Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Power of Polish

I had thought that liking to have polished toenails was a personal quirk but after a discussion at a book club, I began to see the power of polish. We were talking about make-up. Some of us, like me, have a vague desire to wear a little something. Just enough to indicate that we are still worth it, damn it. We may be wearing the capris we dug out of the clothes bin, have sippy cups leaking in our purses and been slowly crossing the line from, hmmm, I need to shave to perhaps I'll just wear pants this summer. But, we're still worth the 5 seconds it takes to swipe the lipstick across our mouths or use a touch of eye liner. There is a particle, somewhere, that is still woman, not Mommy, and belongs to us. Somehow, eeking out those extra 5 seconds of "me" time just doesn't happen. For my part, a great deal of it is habit. The last time I regularly applied make-up was high school and it' just not part of my routine anymore. Those extra 30 second in the shower are just too luscious to pass up (not to mention the extra 2 minutes I spent trying to get OUT of the warm, comfy, non-whining bed and motivated to get IN said shower). However, there seems to be one last bastion of beauty- your toe nails.

Most notably, the hard-line feminists would be so proud. A great deal of the time we paint our toes just for us. In the fall and winter and a good chunk of the rainy spring, our toes are safely enshrined in sensible shoes and warm socks. No one will see the shocking magenta, trendy brown, or sex-on-a-stick red. The plus, of course, is that not only are our toes chilblain free, the socks make it so they only need real attention every few weeks. Even the most hassled mother can manage 20 minutes every 3 weeks or so, especially since waiting for your nails to dry is The Perfect excuse to sit and whatever- read, watch tv, write a blog post...

Of course, the summer brings open toes and more frequent maintenance but is there anything quite as luscious as sitting outside, listening to birds, watching the grass grow and waiting for paint to dry as your husband corrals the children? Why not do it once every week or so?

One of the things I was happiest about with my pregnancies was that I was always able to manage to paint my toes. It required some odd contortions- near the end, I would sit in the glider, prop my foot on the footrest and rock myself forward to manage each swipe of the brush.

My toes are pink and are pink just for me. I am worth 20 minutes every 2 weeks.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Becky's Helpful Houshold Hints

1- 1/2 cup vinegar, 10 drops of tea tree oil and 15 drops of grapefruit seed extract will kill the stuff in your shower (but not bleach the mildew stains- sorry!)

2- 1 cup of vinegar in your rinse cycle will keep your clothes static free- nope they won't smell like vinegar when they dry. Added bonus- it won't effect the flame retardants in your children's clothing and has antifungal and antibacterial properties so, good-bye thrush!

3- Always have a snackbox in your purse. Charlie's has cheerios, goldfish, some sort of cracker and a box of raisins. Megan's has puffs and cheerios. I also keep 2 extra boxes of raisins, a lollipop, a battery operated toy phone, and a vibrating teether stashed in my purse- this can see us through just about anything.

4- If at all possible, get to stores by 9 am (or when they open, if later) and plan to leave by 11:30. There will be plenty of help available, short lines, and you'll get the best pick of the mark-downs. You'll get in and out in no time. Your children's behavior will also, magically, be about 300% better than if you tried to do the same errands at 4.

5- Use your used dryer sheets to dust baseboards and windowsills. The residual anti-static stuff will help them stay dust-free longer.

6- A Roomba is the best Mother's Day gift evah!

7- Always bring along a (re-useable) bottle of water for yourself and cups for the kids. Being thirsty just makes everything worse.

8- Rice/Corn cakes make the perfect car snack for little ones. They are big enough to a- keep them happy for a while and to b- easy for little hands to grab when you are trying to pass them back while driving. They also keep fairly indefinitely, aren't sticky and are reasonably food allergy safe.

9- Always keep trail mix in the car for you- The tex-mex one from Target that comes in the tub is my favorite.