Sunday, August 11, 2013

Getting to know ... me

This being my 18th post, I guess I should do an introduction of sorts. Also, being a fan of Simple Mom and, especially, the Simple Mom Podcast, I feel it would only be appropriate to answer Tsh's questions she asks her guests at the end of every podcast.

(Please let me know when I'm turning into a scary Simple Mom groupie. I fear I'm almost at that level.)

"Tsh, Simple Mom, I love you.
I loooooooove yooooou!"

So, before I turn into this stalker praying mantis, let's get started.

1. Facebook or Twitter?

I like the idea of Twitter better and I go through spurts of being addicted to it, then I could go days without checking it because I never seem to catch up and that bothers the perfectionist in me. But I end up going to Facebook more often, even though my feed now rarely moves because I started "hiding" a lot of people, due to negativity, too many "selfies," or just general falling out of touch with them. 

If I had to choose between Instagram and Pinterest, I guess I would have to choose Pinterest, but, then again, that's a pretty tough choice, for sure. Tougher than Twitter or Facebook, by far.

2. Morning person or night owl?

Well, considering it's 3 a.m. and I'm writing this, I've always been a night owl. I can remember being really little and waking up early every single morning and causing mischief around the house, but that must have stopped when I started school because I hated waking up for school for as long as I could remember.

3. How do you drink your coffee?

Believe it or not, I'm not hugely into coffee. Whenever I want a special treat, I'll go to Starbucks and order a skinny Caramel Macchiato, then feel guilty for spending $5 on it when I know how to make iced coffee and have some caramel creamers at home. I bought a canister for about $2 and have barely gone through it, so it ends up being much cheaper.

I was pretty much addicted to diet soda for years and years. But (prepare for Stalker Praying Mantis), since subscribing to Simple Mom and her Daily Dockets, 99% of my liquid consumption is water now. I have gotten to the point at which I CRAVE it if I haven't had any in a few hours.

4. It's 9 p.m., L. is in bed, the boyfriend's out, you have the house to yourself. What do you do?

If I have the energy, I probably sneak in an embarrassing workout. In fact, that's redundant. All my workouts are embarrassing. I've recently been on a Richard Simmons kick because I LOVE oldies. Like, we're talking watching Spandex, Day-Glo and Reebok high-tops doing the pony-type workouts. But they're so much fun! But, as wonderful as the boyfriend is, and I am totally not embarrassed to tell him I do these workouts, I certainly don't feel like I could have as much fun and sing along if he were home.

But If I'm not doing that, or don't have the energy for it, I would be on Pinterest or blogging or even reading, if I was into a really good book.

5. What's on your nightstand right now?

  • An alarm clock with HUGE numbers so I can read it even without my glasses on.
  • A piece of coral from our recent trip to Mexico
  • A binder clip holding my iPhone charger so it doesn't always fall on the floor (thanks, Pinterest, for the lifehack!)
  • My inhaler
  • Tissues for my morning allergy attacks.
  • A hair tie and bobby pin from taking my hair out a night or two ago
  • L.'s bedtime books. Yes, we read them all, and I LOVE that 20 minutes of cuddling and reading we do before her bedtime.

6. What smell do you love?

Freshly done laundry. I finally stopped buying generic laundry detergent and switched to name-brand just because the smell actually lingers for those few extra bucks. 

A comfort smell for me is spearmint, which reminds me of my mom's purse growing up. She loved spearmint gum and Tic Tacs. My first pregnancy craving, in fact, was actually spearmint.

And, one of my all-time favorite smells is L. freshly out of the tub. We use the Johnson's Bedtime Bath and Bedtime Lotion and, normally, I never liked lavender, but that scent was so subtle and mixed with other scents, I learned to love it as soon as it's on her skin. I am, however, hoping to find an alternative to avoid the paraffin in the lotion.

7. What smell do you hate?

Fake vanilla. I just can't even stand it. It gives me a headache. I hate vanilla candles because it never smells real. 

