came to Las Vegas, and my salon hosted their class.

If this means nothing to you, just know that any woman that can pull over $30 grand by teaching one class should be on your radar. After a whole night of debating waist hug/shoulder hug/lean-in hug for my photo op, I side hugged that woman! It was like touching a unicorn.

The legitimacy of this class was seconded by the purses of the attendees. When you see a Louis Vuitton bag WITHOUT logos all over, you know you’re in the right place. I stand in awe of a woman who will drop a crazy amount of money for an unpretentious looking bag. It seems more flippant than arrogant, and for some reason I really smile at that kind of ‘tude.


Tory, Louis, Gucci, Chanel. Gang’s all here!

There is one more thing besides color education that stuck with me after the class.

I am not twenty.

The backbone of the hair industry is predominately young-ish girls, and I’m realizing that I’m definitely progressing to the older side of that. Most of the girls at the class had flown in town, but were disappointed to not fully appreciate their Las Vegas trip due to their underage status.

This makes me at LEAST ten years their senior, and so relieved my Botox appointment was last week.

When people ask me my age (which, by the way, is weird at an approaching point, right?), my knee jerk reaction is twenty four. Forever in my head, I’m about twenty four.

But, I’m thirty. Missed a couple years somewhere.

Thirties are an interesting in-betweener place to be. I’m loving the thirties, and feel much wiser and less inhibited than I did in my twenties, but I still feel like I’m straddling the line of “adult.” It’s like I’m just pretending, and no one has caught on. Since I’m married with a mortgage and kids, everyone is cool with me trying to do real life?

And there are so many “stills” in thirty.

Even though I’m a married mom, I still have dreams. I still get REALLY excited. I still look forward to holidays, maybe even more than now than I did when I was little. I still like glitter nail polish. I still call my mom when I have questions. There is still a group of “the older girls” that I deeply admire and am happy to tag along with. I still have “when I grow up” hopes…but have I already grown up? Or when does that happen?

And yet, I bonded with an acquaintance during a riveting conversation about grout.

Grout.

Ah ha! There is the boring adult conversation I had anticipated.

So, maybe I have arrived.

All I know is that I better stay on my A-game with hair education so my job isn’t soon replaced by a girl who doesn’t understand the significance of September 11.

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A New Mom’s Letter to Her Babysitter

We don’t get date nights often enough, and I semi-blame the whole “finding a babysitter” fiasco.

Now that we are on our second child, our instructions to babysitters have become much more lax. Ultimately, we just want our kids safe and happy. A few years ago, however, my new mom hormones were TURNT UP. WAY UP. Had I written an actual note (a la my mom in 1992), it would have looked exactly like this:

Dear babysitter,

Thanks for coming over! Help yourself to any food (notice we bought the name brand graham crackers this week), and make yourself at home. My kids should be sleeping, so just hang out! Watch TV!

Except, try to avoid turning the TV volume higher than 12, because that will wake up my kids, but it’s okay if you have to because you don’t lip read as well as I’ve been forced to learn. If you would like to actually hear your show, you can just put them back to sleep after they wake up. They’ll lay down for you super easily.

All you have to do is this!

You’ll need to heat up a little milk (roughly between 4-6 oz) for my little one, for 45 seconds. He is particular. Shake the bottle. Test the temperature. He also likes his grey blankie to snuggle with, but make sure it’s not on his face. My other son can just get up and watch TV, but only one show and not for too long, and if you don’t understand what he is saying, try the Dinosaur movie, but fast forward the part where the dad dies. Along those lines, if he says something that sounds like “daddy,” it could mean daddy, Mickey, or blankie (full phonetically spelled translation guide on the side of the fridge).

But whatever! Just have fun! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!!!

Consult the attached pamphlet for numbers of my–

Pediatrician
Poison Control
My number
Restaurant’s number
Next door neighbor’s number
911’s number
Insurance agent information
Homeland Security
CPR instructions
Animal control
Living trust
Speediest SWAT responders (Don’t hesitate to call!)
Current shot records
Life insurance documentation
Last will and testament

We will be back in forty five minutes! Thanks!

–Ashton

PS Fire extinguisher is under the kitchen sink.

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HBD Brian / Sure Hope I’m Pregnant for Swimsuit Season / Those Two are Unrelated

What would President’s Day be without spending a few Jacksons? Or Franklins? Or even Washingtons?

I perused President’s Day sales online last night, and snagged a couple swimsuits. This led me to firing swimsuit-shopping-in-February inspired questions that Brian never knows how to best respond to. In order:

“Oh my gosh. I ordered swimsuits. Ugh, I feel so fat. Do I look bigger?”
“When am I going to finally take those hardcore classes I have a pass to?”Wait, have you seen my Food Network Magazine? It was just right here.”

