Where Did My Baby Go?

I’ve had a lot of feelings this week, and it makes me feel like that girl pouring her heart out on Mean Girls. (“She doesn’t even go here!” “I just have a lot of feelings.”)

This month has proved to be another with no promise of a baby. Does that sound pathetic for someone who already has two beautiful, healthy children? I am so blessed! The feeling of deeply wanting a baby is overwhelming, and weirdly isolating, because I don’t believe husbands ever drown in that emotion like women do.

Disappointment is a frustrating feeling. Sadness with an undertone of anger.

Waking up the day after a miscarriage or negative pregnancy test is the worst.

Kind of like when you get dumped, if you can’t relate. Has that happened to you? Did anyone ever break up with you? You wake up the next day, and there are just a few glorious seconds of amnesia, and then the previous day’s events come flooding back to your mind like an aftershock.

It’s kind of like that, only with less Beyonce break up playlists from your best friends.

The inside of me feels a little wilted, and I let myself experience those feelings for a few hours, but I can never be upset long with Gus and Roscoe keeping me busy. My sons are my best buddies, and without a doubt, angels sent to my home.

Oh, were you looking for a blog that posts about gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free brownies? I’m sorry.

My current baby turns two at the end of the week! Can you believe that? I am always emotional about birthdays, but this suddenly talking dude is getting to be SO fun that it emphasizes the sweet in bittersweet. I’m soaking in the last few moments of having a 23-month-old while I can still refer to his age in months. Just look at this face!

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Every Beach Trip is Shark Week When You’ve Watched Too Much Shark Week

They say home is where your heart is, and mine is always, always at the edge of the water.

Not far in it, though, because that’s scary and seaweed-y. Too many years of Shark Week.

(I wouldn’t mind a small nibble though, just something that would promise a small scar to elevate my street cred, especially to my boys. I’m envisioning being my kids’ elementary school show and tell object, walking into a spot light in an awed room, commanding attention as I solemnly part my leg hair to show them the 2” scar from what I’m positive was a teacup Great White…)

Oh, sorry. I digress.

Don’t let me watch Air Jaws again this year.

I think I got more smile lines this week from watching my boys beam. We waded in the chilly water, but mostly just played in the sand and exchanged, “This is the BEST, right!?” looks.

My heart feels right at home smelling any salty ocean air, but there is one beach in particular that I love. It’s where I’ve watched the sun set for years and years.

Are you a sunrise or sunset person?

Me? I’m a sunset girl. I think it sounds more romantic, less morning-breath-y. I love the dramatic ending to the day, a fiery exclamation point to punctuate the last moments of daylight. I like the way the sky dissolves into blackness, slowly but unrelenting, the way black ink bleeds on paper.

But.
A sunset is hardly an ending.

A past-life me would reassure you that dusk is just when the night is beginning.

There is a tangible energy that sunsets produce. Instead of blackness, the world suddenly sparkles with a thousand lights. There is a buzz of mystery. At nightfall, the world is suddenly exciting, delicately filtered by moonlight, and forgiving of seen-in-broad-daylight blemishes. Wait, is that why I like sunset?

There is a magnificence in feeling so insignificant watching one of nature’s shows.

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Has Anyone Started Dreaming in Boomerangs Yet?

It’s been said that once you truly comprehend a new language, you start dreaming in it.

It makes me wonder if every person active on social media has suddenly experienced endless dreams (nightmares?) of Boomerang videos over and over and over and over and over and over and over and three new views and over and over.

Just curious.

(I haven’t yet, but I have yet to master that Boomerang wiggle, and I am positive that’s a prerequisite.)

Although I mainly use this blog as a reference website for writing samples, can I incorporate other stuff? Like, I don’t know…crappy iPhone photos? My favorite blogs have always been those that show me a glimpse of a person’s (slash total stranger I’m convinced I’m friends with) real life, and you can really get to know someone through their low-quality, quickly snapped pictures. A screenshot of the 72 open browser tabs on their phones, too, perhaps? I’ll save that for next time.

Maybe I’ll do that weekly and make a “My Life Monday,” or “More Than You Want to Know Monday!”
“TMI Tuesday?”
How about, “What the Hell’s Happening Wednesday”?

