Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Things that I Am Sure Of...

Things have been CRAZY busy with the start of the new school year! Seriously, it's like I blink and the next thing I know, 3 days have passed and I have no idea where the time went.  Then I blink again, and it's a week later.

Sometimes life just gets in the way, you know?

Anyway, as 5-year-olds are wont to do, Kaia has been asking a lot of bizarro questions lately, and I hear the words, "I don't know" or "I'm not sure" coming out of my mouth more often than not. It started me wondering exactly what the hell it is that I DO know.

So, after several hours of deep thinking (OK, well, maybe 30 minutes of surface-level thinking), I have come up with some things of which I am absolutely, positive sure:

1.) I will never wear skinny jeans- EVER. I don't care if I lose 30 pounds and go back in time 15 years. That goes double for jeggings.

2.) On that note, I will never, EVER understand why one earth a an 18-24 month-old would need to wear skinny jeans, either. But there must be some need, because I have seen them a disturbing number of times on the toddler rack in clothing stores. And I'm looking at you, Gap.

3.) I will most likely never fly in first class on an international flight, no matter how badly I really, really, REALLY want to. This is because whenever I travel, I am accompanied by feral children, coupled with the fact that I am usually wearing flip flops and dirty t-shirts.

Feral children and dirty t-shirts are frowned upon in first-class, I would guess. At least I've never seen any in the first-class lounge as I press my nose against the window and peer in longingly.

4.) I will never enjoy getting my hair washed in a salon for 30+ minutes. Seriously, what is up with that? WHY does my hair require shampooing 5 times, with scalp massages in between, followed by about 3 different conditioners (AGAIN, with scalp massages in between)?

I know some people really like this part of the hair salon experience, they feel like it's an indulgence, but I just want to get my hair done and get the hell out. Whenever I am certain that the shampoo cannot possibly last any longer and then I hear that familiar sounds of the pump bottle YET AGAIN, I seriously have to stop myself from screaming.

Maybe this is more of an Asian thing, but it drives me mad. I always time it, and my longest shampoo once lasted 35 minutes- 35 MINUTES! If I sat down and thought about the things that I could get done in 35 minutes, I'd probably start crying. So let's not go there.

5.) Losing weight will never be important enough to me to give up regular milk in my latte. I give up a lot of things for the sake of losing weight, but to me, a latte with skim milk just doesn't taste the same. And for $4, those lattes better be tasting the best that they possibly can.

6.) Waking up before the sun to exercise is NEVER as fulfilling as sleeping in. Period.

7.) If there is a certain food that I still, at 37 years of age, gag whenever it passes my mouth, the chances are pretty damn good that I am NEVER going to like that food. No matter how many people tell me, "Oh, you just haven't tried it THIS way..." or "I'm going to make it THAT way and you'll love it!"

No, no I won't. Just trust me on that.

8.) My pre-baby bikinis are more than likely going to sit, unworn in the darkest depths of my closet for about 2-3 more years, until I finally give in and realize that no amount of ab exercises is ever going to bring them out of hibernation and get rid of them once and for all.

For the next 2-3 years, however, I will fight that realization and convince myself that the 3 minutes of ab exercises that I do per day will totally, totally rock those bikinis....someday.

How about you? What are some things that you are absolutely sure of?

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Dream Bathroom...

 I am obsessed with a lot of things: grocery stores, washing dishes, cookbooks (if only I was even half as obsessed with cooking, that would balance out nicely), parenting magazines,the internet...LOTS of things! But one thing I have never been obsessed with are bathrooms. I've never really cared too much about bathrooms, except for their cleanliness. When I fantasize about renovating houses, I think about the kitchen (Grill top! Industrial size fridge! LOTS of storage!) and the closets (a linen closet! I really, really want a linen closet!), but never really the bathroom. As long as it's clean and big enough to hold everything I need, that has always been acceptable.

Until now.

I hate the bathroom in our house. HATE IT. Actually, I loathe it entirely.  And I try not to hate it, I do. I try to be grateful and tell myself that we are lucky to have a nice house, even if it is filled with mosquitoes. I tell myself that we are lucky to have indoor plumbing with hot water, even if the hot water lasts long enough to EITHER wash my hair or shave my legs, but never long enough for both.

My husband and I met in the Peace Corps, and spent two years living in a hut with an outdoor, uncovered latrine and shower area, so trust that I know enough to be grateful for an indoor bathroom, but still- STILL- I cannot stop hating it.

Why? Well, where to start...