He treated them as rhetorical questions, although I was concerned about the magazine. I found it this morning. Don’t want to misplace the special pasta edition.

Thank goodness those swimsuits en route are black.

My in-laws visited over the weekend, and even though it was Brian’s birthday, I felt like I got a break! A new MIL appreciation comes with having kids. She grocery shopped, played with my kids, and helped with laundry, all while I was working. I even slept until nine one morning!

Leila and Mark helped us celebrate with a fun dinner. Let this not be overlooked: at some point on Brian’s birthday, his festivities included doing a massive pile of laundry, and I came home to fresh, folded clothes.

That’s very telling of Brian. Laid back, practical, and nice. Really, really nice. He will quietly do ANYTHING for our family (or friends), and his selflessness is underrated.

I had no idea how right for me that twenty three year old boy was when I met him, and even though it took me two years to recognize it (and change his name from “Brian Creepy” in my phone), I can’t believe I caught him! With a lot of false advertising (like shaved legs and clean hair), and the help of Morgan and Stuart Peterson, I caught him.

Happy belated birthday, Brian. You’re our bestie.

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Feb 15: Valentine’s Day Split Personalities Explained

At the risk of offending self proclaimed feminists, I will go ahead and say that February 15 is the day that we girls collectively explain our optimistically erratic Valentine’s Day behavior.

I’ll go first.

This Valentine’s Day, I told Brian I didn’t care what we did to celebrate.

He interpreted that as I didn’t care what we did to celebrate.

Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m THAT girl. The girl that says, “I don’t care!” and genuinely mean it about 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, it’s up to my husband to decipher what I really mean.

Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, etc are always in that other 20%. By, “I don’t care, whatever!” I mean, “I don’t care butyoubetterreadbetweenthelinesandmakeplansorcomehomewithsomethingbut really, whatever!”

Then, there are other girls, who are fine with their guy surprising them with Trader Joe’s flowers, until they’ve scrolled through social media for seven hours. A bouquet pales in comparison to the Ferrari that babiesburlapandbigamy had in her driveway, and Carolyn35 had her pool drained and filled with her favorite chocolate and a swan floatie. Even Brittany from high school had a gluten free cake served in freezable portions to accommodate her Weight Watcher’s diet!

Suddenly, those Trader Joe’s flowers make you wonder if your man even LIKES you.

Your single friend’s Galentine’s was more elaborately planned than your night, so now, you’re sitting at Outback with your date, nary a bloomin’ onion, furiously unimpressed. “Yeah, no, nothing’s wrong. This is great.”

I know better than to peruse social media on Valentine’s Day, and although I still tossed Brian my usual, suspiciously impartial attitude this year, we had SUCH a fun day.

We began the day with heart pancakes that looked like demented Mickeys. No one ate them, but I took a picture.

Gus went to his darling friend Ivy’s Valentine’s party, and it sounded like he was a little confused about his first ever play date without me. One day, he will be thrilled I left him alone with all these girls, and he will be even happier to know I squirted him with his daddy’s cologne on the way out for good measure. Thanks, Taylor and Ivy!

Brian maneuvered through my “I don’t care!” lies with wisdom of a seasoned (battle scarred?) husband. (For the record, I don’t hope for much, just SOME ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, which was established after my 2009 birthday.) (Ashley Furness was my date that night and let me know husbands don’t know what you want unless you tell them, which was news to me…and has only sunk in 80%.)

We stayed in this Valentine’s Day, and Brian cooked an amazing “adults only” dinner after babies went to bed. If you’ve never had a Brian meal, you’re invited over. I have a hard time eating meat since pregnancies, but Brian’s steaks are ridiculous. He made his own dressing for this pear arugula salad he made but wouldn’t eat, and I almost drank it.

Our dining was momentarily accompanied by background music of overtired Gus’s night terrors. After snuggling him for a while, I returned to my OG Valentine, enjoyed conversation, and went to bed early.

Food and sleep speak to my heart.

So, boys, let this serve more as an explanation than an apology, because history repeats itself, especially so long as your significant other has social media accounts and watches The Bachelor. Sleep well tonight knowing you have another twelve months to either figure out if your lady is a 20%-er like me, or save $75/month to get her Louboutins next year.

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Justice for All: Creative (Dare I Say Democratic?) Punishment Alternatives for Your Children

Is anyone else TIRED of the political talk?