Yes. I like that one, but my mom would probably thin smile and that’s scary.

Also, it’s not Wednesday.

Also, my kids aren’t allowed to say “butt,” sooo I won’t say PG-13 words like hell. I definitely won’t say heck. I sure as hell won’t say heck. (JK, Mom!)

Anyway, here’s the past week:

I went to a friend’s baby sprinkle. You know that group of friends that you just kind of elbow your way into because they’re fun? Or do you not do that? Here are mine. I really like them and I’m way happy they were forced into the shackles of my love.

After Destiny’s shower, I made the most of my thirty minutes in the mall before the stores closed. I bought my son shoes, had an item to return, and I bought several pairs of sunglasses, because I will break and/or lose them all before July. I had to text a best friend to ask for her opinion while simultaneously doing the same with the Nordstrom girl helping me. (Like I said, forced friends. “Do these look okay? Do I look like I think I’m 17? Do you want to go to spin?”)

I ran into a girl at the airport wearing these shoes, and I had five minutes left to casually run to the other side of the mall to decide if I was pulling the trigger on copying her. The run! The color decision! It was all very thrilling. I’m saying I bought these shoes for Mother’s Day, but I am still holding out hope for a will. Shoes just sound appropriately less morbid for Mother’s Day.

We went swimming with a few friends at our friend Dylan’s house, went through the carwash at least six times, celebrated our friend Trey at his birthday party, celebrated the opening of a friend’s soda store, celebrated my friend Jackie’s birthday at a Backstreet Boys concert.

Wow. I guess I know why my boys napped so well.

Every week, I’m more and more in love with these little guys. Even with a bunch of fun events, my favorite moments are at home. Seen here: playing In n Out Drive Thru in Halloween jammies. They even ask, “You want animal style?” #proudmom

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My Most Sunny Days Always Leave Me Teary

There is a wonder I experience as a new mom, crossing new bridges as my oldest child does the same.

My kids are approaching the real pearl of childhood. At almost two and three, the sleepless nights are behind us. My boys are both talking and expressing their own, hilarious thoughts, and I feel that new-mom isolation no more.

I’ve been caught off guard by this new stage of life and its unexpected sprinkling of pixie dust, because my kids think EVERYTHING is magical.

From seeing a street sweeper, to a stranger’s raspy voice, to blossoming trees…it’s all entrancing. Holding a ladybug for the first time, and watching with sheer astonishment when it flies away! Listening for helicopters! Watching a puppy lap water from a bowl! Garbage day! Witnessing sprinklers turn on! Putting detergent in the washing machine! It’s new. It’s fresh. My mundane routine is suddenly dazzling and vivid. The days have more zest. I’m still tired, but my kids give me a shot of laughter hourly, and their thrill of pioneering a new world is contagious.

My children are young enough to not understand real sorrow. Heartbreak is unknown. They don’t know about the world…they only know the world I put in front of them. At ages one and three, naivety is normal. Innocence is beautiful. Heaven still feels close.

They’re also young enough to not have any real school schedule or pressing commitments. I savor the peacefulness of midmorning strolls on quiet roads, and appreciate being rich enough in time to admire every dandelion along the way. I love the slow pace, and have to remind myself often not to complicate it. The world hasn’t sped up yet. I know, I know, it will, and the sand will slip through the glass quickly and cruelly; let me just enjoy holding onto those little hands a bit longer.

And those little hands. Those teeny, sticky fingers always find me, because I am wanted. A heart soars to feel wanted! The elation of feeling truly wanted as a parent is unparalleled. I know they’ll need a mother for years, but to WANT a mother–that’s different. Even on the days I go crazy almost tripping over two extra shadows, I know my heart will break just a little the day my kids insist they can spread their wings alone.

These are the days.

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What If I Match My Babysitter? Age Appropriate Shopping Concerns

I just have a question under the category of “adulting.”

What am I supposed to be wearing at age thirty?

It’s less my age, maybe, than my stage of life.