There are plenty of gross smells I hate, but fake vanilla stands out as the weirdest smell for someone to hate.

8. Other than your current home, where would you most like to live?

Southern California. I spent a week there in college visiting a friend who moved out there, and I fell in love. I loved every aspect of the weather, I loved the lack of humidity, I loved how nice and un-New England-y snobby the people were.

That said, I would also love to live in Vermont, just because I feel like there's something in the air (who knows, maybe pot or patchouli) that greets me as soon as I drive over the border and I instantly relax. The boyfriend took me there for my 30th birthday to a this beautiful bed and breakfast in Brattleboro, Vt. It was what I had finally decided I wanted to do instead of a huge party, which was stressing me out trying to plan weeks before. So, one night, he said, "Do you just want to get away?" And I realized, yes, that was exactly what I wanted. I wanted a break and to relax. And that's what we did and it was amazing.

9. Name a historical figure you admire.

I feel like Tsh's guests get so thrown by this question because they want to answer a figure that's really, truly admired by many, but also not cliche. Someone who did something good for the world. No one wants to really say a historical actor or performer. But I will.

Audrey Hepburn. After reading a biography of hers called What Would Audrey Do?, I really learned to appreciate her for being truly one of a kind.

She grew up in the midst of World War II and had a tough childhood. She began her career as a dancer then went on to make roles she would be forever associated with. My favorite role of hers was Princess Ann in Roman Holiday, which I usually refer to when I feel weighed down by life's pressures. But I feel her acting is far outweighed by her goodwill efforts.

On top of being an amazing actress, she was a humanitarian! She was humble about her work and seemed to do everything with a quiet grace I could only hope to achieve some day.

No doubt, if you've been on Pinterest, you've seen the photo of her doing her UNICEF work that really does make me think she was beautiful inside and out.

Another figure I've recently come to know and admire is Irena Sendler, who died in 2008 at the age of 98. She smuggled 2,500 Jewish children out of Warsaw in World War II. She would go to their parents, total strangers, and tell them she couldn't guarantee their safety but she would smuggle them out as best she could. One story I heard about her on NPR was she bribed a handyman to smuggle an infant out in his tool box. Another story was she trained the dog she drove with to recognize Nazis and bark at their sight, which was done to muffle the crying of children who were hidden within the vehicle.

Here is her New York Times obituary. I can't even read it without tearing up, honestly, thinking of someone wanting to help and protect so many strangers' children the way a mother would.

One of the maddening things is she was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and lost to Al Gore for a slideshow on climate change.

10. When you were 6 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Probably, at that age, I wanted to be an artist. I think I think I wanted to be an artist for the first 10 years of my life. Unfortunately, my hand at drawing stopped developing around age 3. No, seriously. I'm awful. I can do cartoony things here and there, and I ALWAYS doodled in my notebooks and scrap pieces of paper, but if you ask me to draw an actual object, you should expect a stick figure or someone with one fat, long arm, and one skinny, short arm. And bubble fingers. And, if there are 10 of them, then I've reached a new accomplishment.

This is actually not bad for me, believe it or not.
This could TOTALLY pass for L. in a heartbeat!

What was funny was I always wrote. I always had journals and diaries -- not even sure the difference, other than what age you were too old to have a "diary," but it was OK to call it a "journal." 

Our class read The Giver in seventh grade, and our teacher, Mrs. Klauck, assigned us jobs like in the book. She gave me the job of The Writer. 

Up until then, I never thought I was good at it. It was just something I did. I didn't know until that moment that I had a knack for it. So, Mrs. Klauck, Rogers Park Middle School in Danbury, Conn., in 1995, if you're reading this, you were the inspiration for me to want to write for the rest of my life.

I visited her before I went to college and she had goosebumps when I told her I was going to be an English major because of her. That was one of the best feelings and I'm glad I was able to do that. I, of course, switched my major to journalism ... because I wanted to make the big bucks, I guess.

So that's me! At least, this is me at 30. Who knows what my answers will be in six months, a year or five years from now!