Bad Girls

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I Had a Very Dramatizing Childhood


My week in review(or thinly veiled reasons why I've been absent).

1. Got the computer herps, husband had to completely reformat very badly wonkified harddrive, so bad actual reformatting took two days.

2. Very busy listening to husband chastise me for broken computer. "Would you stop downloading music already." Uh, sorry it was porn.

3.Was busy thanking husband for said cleaned up computer in a myriad of ways and now am very tired(and a little sore).

4. We got a dog and now have four members of our family who shit at will.

5. Have new business project with husband so have been very busy telling him what to do and how he's doing it wrong.


If you followed me around this week, here are some of the things you would have heard.

I don't think I can keep her away from the poop smear on the wall. -hubs to me trying to simultaneously wipe up dog poo he smeared on the molding while picking it up and holding the bebe back from investigating said poop smear.

Those mean girls dramatized me. -eight year old's best guy friend recounting when a girl classmate was bullying him. You mean traumatized honey. Well, they're girls so I guess you probably were dramatized.

Man, she did it again, you were supposed to be watching her. (new puppy, that I practically begged for that hubs wanted to delay a year, peed on the floor for like the 5th time)Me, with a completely straight face, honey, you were the one that wanted a dog.

Five Year old daughter: And it was a lobster, a real lobster, no really, it was really real, you know, lobster. Eight year old son, (said in complete seriousness) Well, I hope you didn't touch it, you could get rabies. Uh honey, lobsters don't get rabies. Son: Thank god.

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Pigtail Bloodlust

Is it me, or is she just a little too excited about that sandwich?

One minute in photoshop and you could turn this into a zombie picture. Add some sallowness below her eyes, a little drip of blood off her toothy smile and replace the sandwich with human brains.

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Bebe Nerdlette


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My husband really shouldn't be around the kids too much, I think the bebe is becoming a full-blown trekkie.

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My Little Von Trapps

There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
It's easy --
The Beatles- All You Need Is Love

Tonight, as is the case most nights, I took my 15 month bebe to my bed about a half an hour before all our kids go to bed. I do this as wind down time for her and well, frankly, it's kind of meditative time for me. Tonight we snuggled in and she did the litany of things she does most nights. She sang and garbled as I waited for her to use up the last bits of stored up frenetic bebe energy. Then we went through all of her words a few times, me saying them first and then her repeating them.

Then I sang her a few songs, tonight it was the Beatle's Blackbird and All You Need is Love and California by Joni Mitchell. We had spent a few hours at the beach and she still smelled like salt and sun. I kissed her sweaty little head while she looked at me holding both sides of my head she whispered hi, drawn out like a secret code only we knew. Then she kissed me, first almost ferociously, slamming her face into mine and clapping. Gentle, gentle I told her and then she laid the softest one on me, doing the mmmmmm, for emphasis, something she's only just started doing. I pulled her in closer, and told her it was time to go to sleep. She struggled out of my embrace to grab at the cat who laid near us a few times before she relented and curved into my body, her head resting in my neck, my chin on her head. She lay there, her hand fidgeting at the seam of my sweater until her breathing became heavy and even.

I held her thinking about how serendipitous my life is. How the things I worry about are minutiae, the big picture, the real stuff is this, a sweaty little baby with her wispy filaments of hair tickling my face, my four almost five year old who asked tonight in an excited hush if she could go play in the dark, so you know she could like see the stars and stuff, and my eight year old who tried out several times for advanced band with no pressure or even push from my husband and I(he just started band in October) and he made it today so that he can trudge his trombone with him one more day a week just because that boy loves band.

And my husband who took me to the beach today, and we made up a super secret cool ass handshake just between the two of us(I won't give it away but it includes a simulated explosion!), and we introduced the bebe to the ocean and hubs carried her when her wet diaper weighed about sixteen pounds and her legs and fingers were all gritty with sand and he fished the shells out of her mouth. And when he got some disappointing news on a job he was interested in, I sang him the lyrics of Chumbawumba's I Get Knocked Out, all hammy until he laughed and he told me what I could do to make him feel better(same thing he's always asking for).

All the Buddhist stuff I've read and butted my head against the wall trying to go with the flow and be in the moment, I am finally getting it and I don't purport that a setback won't make me sulk or pout or pull a woe is me or why can't something just be easy but right now I am in this moment and this moment is so much better than anything I could have dreamed for myself.
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Dear Formerly Fun : Angels Butts, Clogged Pores, Pro-active & Bat Boy

Hey There, Beautiful!