Here’s my sitch: pregnant, postpartum, disproportionate nursing bod’, pregnant again, think-I’m-normal-size-but-not-really, back to normal (ish). Another baby wanted.

Am I given a pass to buy inexpensive clothing where sixteen year old girls waste time in line posting their Coachella pictures?

Or, is having a real-life wardrobe imperative to my being taken seriously during squabbles with our pediatrician’s front desk staff? (“Oh, you’ve been sitting in the empty room with a fevering child for over an hour? I must have not checked you in. What’s your name again?”)

Next time, I want to be like, “THIS IS A CHICO’S BLAZER, KAREN, DO I LOOK INCAPABLE OF A TERRIBLE YELP REVIEW TO YOU?”

I’ll bust out any amount to have the upper hand at a pediatrician, I’ll tell you that much.

I dislike paying $75 for a made-in-China shirt that I will ruin with hair color at my job, or Cheetohs at my other job, but I’ll break out my Southwest credit card if needs be. I’m happy to rack up enough points to get to San Juan this summer.

Well, at least Wichita.

(Below are some of my most complimented pants. I wasn’t aware they were pajama pants when I purchased them. I just assumed Kate Moss for Topshop meant English chic. I DO wear them to social events, and you SHOULD be jealous I found the only comfortable high-waisted pants ever made. Or just bless my heart.)

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Do I know you? Do you want to look at my room service pictures anyway?

Blogland slowed down for a second, because, to be honest, I got a little freaked out.

When I started a little blog in 2008, all my friends had one. It was how I communicated with friends and family prior to Instagram.

My readership has increased since then, especially since I’ve been trying to promote it to find writing opportunities. I can’t believe it! Frankly, I’m stunned that anyone stops by here, but it’s awesome!

It’s just…who are you?

Are you someone who cares to know that my post 9:00 PM time management is terrible, and I complain about never getting laundry done as I pick my face for an hour?

Are you someone who finds it interesting that my husband legitimately accused me of forgetting a burrito in our bedroom a few weeks ago? (It DID smell like Mexican food in our room for a couple days, and it IS a valid hypothesis, but I did not. I haven’t eaten a burrito in our room…for years. It left me offended and hungry.)

Are you the type I can confide in that I feel completely overwhelmed, and recently bit off more than I can chew? Are you the kind friend that will put an arm around me and tell me that’s just life? And to stop wasting time picking my face?

Are you a person that doesn’t mind if I post no-makeup, not professional pictures occasionally?

As a reader, I enjoy elements of raw emotion in writing. That will inevitably bleed onto Fluent in Blonde (unless I see a therapist for my emotions, or something), and I spent a week debating my level of not-child-related caution in what I share. By no means am I controversial, but I have a personality, you know? What if I offend someone? What if I unknowingly make myself way too vulnerable?

…buuuuut coming from a girl who can pound an entire pack of Springtime Oreos, I probably weigh too much to walk on eggshells.

I’ve also concluded that sharing my thoughts with you is less detrimental to me than it is to you. My overexposed emotions is probably more like…a flasher. A streaker. Okay, maybe something more mild, like mooning. As a verbal (or more traditional) mooner,I can’t feel vulnerable if I’m intentionally expoooosing myself to you.

Obviously, my sweet ninos are a different story, but writing with emotion? I think I’m okay with you reading it, you. Whoever you are. (I’m glad you’re here.)

Here’s what I’ve been doing while ignoring you:

It was brought to my attention by an online Zappos customer service rep that April 20th is National Cheese Fry Day. There was no questioning eating animal fries, animal fries know no shame. That’s why I unapologetically ate them in a swimsuit. It was also the first time everrrr that my little angel babies were being little angel babies in the kids’ pool. I sat on the side eating 3000 calories, and they just played! Gloooooooooooo-ria.

I enjoyed a one night vacation with my friend, Taylor. I never enjoy leaving any of my boys, but laying on a beach all day? Sleeping in until 10? Room service? Not currently physically attached to a baby? Well, okay. I’ll go for one day.


No vegan, gluten, dairy,or sugar preferences here.


Alwaaaays happy to be back home and wake up to my little loves snuggling in my bed.

