Thursday, April 30, 2009

scary angry

This year one of my obsessions is our yard.  I've worked really hard planting a garden (and all that involves from start to finish), planting flowers in the flower beds (ditto) and planting some grass (ditto again).  When we moved in, we figured our yard was once a pretty place.  There were remnants of flowers, trellises, flower beds and the like.  However, the last tenants here were blind crackheads (literally) so it's safe to assume they didn't put a huge priority on yard work.

Anyway, this morning I was admiring the Nasturtiums that were just starting to sprout (an edible flower).  I planted them from seeds and I cannot begin to describe the amount of satisfaction I receive when seeds actually sprout (success!!)  This afternoon, Izzy wanted to play out on the deck while I was doing kitchen-duty.  No problem.  But later, as I walked around the deck doing my routine satisfaction walk, I noticed that of my Nasturtiums had been pulled out of the dirt.  Every single one.  I was absolutely furious.  Izzy had already picked all of my baby tomatoes last week and this was enough to throw me over the edge.  I seriously had to talk a walk around the yard to prevent from beating her.

This is harsh and I know it.  But already this child takes too much from me.  My sleep.  My cleanliness.  My need for organization.  I love her.  God knows more than anything else in this world.  But as any grown adult knows, we often want to hurt the ones we love.  And today, while staring shocked at my aborted Nasturtiums, I wanted to hurt her.  I've replanted them and gained my perspective.  They are only plants.  She is only 2.  It's not that big of a deal.  But bless my poor angry soul, I am looking more forward to getting out of town this weekend than a happy mother should be...

simplify, simplify, simplify

Since the beginning of mine and Chris' relationship we have always lived on the edge financially.  We've always seemed to live paycheck-to-paycheck no matter how much we've made.  Since moving to Austin, we've grown much more responsible and moved up the financial ladder (albeit slowly).  Since having Izzy, we've gotten even better, throwing a large chunk into 401K, setting up an ESA for Izzy and putting money from every paycheck into savings.  Over the last 3 years, we have all but cleared our credit reports (minus college loans, but who the hell counts those?)  Hell, in the last 3 months, we've even become stockholders.

But these days, even those grand improvements are not enough.  I need more simplification.  I want to get rid of stuff, cancel more things and save even more.  In fact, I feel an obsession coming on.  Starting in June (because May is already booked solid), I've decided I'm going to start selling off our stuff.  We have too much crap around here.  The best houses I've walked into are houses that are clean and simple.  We do not live in that house.  And already Izzy's toys are taking over around here.  It's starting to drive me insane.

In addition to selling off stuff, I'm going to really put our finances under the microscope (again).  I already know the cable is going to go.  I'm a slave to the television and it's unhealthy and irritating.  In addition, we are going to learn to survive in the heat.  Chris and I have never paid attention to the thermostat and it shows every month in our electric bill.  We have a programable thermostat and it sits on "Hold" at a steady 73 degrees.  That is not a conservation make.  Also, we are going to stop buying fast food completely, and instead go out for dinner every payday.  That's the plan anyway.

Already I'm super conscientious about waste.  I'm a serious recycler, take my bags to the grocery store with me 80% of the time and have gone "green" with more than even I thought possible (ie: The Keeper).  But I need to take it to the next level.  I need Izzy to grow up differently than I did.  I need her to be conscious about spending, waste, conservation and keeping things simple.  And the only way I can ensure that is to make sure we live that way as well.

Oh yeah, and I need to quit smoking.  Because smoking breaks ALL of those rules.  But that can't come until I have everything else in order, and in keeping with always providing deadlines for myself, the end goal for smoking cessation is December 31st.  This will be my last year of addiction.  Period.  The end.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

SpongeBob causes cancer

Okay, okay.  SpongeBob himself does not cause cancer.  But his bubble bath sure could.  First let me say that I know bubble bath isn’t good for you.  It can cause UTI’s and skin irritations.  But Izzy likes her bubbles and I was tired of flying through the good stuff to make the bubbles happen.  I looked for bath crayons and they are harder to find than one might imagine, so we ended up with bubble bath.  I wanted some Mr. Bubble because that’s what I liked as a kid until I ended up with UTI’s and then Mr. Bubble was no more.  But Izzy took one look at SpongeBob, freaked out with desire and so in the basket he went.

I came home and googled the ingredients, and sure enough, there are “cancer causing agents”.  Plus there is formaldehyde.  Which is gross, but whatever.  Apparently that’s the way bubble bath rolls.  Anyway, it contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate (it’s the second listed ingredient, in fact) and that particular ingredient (which is in everything if you look) has been known to cause an “increased incidence of cancer in controlled animal studies”.  Nice.

So the question now is “will I go ahead and bubble it up for Izzy?”  For now, yes I will.  I’ll use up this ONE bottle.  But only because in addition to bubble bath, I also bought a $12 (rather small) bottle of sunscreen (instead of Banana Boat) because I know that the cheap kids sunscreen is really bad for kids.  So I figure the two will cancel each other out.