I keep meaning to send this along, as I'm kind of at a loss of what to do. If anyone could answer this question, I think it would be you. My younger son (16), who once had the skin of an angel butt is now facing that whole teenager blemish thing. I've bought him ProActive, which might work if he used it on a semi-regular basis. Lots of blackheads on his nose and chin that I am doing everything in my power to avoid "helping" with. So, here's the query: Is it worthwhile to take him to an esthetician to get some extraction-esque facials? Is this done for teenaged boys?I'm just wondering if this could potentially help out, if it were done on a regular basis, or is it just a short-term solution? Inquiring minds want to know. While you're at it, maybe you know what happened to Bat Boy? He's been out of the news lately & I think they're grooming him for heading up Security for the Inauguration.

Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to provide!
Hugs,
Shelley


Dear Shelley,
First, let me assure you that Bat Boy is alive and well and much to my surprise residing here in Southern California. He has just finished his first screenplay and has been seen several times in a public lip lock with a certain Hilton girl heiress.

As to your oily offspring. First, a little Acne 101. Blackheads, also known as open comedones, are follicles filled with plugs of sebum and sloughed-off skin cells. The oxidation of melanin gives the material in the follicle the typical black color. Blackheads will not magically go away on their own if left alone and acne can result from infection of the oil gland due to the blockage by the blackhead. Therefore, preventing and removing blackheads helps control acne.

You could certainly take your son in for a mini-facial. You could also attempt a basic facial yourself. Perhaps getting squeezed a little will motivate your son to stick to a routine. I frequently do facials on teenagers, though I omit the shoulder and decollete massage because with a teenage boy you never know what might pop up.

Instead I stick to a thorough cleansing with steam to soften the blackheads. I like to use a slightly oilier cleanser because in this instance, like dissolves like. I use a light scrub if there is no active, angry acne(scrub will only further irritate this condition) or a light chemical peel. I then cover my fingertips with folded tissue and gently squeeze to push out the blackhead. Never use fingernails or the metal implements designed for blackhead removal. Fingernails leave small cuts in the skin and with a comedone extractor, it is too easy to use excessive pressure and injure the skin. Plus, they are not very effective. Anything that doesn't come out relatively easy isn't ready yet and should be left alone. Excessive squeezing can damage the skin surround the pore and can actually increase the size of the pore leading to more blackheads in the future.

As far as care goes, your son can keep it very basic and doable. Put the ProActive cleanser in the shower and tell him to lather his face up and let the cleanser sit softening the oil and debris while he "does other things." Have him use the treatment lotion before bed, it's okay if he doesn't wash his face first, not ideal but if he's sixteen let's keep it simple. Then use the toner when possible. Do what I do with my husband, soak a cotton pad with it, find your son somewhere on the computer and swipe it on his face. If he could wash in the am, lotion in the pm, this would go a long way toward keeping his skin the very picture of cherubic heiny it once was.
Postscript: When looking for images, it is advisable not to type in 'angel butt', oy vey, the internet is a begrimed and squalid place.

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We Have Ways of Making You Talk

One of the best parts of having more than one child is seeing your kids interact together. My oldest son is eight and our middle daughter nearly five. Watching them laugh together, playfully tease each other and even negotiate disagreements seems like a microcosm of my own relationship with my husband.

A few weeks ago, the kids were playing outside on their scooters when my four year old daughter started crying. Try as we might, we couldn't determine what happened through their angry sobs and accusatory shouts.

"Fine", my husband said nonplussed, "you guys can go sit on the bench and work it out yourselves and when you can agree on what happened, come and let us know."

I wasn't sure I agreed with encouraging them to potentially conspire but hubs was right. When they're married some day(not to each other hopefully) or have roommates, colleagues, whatever, it's not like they can call us to decide the outcome of these small spats.

So they sat on the bench that sits right outside our office window where they could not see us, but we could watch them. Sometimes being a parent is so fun. This is what we witnessed. They were both on either side of the bench as far away from each other as they could possibly be. They sat ignoring each other for a few minutes but eventually boredom set in. My daughter started hurling invectives my son's way. First, just like woman, it started with the matter at hand,

“You hurt my foot, you rolled you're scooter over it and you dint even care that you hurted me.”