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Nursery Rhyme Meanings That Keep You Guessing

 I’ve heard convincing arguments that Mother Goose is the key to Ivy Leagues. I’m all for brain stimulation and early developmental progress, but I don’t remember many nursery rhymes. I’ve had to go off of memory, and it has proven to be a little fuzzy.

By “a little fuzzy,” I mean that I can’t remember even half the words. “Ring around the Rosies” is the only thing that’s clear in my mind. Sadly, that’s only due to years of elementary school repetition, because of the fascinating rumors of its morbid meaning that were shared in the shadows of the tether ball poles.

I looked up a couple nursery rhymes to keep in my back pocket.

Have you read them recently? There are some real creepers in there. How many young children go to sleep smiling serenely after hearing about some egg-dude Humpty that fatally fell off a wall, anyway?

Why do none of these have conclusions? Are there sequels?

What do these even mean, anyway?!

Here are a handful of my loose interpretations.

“Little Miss Muffet
Sat on her tuffet
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider and sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.”
Translation: Little Miss Muffet sat on her stool, or possibly Kim K booty (haven’t checked “tuffet” on Urban Dictionary), and ate 2% cottage cheese. She regretted not keeping the pest control guy’s magnet on the fridge.

“Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot, nine days old.”
Translation: Someone spilled frozen peas in the steel cut oatmeal. Before finally throwing it out, Mom kept it for nine days, because there are starving children in Africa.

“It’s raining, it’s pouring;
The old man is snoring.
Bumped his head
And he went to bed
And he couldn’t get up in the morning.”’
Translation: He got the Advil mixed up with Ambien. Or else…

“The bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain, to see what he could see. To see what he could see, to see what he could see. The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.”
Translation: This was a “she” bear, probably a mom, just trying to get out of the house. Sometimes I do that. I go to Target, to buy what I can buy, to buy what I can buy.

“Old Mother Hubbard, went to her cupboard, to fetch her poor dog a bone. When she was there, the cupboard was bare, and so the poor dog had none.”
Translation: This is an ASPCA commercial. Cue Sarah McLachlan.

“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do.
She gave them some broth,
Without any bread,
Whipped them all soundly, and sent them to bed.”
Translation: This lady came home from Saks with new Louboutins, and her husband said, “You better be living in those shoes, because that was as much as a mortgage payment!” She was like, “Fine, I will.” The new leather smell made her go crazy, and I really don’t know what happened after that. I’m sure the husband has full custody, and a pending restraining order.

I don’t think I’ll read that one to my little guy.

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Taxes are the Worst Because my Math is the WORST

My only questions in math classes were, “Can I bring Kleenex for extra credit? Is that once QUARTERLY? If not, when is the last day to transfer out of here?”

I definitely lean towards the arts. If only it could fill my bank account like it does my soul.

Or help me with taxes.

Unfortunately, no one is interested in Transcendentalism and other fascinating methods of literary criticism during tax season.

Instead of writing, I’ve been working on taxes the past few nights I’ve had off work. Alright, I’m not even “doing” my taxes, just preparing our eleventh-hour submission for our accountant. Just looking at all those numbers is still exhausting and terrible, though.

It gives me flashbacks to math classes and I can almost smell the pencil shaving aroma of classrooms. Ugh. Is this PTSD?

Let me reminisce about my math class career path, or as I recall it, a walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

After the alphabet began adulterating math problems, and imaginary numbers were discussed (excuse me? they’re pretending?), I banked on passing high school math with Kleenex and other extra credit opportunities.

My ACT/SAT scores didn’t include math scores, just skulls and cross bones in the shape of a sad face.

Luckily, I still attended college and began basic math.

Or so I thought.

The first day of my freshman year math class, we discussed decimals. And then the next week, we talked about decimals. And the next, and the next, and…and then I looked around and realized that most of my classmates seemed to have special needs. (I don’t mean “most,” actually.)

And that’s cool. They were way nice. Except, it was going to take me three semesters to work my way up to entry level Math 1010.

Lo and behold, I had a neon green flyer on my windshield one day with bold print: DO YOU HATE MATH?