In the event that you’d like to stop worrying about the pig flu and find out what’s really killing us (slowly), feel free to check out this website:

You can thank Jessica for killing the love of your favorite products.  Or, you can say “screw it, I want to be looking good in my Ultima II makeup when I get hit by that car….”


Sunday, April 26, 2009

martini's and self-discovery

Last night I got gloriously drunk on apple martini's.  Several times I remember thinking "why don't I get drunk more often?"  Until towards the end of the night when I was lying my head down in the bathroom sink trying to "get myself together".  Even still, it was quite enjoyable.  Until this morning when I was awoken by my beautiful daughter yelling "WAKE UP MOMMY, WAKE UP!"  Luckily, I have a fantastic husband that took morning duty all weekend and I was able to sleep until 11am.  The smell of pancakes and bacon rose me out of bed, which is when I realized why I don't get drunk "more often".  Hangovers suck.  The hangover headache and lethargy I can completely do without.  Granted, a martini hangover doesn't suck as much as a red wine hangover, but regardless, all hangovers suck.  I understand how people become alcoholics.  They need to drink just to get through the hangover.  Ugh...

Once I was finally up and around, I talked to my cousin-who-is-like-a-sister, Chelsea.  The conversation quickly turned into a psychotherapy session and at one point I suggested that she needed to do some serious soul-searching.  "Is there a book on that?" she asked.  I laughed, thinking that surely there was, but it defeated the point of "self" "searching".  But then I realized she had a point.  If you are starting at square one, which at 21 you most definitely are, how do you even know what to ask yourself?  So I told her I'd do some research and get back to her.  And because I am an internet research queen, I found exactly what I was looking for:

As I was arrogantly reading over the questions (thinking I had all the answers, of course), I realized I am probably due for some self discovery.  I haven't done any true soul searching in about 10 years, and seeing as how we change and constantly evolve (or we should anyway), I'm thinking it's time I sit and answer some of these questions myself.  And me being who I am (a girl who lacks the ability to keep anything private), I'm going to use my blog for that purpose.  I'm going to bare my soul for all the internet world to see.  Granted, I will still be posting about the hilarious goings-on of Casa de Dawson, but in addition I'm going to try some self-imposed psychotherapy as well.  This should be fun...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Keeping on...

I've wanted to start posting a few of my favorite things online and since this is my most favorite thing right now, I thought I'd start with it.  It's been a hot topic between me and the girls for quite some time and now that I've used it for the second month I am loving it more and more.

It's called The Keeper.  It's a feminine hygiene cup that is better for both you and the environment.  I won't get into the details because I know there are guys reading this that are holding their heads in their hands saying "whyyy?  whyyy?"  But for the life of me I don't know why it isn't more popular.  Once you get the hang of it, it's genius!

So please ladies, check it out.  If you decide to try it, feel free to send me any questions.  It's different and there are definitely some tips and tricks involved.  I was lucky to have a small support group that helped me get started and answer whatever questions I had.  For those of you living in Austin, it's available at Ecowise for the same price you'd pay if you had to order it online with shipping.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hi worm. I love you.

So I've been meaning to start blogging on here but life has been getting in the way.  Now, sitting out on the back deck watching my strange child, seems to be as good a time as any to get started.  And we'll get started with what is actually going on out here on the back deck.

A few minutes ago, I was sitting here watching Izzy play in the sandbox.  I knew the sandbox was nice and clean, as I had spent over an hour last week scooping out leaves and dirt with a cat litter scooper (a rather genius idea!)  So all of a sudden I hear her say "awwwwww...." and she slowly climbs out of the sand box holding something carefully in her hands.  Through the yard she walks, affectionately talking to this unknown object, carefully walking up the stairs and stopping right at my face.  "Look Mom," she says, "it's a worm."  And there between her fingers was a little green worm.  A little green squished worm, I should add.  "Ohhh Izzy," I say.  "Please put the worm down, I think you killed it."  She shook her head "no" and held the worm to her shoulder where she rocked it back and forth and patted the hand holding the poor squished thing.  At that point, a friend of mine called.  I relayed the story to her, horrified that Izzy was babying this thing.  "Taunya, you need to be creative," Sarah said.  "Go get a blanket for the worm and put the damn thing nite-nite.  Grab a piece of toilet paper or something.  Geez..."  Of course.  Why didn't I think of that.  

So I grab a piece of toilet paper and we put the worm nite-nite.  Izzy is patting it and I realize the poor little thing is still alive.  Squirming for it's life.  I think it's time to act fast, so I make a move for it.  Izzy beats me to it by putting the bottom of a cup on it.  This time, it's squished for real.  I try to pick it up with the piece of toilet paper, only to upset her tremendously.  "Fine," I said.  "Take it back to it's Momma in the sandbox.  It really misses it's Momma."  "Okay." She says, carefully picking it back up, holding it to her shoulder and slowly walking back down the stairs.  But first, she thought it should take a few joy rides down her slide.  At that point I just decided to go with it.  After a couple of rides down the slide she picked the worm up, walked it back to the sandbox and sweetly said "Hi worm.  I love you." before tossing it back into the sandbox.  She turned around and said "all done Momma".  Well the worm definitely is, that much I'm sure of.