Then just like a woman, the dam opened, and out came every thing she has ever been mad at him for, uh, like the last four years.

“And you, yooouu," she said through choked back angry sobs, "you never, never let me play with your drums, and you, you lost my favorite legos and when we play puff you never let me be the leader and that day I wanted to play and you dint wanna and you told me to get out of your room and you always go first and, and,...”

There sat out eight year old with his hands over his ears making her even angrier.

My husband and I tried to quiet our laughter so they wouldn't hear us. I wonder if marriage therapists ever have to bite the inside of their mouth to keep from laughing at the ridiculousness of some arguments? Finally after about ten minutes of this they started talking. I heard a few terse 'fines' and then their voices returned to the friendly tones they normally reserve for each other. They came inside to tell us what happened.

"I rolled over her foot with my scooter," he said.
"And it was a accicent," she said.
"Can we go play now?"

Just last night my eight year old was finishing some chores and my four year old was who knows where. The hubs and I were talking on the couch while the bebe played at our feet. Suddenly in the middle of all of this familial bliss, our seven year jumps the baby gate and stomps past us seething,

"I just thought you'd like to know that she just locked me in the garage."

"Okay honey, thanks for letting us know," my husband said lackadaisically.

"Okay," I muttered.

I looked over at the hubs, "I'm bored, you want to have some fun?"

"Yeah," hubs said, probably thinking I meant we were going to make out.

"Let's interrogate the kids."

"Okay." he said noticeably disappointed that my idea of fun wasn't going to include taking our clothes off.

"Boy, girl," the hubs yelled from the couch, come here.

They staggered in and stood before us.

"Did you lock your brother in the garage?"

Her lip jut out quivering, eyes well up, "but he is being mean to me."

Now, although our kids get along really well, when they are snarky to each other, they get pretty diabolical about it, and it's generally the boy. My daughter? She is the most caring and easygoing of all of our kids, rarely has she been the instigator.

Hubs looks at the boy, "what were you doing to your sister?"

He starts to cry, "I wasn't doing anything."

"Why are you crying," I say,"no one's in trouble yet, we're trying to figure out what happened."

"I didn't do anything, I was just doing my chores when she locked me in the garage. "

"You didn't do anything?" I asked skeptically, my eyes boring into him, looking for the tell.

"Nothing," he whined.

Clearly he was sticking to his guns.

So I look at the girl, what was your brother doing to you when you locked him in the garage?

Her eyes spill over and big fat tears roll down her cheeks but she isn't saying anything.

Hubs asks, "what were you upset with your brother about?"

We wait, finally.

"He wasn't listening to me. I was trying to tell him about something and he wouldn't listen, he was just ignorin' me," she said sobbing and angry.

Now the boy cries, "I was just trying to get my chores done, doing what I'm supposed to."

Uhm, I don't know about you're relationships but my husband and I never argue about him just trying to get work done and me not getting listened to. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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Naked Women Everywhere

Many of friends and fellow bloggers and really, probably something like 70% of females between 15-80 are trying to diet, lose a few pounds, get in shape, and the like. Many of these directives come from a place of new starts and a desire to feel good, go for walks, live longer for our families, for ourselves.

But let's be honest, a lot of these impulses also come from a place of self-loathing, slanted views of perfection, a sense that that size 6 pair of Seven jeans will somehow make our lives better. Maybe we won't feel like the chubby mom at the PTA meetings clad in a big sweater to belie her discomfort with her body. Or the skinny woman at the community pool reticent to get into the water because of the cellulite dimpling the backs of her thighs. Or maybe the girl caked in makeup to hide angry, red pimples, scars from old ones; her closet a mix of things that cover up her back and chest.

I have to say as a group, women are very hard on how we view our own bodies. How many of us have used words like ugly, fat, gross, ginormous, just wrong, or my personal favorite too. As in my thighs are too big, my boobs are too saggy, my legs too big, my stomach too squishy. We're too this, too that. Not to say I'm not affected by these same impulses but I want to offer you a gift of some perspective.

My work at the spa has put me into contact with hundreds of naked women. During the average brazilian wax I get to see bellies, butts, thighs, legs and of course, vaginas in bright light exposed, sometimes under a magnified lamp to tweeze the last few stragglers. Seeing such a wide cross section of women has led me to a greater acceptance of my own body. We are exposed to so many airbrushed and retouched images that we forget what women’s bodies really look like.