My biggest issue is the fact that our bathroom doesn't have a window, not even a tiny one up near the ceiling or in the corner- nothing. NO WINDOW. Which means no natural light at all. Even with the brightest bulb in the socket, our bathroom always looks dark, which for some reason makes me feel like it always looks dirty. It's not dirty. Our maid cleans it daily. But it SEEMS dirty because of the darkness.

It's also depressing to wake up at 5:30 in the morning, only to go into a dark bathroom to shower and do my toilette. Seriously, every morning when I stumble into the bathroom and turn the light on, I think, "Oh, yeah...I forgot about THIS!"

The other issue is the shower. There is about two inches between the edge of the tub and the wall, which basically turns into a channel for water to run down before it flows onto the floor and floods the whole bathroom every time someone takes a shower. EVERY TIME. The bath mat and everything.

The only way to  lessen the amount of water that ends up on the floor is to make sure that the shower is turned towards the shower curtain while showering. Which means what when you are showering, you must be huddled against the shower curtain in order to get wet. It also means that every time you shower, you must first make sure that the shower head is facing towards the curtain. Sometimes we forget, and it's not completely turned to the curtain, which leads to whoever is getting in the shower to realize it a few seconds too late and scream, "Who turned the shower head? WHO?!" as the steady stream of water starts to soak the bath mat.

The final issue is that our shower head is at the normal Asian Shower Height, which is about at my shoulders. And we can't raise it any higher, because the water heater is there. My husband and I deal with this in different ways- he washes his hair on his knees, while I do a backward bend that keeps my thigh muscles in check whenever I wash my hair.

Anyway, it's just sad.

So, what was the point of all this ranting? Oh, yes...because of the utter inferiority of our bathroom, I have started fantasizing about my dream bathroom. When I was little, all I wanted was a BIG bathtub! Like, a tub you could SWIM IN! But now, my priorities lie in other areas.

Like a place to sit down. I don't know about you, but the older I get, the more products I seem to need for my hair. Hair dye, color glaze, deep conditioner BECAUSE of the hair dye and color glaze, etc...let's just not get into all that. I've decided that I'm just too lazy to devote 5 hours on a weekend every 4-6 weeks to get my hair colored, so I am trying to take matters into my own hands and just do it myself at home.

I currently use two different products on my hair that require being left in for 3-5 minutes, 3 times a week. When I color my hair, that requires being left in for bout 25-30 minutes. This didn't sound like much when I initially read the instructions on the bottles, but the first time I tried them out, I quickly realized what this means.

It means that, since I hate to waste water, I have to turn off the shower and stand there, COLD AND SHIVERING, for 3-5 minutes. TWICE. I could space this out and alternate days on which I use the products, but have I mentioned that I am kind of lazy? I don't like to wash my hair everyday, and a hair stylist told me once that I shouldn't, anyway.

I could also wrap a towel around myself while I'm waiting, but then all of the towels would be damp when I ACTUALLY finished the shower, and I really like a dry towel to envelop myself in.

Have I also mentioned that I'm kind of high maintenance?

What this translates to is a fantasy bathroom that has a CHAIR on which I can rest while waiting for my hair products to work their magic, preferably with a little table next to it on which to place a glass of wine and my laptop so that I can watch an episode of... anything, really. I'd also throw one of those mini wine fridges right on in there, but you know... I don't want to be greedy.

So, yeah, there it is- forget the giant bathtub, now I want a sitting area! Seriously, I would never leave that bathroom, and my hair would look GORGEOUS.
In fact, forget the bathtub altogether, as I've found that they are not all they are cracked up to be. They take up space, they use a ton of water, and they cause more messes than necessary whenever the kids get in them.

Give me a nice, stand-up shower and leave the extra room for my sitting area.

Another feature that I feel is very, very important is the double sink. Yes, I want TWO sinks- one for me and one for my husband, so that I don't feel like a nagging shrew every time I get grossed out by the globs of toothpaste and shaving cream that so often linger in the sink after he finishes HIS toilette. The he could be content to ignore his own messiness, and I could be the carefree, easygoing wife that I PRETEND to be in my head.

I mean, is that too much to ask? I think not.

My third and final Dream Bathroom Item is lighting that is bright enough for me to tweeze my eyebrows by, yet soft enough so that my skin always looks dewy and flawless. I suppose some might consider this to be Magic Lighting, but I am an optimist and believe that anything is attainable if you look long and hard enough.

So, there it is, the bathroom that I fantasize about every time I brush my teeth under the one dim bulb in our bathroom, or when I am huddled against the shower curtain in a backward bend, washing my hair.

Tell me what you would have in YOUR Dream Bathroom!

Seriously? Seriously.