My Kid Stole My Cool

The Christian Bale Scale

Posted on Mar 4, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

The Christian Bale Scale 8

I’ve had a rough week.  Maybe its been two weeks.  My memory is a little fuzzy from fatigue, so I can’t remember exactly how long its been since the Night Stalker returned, just a long time.  You see, Elisabeth is teething and Demon Baby has returned, waking several times a night and slowly sucking the life out of me.

I wake up every morning looking wrecked.  No amount of makeup in the world can help me.  It’s really quite depressing.

I always thought I’d be that mom that everyone hates because she always looks put-together: cute outfit, coiffed hair, bright-eyed.  But no.  Sadly I’m the hater, not the hatee.  Some days I do try to look less zombie-like.  Really, I do.  If you see me on a regular basis, you may not believe me, but honestly – there are days I dab on the expensive de-puffing eye cream, apply blush to add color to my sallow skin, and swipe mascara over my lashes to perk up my droopy eyes.

It’s all useless – especially the expensive eye cream – but I do it anyway.  Definitely not every day, though.  Not even most days.  Why waste that expensive eye cream?

Maybe you can relate.  Maybe you also don’t want to squander your precious beauty products when it will hardly make a dent.  Maybe you wonder how to choose which days to put effort into your appearance, and which days to say, “To Hell with it all!”

That’s where the Christian Bale Scale comes in.  I determine on a scale of 1-10 the likelihood that I will run into Christian Bale that day, and plan my put-togetherness accordingly.  For example, if I know I’m going to be staying on base all day doing errands and taking care of the kiddo and whatnot, that’s a zero; that day doesn’t even make it on the scale.  Why would a gorgeous, Oscar-winning Welsh actor be wandering around a small naval air base in Japan? He wouldn’t.  So on those days, I don’t bother.  The dark circles are out in all their glory, the greasy hair is barely contained in a ponytail.

But maybe it’s a day when I’m headed into Tokyo.  Christian Bale could totally be in Tokyo filming something or promoting something or maybe he just really, really likes Japanese food and because he’s a rich and famous actor he can fly to Tokyo to satisfy his cravings.  Who knows?  Point is, a major international city is a great place to run into the likes of Christian Bale.  But I’m a realist, and know that the chances are still slim.  So that’s about a 5-6 on my scale: Basic makeup so I don’t look dead, hair unwashed but maybe styled depending on how much time I have in the morning*, and an outfit that doesn’t involve yoga pants.

Now a day I’m traveling by air – that’s an 8 day.  Airports are great places to run into celebrities.  I mean, who hasn’t run into a celebrity at an airport?  I’ve already encountered Pierce Brosnan at LAX, so it’s only a matter of time before I bump into Christian.  (Yes, at this point in this post we are on a first name basis.)  8 days include blow-dried hair, full day-makeup (I’m not going clubbing, no need for smokey eyes and over-applied blush), and a cute but comfortable outfit.  This is an airport after all, and you should always wear comfortable clothes when traveling, even if you are about to meet Christian Bale.

There are exceptions, of course, when I do glam myself up even if it’s a 0 or 1 day on the Christian Bale Scale.  Let’s not forget, I do have a husband and if we’re going on a date, it’s nice to dress up so he doesn’t forget who he married. Actually, almost any evening occasion without the baby is worthy of an extended effort on my appearance.  I do really love fashion and it’s nice to wear the good clothes (and shoes and handbags and jewelry) that I’ve invested in.  Especially because the baby won’t be there to mess them up. Lastly – Remember that sweet article about how it’s important for moms to be photographed with their kids, even though we moms may be uncomfortable being photographed because the children have stolen our looks?  Well it was very poignant and all, but let’s get real.  If I know that I’m going to be photographed for some reason, I’m going do my makeup.  I’m going to wear a color that flatters me.  I’ll wash my hair.  Even if I’m not going to see Christian that day!

We tired and haggard moms** with demon babies can’t look good all the time, so I hope this helps you prioritize.

One last note: You don’t have to use Christian Bale*** – you can use anyone of your choosing.  So tell me – who would you use for your scale?

 Christian Bale

*Before you get all grossed out and start judging me for not washing my hair every day, it’s actually better for your hair to not wash it every day.  I’m not even making that up.  So there.

**Maybe you’re not a mom.  Maybe you’re a grad student or an on-call ER doc or maybe you just have insomnia.  There could be a lot of reasons you look tired and haggard, and I just want you to know I feel for you.

***No, you don’t have to use Christian Bale, but you’d be crazy not to.  Haven’t you ever seen “Newsies”!?  He is amazing.  Oh, and “Little Women”?  Swoon.  Really, someone should make a “Little Women” musical and have Christian star as a singing and dancing Laurie.  Yes.  That.  Someone make that happen.