With the sole exception of the local university girl’s swim team(those women truly had the most beautiful bodies I have ever seen, an amazing combination of strength and shape), every woman I’ve worked on has cellulite. In fact, skinny girls who don't work out seem to get it the worst. Every naked body that has rested on my table has veins mapping the circulatory system. I have seen scarred knees and stretch marks, some from children born, some from weight lost, others from growth spurts. I have seen scary dark wiry hairs that shoot from all manner of seemingly unfair places like the back of our legs or even our nipples. I have seen navels stretched from childbirth, scars from ingrown hairs, dimpled knees and pimpled butts. I've witnessed mastectomy scars, broken noses healed over in the aftermath of an abusive spouse and more c-section scars than I can recall. I've noticed strangely taut skin from too big of breast implants put into too small a woman. I've seen scars from attacks, surgeries, I've seen tattoos, some cherished others reviled by their owners.

My point? These are the bodies of real women. They are not airbrushed for my viewing or artfully arranged. They are laid bare on a white sheet-covered slab for my scrutiny. We shouldn't compare at all but if we do, because we will, can it at least be to something real. I don't like my legs, they are what I call sturdy. Since the realization as a young girl that my body was frequently appraised by others, these calves of mine have cause consternation, a desire to be long and lithe rather than the mass of roundness and curves I am. My husband teases me about my leg loathing, yeah, you have sturdy legs he says, sturdy to hold up my big babies. And when I complain about my ample behind, he reminds me that in his very humble opinion all these round fleshy parts of my body were designed for the singular purpose of lovemaking.

Let's make a pact to be easier on our selves. Let's try to see our bodies more from the perspective of those who use and love them, our lovers, our husbands, our children, and less through the eyes of an unsympathetic critic. Let's acknowledge all that these bodies have done: housed humans, run races, comforted lovers, warmed babies, fought diseases, given and received pleasure, ushered in the living, held the hands of the dying, cooked things, created things.

Of course I say all these things stuck squarely in the middle of the beauty myth. I don't want wrinkles, I will probably never stop wishing or working for a flatter stomach. I don't ever expect that I'll be free of these kind of longings. My goal is only to be kinder and gentler--resting most of the time, in a place of gratitude for my body that is strong and healthy.

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The Vocabulary of Parenthood

Contest still open folks and the odds are good. Thank you to all of the people who have participated thus far in helping me pick my best of. This was one of my first blog posts and is still, today, one of my favorites. If you read the litany, I think it has a certain beauty in the cadence that bellies the rote of the actual phrases.

Much like you look to Zagat's for dinner ideas or grab a copy of Fodor's for a trip to a new city, I think this list laminated should be handed to would-be parents. Are you willing to say these things no fewer than one-hundred times a day? No? You might want to get a dog instead.


The Vocabulary of Parenthood (reprinted from May 2008)

If you spend much time around our household you would get the impression that my husband and I operate with a pre-programmed, limited vocabulary that recycles itself, like a talking doll, over and over again, at least when it comes to the hours spent with our children.

Don’t touch things that don’t belong to you.
Get that out of your mouth.
Eat over your plate.
Put the cat down.
Pick that up.
Get your finger out of there.
Leave the poop alone(we said that at least five times yesterday at the park, in all fairness to the kids, there was both cat poop in the sand and dog poop on the grass that they were entertained by).
Get your hands off the walls.
Use your napkin not your shirt.
Use a tissue not your sleeve.
What's on your finger?
Use the hand towel not your pants.
Did you wipe?


Knock it off.
Go cry in your room.
Go to bed.
I didn’t make the mess, I’m not cleaning it up.
If you cheat, I'm not going to play anymore.
Is that where that goes?
You’re hungry?
Hi hungry, nice to meet you, I’m Daddy.
Not until you finish your dinner.
Not until your room’s clean.
If I told you that you could have candy for breakfast, I bet you’d be able to remember that.


Be nice to your brother.
Be nice to your sister.
Go apologize to your father.
Go say you’re sorry to your mother.
Don’t even think about it.
If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.
Do you want to rephrase that?
I can’t understand you when you’re whining.
How do you ask for something?
What did I say?
What did you say?
I said no.
How many times do I have to tell you?
I'm only going to tell you once.
I would advise you to remember who you are speaking to.
I will not tolerate lying.
No one likes a tattler.
We don’t talk like that at the dinner table.
Please just stop talking.