The last time words like “freedom,” “justice,” and “equality” were this exhaustively used in my vocabulary were during my teenage years, when, like, I was, like, really upset with my parents.

Although my two boys are still just babies, my fear of parenting teens (or fear of bad karma from my own years) is already in effect. Because of this, my husband and I have instead compiled a list of “grounding” alternatives. Our future teenagers’ undesirable behavior will be at a standstill due to Mom’s variation of tactics.

To reinforce the democratic familial governing our teenagers will insist upon, the following list is to be used as a CHOICE in place of a run of the mill, predictable consequence. Instill some fear into their souls, correct behavior, and teach them the meaning of justice, all in one! “You can choose to lose your phone privileges for a week, OR______.” Then, pat yourself on the back for bringing democracy back to the family, and let the good times roll.

Discipline Alternatives for Taming a Teen

1. The Sign and Date: The rule breaker will not be grounded if he or she returns a completed petition with a header statement. “I, _____, have come home 20 minutes past my curfew multiple times this month. I am so disrespectful of my parents’ rules. SHAME. Since I was so inconsiderate of my parents, who are super cool and know Jay Z songs, I need your signature to agree that yes, I am in the wrong. Yes, there are repercussions. No, I will not be late again. This way, you can still see me on weekends. Include your number, because my mom will be calling you to verify your signature’s authenticity.” After 25 signatures and phone numbers from high school friends, call to confirm their signatures and a consequence will be waived. Heart emoji.

(And then, you’ll have a secret stash of their friends’ phone numbers. Well played, me.)

2. Not Stacy’s Mom: Upon continuation of the country’s doughnut and cupcake fanaticism, odds are good you will pack on a few pounds. Hold off on Weight Watchers–this will come in handy. “Happen” to run into your teen and his/her friends, rain or shine, in a bikini. This will have to be more of an ambush rather than an agreed upon punishment, but you can work out the kinks when the scale increases another fifty pounds.

3. Wheely Embarrassing: Should your finances allow, invest in a perfectly safe, yet severely cosmetically damaged, vehicle for offenders to drive for a determined time period. This total piece of crap car will have duct tape, stale fries squished between the seats, and possibly and “I love my mom!” license plate holder. “Time out car!” spray painted on the side is also a consideration. Driving solidarity will be achieved by removing passenger seats.

4. Au Natural: A negotiated time period of no makeup for daughters. High school social pressures alongside a bare face will definitely instill a fear of talking back.

5. PDA, PDA, PDA is Not Okay:
If you need to bring out the big guns, pull out the ol’ love card. The teen culprit will have to accompany his or her googly-eyed parents on a date to a pre-determined, popular location. Don’t skimp on lots and lots of public displays of affection with your significant other. Make sure to talk unmistakably to your child, loudly, between kissing. #notmyparents #PDA #eyesburning

Even though my guys are just little, any additional suggestions to our raise-good-kids-sans-grounding arsenal would be appreciated!

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I’d Give Myself a Solid B Today

I was a crappy mom last Thursday. All around. I ended up letting my kids just splash around in a mall fountain to their hearts’ content, while I sat defeated on the side eating a caramel apple.

I’d glare from behind my caramel apple at anyone that asked if my kids needed a towel, or gave the oh-so-clever, “Looks like you’ve got your hands full! Har har!” comment.

I know, it’s February, and Shamu reenactments can be a little brisk. It’s just that the night before I forgot to completely recharge my patience the way I do my phone. I was in low power mode. (My kids were super happy, for the record.)

Because of my bland mothering the end of last week, I went into my long work weekend feeling guilty. After hearing a few sad stories and seeing a friend get hit by a drunk driver with her son in the backseat, I was fiercely determined to be an A+ mom this week.

So, we have played all day the past few days. I put my phone in a drawer. We got out the Playdough. We went out to eat. I cleaned G’s little spot on his wall where he (carefully and intentionally) displays his boogies after declining Kleenexes. My kids refused their naps, so they just watched Mickey…but no naps don’t fly with me. The precious, precious, precious synchronized naps are when I gloriously recharge, and my guys awaken to a clean-ish house, and a mom with clean-ish hair.

Naptime is my phoenix rising from the ashes moment, if you will. It’s as dramatic as it sounds.

No naps really steal my thunder, but I triiiiied to not fall off the wagon by playing with stickers and coloring and tickling and reading and playing hockey.

That A+ grade is hard earned, man. It reminds me of my freshman year biology class, when I worked SO hard for a grade that would make you pat my head.

This time, I’ve got nothing to study, and all those Pinterest moms are throwing the curve.

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