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When Staying At Home Sucks

Posted on Feb 13, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

I am so, so grateful that I can stay at home with Elisabeth.  I know I am very blessed to have that as an option, and I try not to take that for granted.  And I love, love, love my daughter more than anything.  She is smart and funny and sweet and entertaining and our time together is priceless. I just needed to put that all out should Elisabeth ever find this blog post and think I think otherwise. Because some days being a stay-at-home mom sucks. I have no desire to get in the working mom v. stay-at-home mom debate.  Who cares?  For those of us fortunate to have the choice, if working fulfills you, that probably means you’ll be a happy, healthy role model for your children, and so that’s probably what is best for your family.  If staying at home fulfills you, that probably means you’ll be a happy, healthy role model for your children, and so that’s probably what is best for your family.  But I’m willing to bet there are some days when working moms think, “Aghhhhh I hate my job and just want to be at home with my kids!”  Because I know for a fact that there are some days when stay-at-home moms think, “Aghhhhh I need to get out of my house and away from my kid(s)!” Um, maybe I shouldn’t speak for all stay-at-home moms.  But if I’m the only one that feels that way sometimes, I’m going to be pretty embarrassed about admitting it on the blogosphere.  But seriously, some days are tedious and tiresome and just plain boring.  There, I said it. Anyway.  Those days are rare.  Very rare.  I just happened to have one yesterday.  And now I need to blog about it because I feel partly guilty about harboring such feelings and partly in need of a good vent. I went to bed Monday night with a raging headache.  I woke up on Tuesday morning – in the 5:00 hour – with a raging headache.  Knowing before 6:00AM that your day is probably going to suck,...

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It’s All About Poop: That and Other Lessons I Learned My First Year (and Two Months) of Motherhood

Posted on Feb 2, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

My baby is fourteen months.  That means I’m two months late publishing this post.  So without further ado, the most important lessons I learned during my first year (plus  two months) of motherhood, not ranked in order of importance.  Feel free to pass this along to expecting or new parents – this info right here is priceless.  1) Your conversations will mainly revolve around poop.  Deal with it.  While in Hawaii, my dad asked me what I had found most surprising about being a parent.  My response?  “How much I talk about poop.”  It’s gross, but it’s true.  When I was pregnant, I went out for coffee with a few other moms and the entire conversation was dominated by talk of poop and nursing.  How cliché!  I vowed I was not going to be one of those moms that could only converse about a baby’s bodily functions and breastfeeding.  Then I had the baby, and realized that all moms are those moms.  It is unavoidable.  Because that is what your life primarily revolves around, at least for the first six months or so.  Hubby comes home from work:  “Hey hon, the baby had four massive poops today!” Go to play group: “Hey ladies, how do you handled your child’s constipation?”  To the flight attendant on your cross-country flight: “I’m sorry, but I have to ignore the fasten seat-belt sign.  My daughter just pooped up her back.”  The babes poop.  All.  The.  Time.  And since a baby’s bowel movement is a major indicator of his or her health, it’s kind of important to pay attention to.  So no matter how uncomfortable you are talking the potty talk, get over it. 2) Celebrities aren’t lying when they say they lost their baby weight by breastfeeding.  I always assumed when I saw someone like Heidi Klum modeling lingerie like, three weeks after giving birth, and then credited her weight loss to breastfeeding that she was a) lying through her perfect white teeth to seem more relatable or something and b) had a personal trainer and chef to whip her back into shape mucho fast.  BUT SHE’ WASN’T...

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So, uh… are you free tonight?

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 in My Kid Stole My Cool

Remember when you were in the dating scene and someone would call you up and ask if you were available to go out that night and it was totally offensive because, like, do they not think you have anything better to do?  As if! But actually you didn’t have anything better to do but you weren’t going to admit that so you lied and told this person that you have some amazing plans you just couldn’t break. I am so glad I’m not single anymore.* Or perhaps you were the one doing the asking and you wanted to see someone but were afraid to ask because you didn’t want to offend them by implying they had nothing better to do than wait around for you.  (This mainly applies to men – is it so hard to plan ahead, fellows?) Well today I realized this same game-playing now applies to babysitters.  I think it was more fun when it was prospective boyfriends. Here’s the deal:  Damon and I had plans to go on this tour to a Japanese village where they are doing a big Christmas tree lighting event tonight.  We were going to drag Elisabeth along, which in retrospect seems like a poor choice, as it is an outdoor event lasting several hours and it is winter.  Mom fail.  Anyway, late last night an impromptu dinner out was planned for a family in our squadron that is leaving on Monday.  Well obviously good-bye dinner trumps Christmas tree lighting.  But then this morning the scramble for the sitter began. It was 8:30AM.  I needed a sitter for 5:30PM.  This was not good.  Everyone would be booked, I was sure of it.  And plus, I totally didn’t want to ask, because who does that?  That was only 9 hours notice!  Surely my go-to babysitters have better things to do then wait around for jobs to pop up that evening. Not wanting to offend my adult babysitters with lives and children of their own, I started with the teenagers.  Let’s be honest, a teenager living on a small base in Japan probably doesn’t...

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