Catch us at our respective jobs or after the kids go to bed and really, we can be interesting people who can carry on real conversation and not just grunt commands and recriminations. Just make sure you don’t sniffle or we’ll tell you to go blow your nose first.Of course there is the other phrase, the one that all the others stem from, the one we hope they always know, the one they ultimately remember long after they’ve mastered wiping and don’t cheat at Monopoly anymore, I love you.

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Come to the Darkside, We Have Cookies

I am at work today and though I do not have some maniacal New Year's resolution to 'finally get in shape' or 'get back into those jeans', I am trying to get back on the healthy track post holiday. For me on a work day that means no more Thai ordered in for lunch. Not because Thai is unhealthy but because I'm usually too lazy busy to pick it up and there's a fifteen dollar minimum for delivery so I have to get two things and usually end up eating it all. So today I started great, packed myself a lunch. I skipped breakfast because I was running late from packing said lunch, not good.

Still, I packed two things of the Campbell's healthy veg soup, a few Cara-Cara oranges(super delicious by the way), a diet coke for lunch, some trail mix and two homemade Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for after lunch.

Guess what I've eaten so far(it's 9:45am right now)? I nuked one soup, took two bites of it, stuck it back in the fridge and drank the diet coke and ate the two cookies. Fantastic. Diet coke and chocolate chip cookies, that was my breakfast. I'll have to wait until I'm starving to eat the soup. Maybe if I'm stomach growlingly hungry, it will taste good but right now it just tastes like watered down V-8 juice with some dried basil and limp veggies in it, blech.

Meanwhile I talked to the hubs and he's already taken a forty-five minute walk, fucker. I hope he eats the rest of the chocolate chip cookies I left on the counter. Is that wrong?

Postscript: It's now 12:30 and I've eaten all my food and am considering calling the Thai place.

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I've Got a Brand New Pair of Rollerskates

Oh hi there.


No you're not lost, I've redecorated around here. Like everyone else, formerlyfun has gone green. No more pink, no more Barbie's Boudoir. I don't want to hear any smart comments about Kermit's Korner or something else stupid clever like that. I figured with the new year I'd usher in a new look.


Of course I'm still tweaking things and on that note I'd like to announce my very first contest. I am doing a best of tab to highlight some of my most popular posts. I certainly have my favorites but I'd like to know your favorites. I'm not at all objective and tend to like posts that make me look cool and sexy or really smart and include pictures that make me look 25 and ten pounds thinner.


Just comment here, you can pick as many posts as you like. Really, I won't hold it against you that you like, say nearly every single one. You can nominate in categories. You can comment more than once if you think of something else later. What stood out, made you laugh, made you angry, made you cry? Yes, I'm conceited, so?


Tell me what you liked and I'll give one winner a big shiny present. And yeah, I own a day spa so I won't be sending you a macrame plant holder or Santa oven mitts. I'll give one winner a customized package that can be focused on skin, body or wellness. If your one of my guy readers and you are uninterested in things of the girlie persuasion know that I stock men's skincare too or you can give me the lowdown on one of your lady friends and I will send you something for her. I know that's vague but I really want the winner to have products they'll use just trust me that I'll send you good stuff.


I'll pick an additional winner to get a day off their own blog if they so choose as I will offer a formerlyfun guest post on the topic of their choice(I know, I am very brave, I'm glad you think so too.) Of course you have to have a blog to win this one and uh, actually want a formerlyfun post on your own site.


I invite everyone* to participate, even if you're not a regular commenter here, come into the light and it could be worth your while. I'll pick winners at random by some kind of system where I write everybody's names on slips of paper and let the bebe pick one. I'll announce it here and whomever wins can email their real address and the lowdown on what kind of package they'd like and where I can mail their goodies.


So welcome to the new digs and I hope we'll be seeing lots of each other.


* If you don't have a blogger sign in, you can just select anonymous or name in the comments section. Just be sure to write Sandy in Siberia or Lola in Los Angeles at the end of your comment so I can confirm it's you if you win. Also, if you really live in Siberia, I probably can't afford the postage to send you spa stuff cause you know, the recession and stuff.

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