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS I DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Because my dad pitied me for being such an idiot, he was willing to sponsor my enrollment in “EasiestMathEver.com,” which was an intense, six week independent study program that guaranteed (or your money back) your passing Math 1010 and transferred the credit to your school.

I took the class with ten other Kleenex-clinging people, and was taught what the squiggles on graphing calculators mean. The day of my final, I had a cold, but popped a DayQuil, plus one more to be safe, and then realized I’d opened the wrong end of the two-in-one box.

I’d taken two NyQuil.

I somehow earned the highest grade I’ve had on a math test since fifth grade (which wasn’t that high) (87%), passed Math 1010, dropped my remedial math class, and got a free shirt that said, “EASY” on the front.

Annnd that’s why I pay an accountant to do my taxes. Cue hair flip.

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A Letter to the People Telling Me I Have My Hands Full

To Humans That Throw Me The Old, “You’ve got your hands full! HA! HA! WINK!” Comment Every Time I Leave The House,

Okay, okaaaay. First of all, duh. I have a one and three year old, so, yes, you’re right.

Second of…wait. Are you referring to my children, or the large drink and two Starbucks sugar cookies in my hand as I’m steering the Target cart with my wrists?

Just making sure we were on the same page.

Does, “WOW YOU HAVE SURE GOT YOUR HANDS FULL!” translate to, “Hello!” in some kind of Costco/Target dialect of English?

Could you at least hold the door open for me while you say it?

Maybe not run to try to beat me to the check out?

Buy me a Twix?

I am beyond grateful to have babies with strong personalities and strong bodies to keep me busy. I adore them. I want more. Also, I won’t tell you that they’re actually being very angelic right now because I bribe them with orange Tic Tacs at the register.

If I have another baby, the only reason I’m hesitant to save my placenta to throw at people like you is because I don’t trust my aim. Pulling a placenta out of a Rebecca Minkoff bag and drilling the wrong person in the back of the head at Nordstrom Rack sounds like a news worthy assault suit.

Except, quite a few attorney friends are coming to mind as I’m thinking of it. I could probably count on some feminist friends to rally in front of the courthouse…so tell me I’ve got my hands full one more time and we’ll both see if I’m joking.

Juuuust kidding. We both know I’ll just fake smile at you again, like every week, and maybe say something much classier, like, “So is my heart!”

But, really. Knock it off.

Thanks You’re Annoying,

Ashton

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Finding Light in the Dark

Over the weekend, a past salon owner lost his child. Even though we weren’t close friends, the sadness was felt throughout the whole weekend at my salon. Like any parent, I feel deeply for this family. I can’t even handle the news in my mom-with-a-lot-of-feelings state! It’s safe to say I was a little shaken and very eager to love on my little guys a little extra. As I drove home from work both days, I thought about this tragedy in silence, because music almost seemed inappropriate.

For me, the stillness lingered today.

…but in that stillness, I noticed a lot more than I might have.

The vibrant green of new, spring leaves is stunning.

Teeny legs of a ladybug are ticklish. My boys held out both arms in awe as we caught our first ladybug. They marveled at the red. How many spots did it have? Was it friends with bees and butterflies? What about crocodiles? My youngest son screamed the shrieks of joy only a thrilled one year old and a baby velociraptor can.

My grandpa’s eyes have a never-aging twinkle in them every time he smiles.

My three year old’s face as he looked at himself incredulously in the mirror the first time he tried on new Batman jammies will make a grown man cry…and it did. Gus was stunned speechless with nothing but a huge grin and a few gasps, couldn’t stop touching the Batman logo until he needed both hands to fly. His sweet daddy’s smile was almost as big as he quietly wiped a few tears.

In these still moments, I am reminded what a beautiful life we live. Even though I have a limited understanding of the big picture, I know the Lord intends for us to be happy. Tender, perfect moments are sprinkled all along our lives’ paths, no matter where they may lead.

Right on cue from LDS General Conference today: “Even in the most difficult and darkest of times, there is goodness and light all around us.” -Elder Bragg

I can’t imagine how this cute family must feel, so I write this only as a “note to self” for future reference, and hope they can feel how many people send their love.

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