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Why I am unique, and how my environment affects this.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Am I a good driver?

Or is everyone else just bad? What the deal? I needed a caffeine fix today. I woke up with a SCREAMING headache. I had a tea right off, but when I got in it was still there. Part of it was the idea of making some web based forms or my job, argggggggghhhhhhh. I moseyed over to Café Perks (I think it is called) So I have to drive through an intersection to get there. It is your standard four way, lighted intersection. A major (six laner, dual turns signals)road bisected by a smaller road (four laner, dual turn lanes). I was on the smaller road, going straight. Oh the Hell with it just look at my crude drawing. Sorry for the hand sketch but I don’t have any high end photo/drawing software to do it and I didn’t feel like wrestling with Paint. So I am going straight through the light. When I get to the intersection the light is red (for me). I wait, the light turns green and I proceed through the intersection. What I notice over to my right is the Idiot, in a van. He is “scooting” out into the intersection. Now, the light is not that fast. Really. There is a car or two behind me, and as soon as they clear the intersection, the idiot turns left on a red light. At first I thought he was just doing an illegal u-turn but, no, he makes a left turn coming into the roadway I just left. What was going though his mind? The laws of the road do not apply to him? He is too good to wait for another 30 seconds? What? What, what, what?!?!? Enquiring minds want to know. I want to know. I really don’t under these drivers who just drive around, in their own world, blithely ignoring all traffic regulations. This was just one incident Really, it happens all the time. People just doing whatever. I can’t tell you how many times I have to either slow down or speed up because a merging driver is too busy yapping on their mobile to pay attention to merging onto the freeway. I mean really. Put the damn phone down. Have a rant about a driving experience? Please, leave a comment. I know it happens to more than just me. Categories:

Where I am going with all of this

My regular readers (YES!!! I have a few. Thank you, wonderful ladies!) will notice that I have a split personality thing going on with my blog. My description says something like, “how my environment affects me”. It is so true. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a scientist, a worker, a reader, a writer, a gamer, a sewer, a beauty addict, and so on. I try to keep my blog entries along one line, that of just “me”, Pavlina. Sometimes this means talking about my family, sometimes talking about make up, sometimes griping about my family, but very seldom about my job (because it is my job and I don’t want to get fired). I know some of you come for the beauty stuff, some for my family updates, some for my amusing rants and I appreciate that you come at all. I try and title each entry so you’ll know what you are in for. I am working on making categories for all my entries, that should make the task easier. Hopefully, I give you all a brighter spot in your day. Regarding my comments; I have changed the style of these many times. I have finally decided the best way to manage my comments is to make them wide open. After all, I don’t have thousands of comments each day coming in, I can delete all the spam and nasty comment myself. I know some people may want to comment, but the maze they have to navigate to do so is annoying. So I am removing the moderation, and the word verification, and anyone can post. Just be aware that this is my blog, so if you comment spam me, or leave a nasty comment, it will be deleted. I also made a big decision and decided that I will be leaving my Blogger home soon. Blogger has been good to me, very good. I have a nice home here. It is cozy. Someone has moved my cheese though. In this world you have to adapt and change, so I went over to Go Daddy and bought a few domains, and very soon www.lifenotforliving.com will be our new home, but not just yet. I’ll let you know when the move has been made. I am sure after that, you will see many new changes, but for now all is the same, excepting the comments. Don’t miss my other post, under this one. I have a rant in it. Tis funny. Categories:

Monday, July 24, 2006

Now that’s something you don’t have to hear everyday

What a day I am having so far! And it is only 2pm (EST). It started off normal enough. I got up early (for me) because I had to wash my hair this morning, then I got to work. OK. Very normal. Started working, Normal. Then I had to leave to go to my allergist. I go twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays. I get allergy shots and those are the days the office is open to administer them. I usually (always) go to the Safeway that is right there and grab lunch. Usually I grab soup or a sandwich, a cake or cookie and something to drink. Today I got a Primo Italiano sandwich (which sounds nice but really isn’t, I swear I am off the Safeway deli sandwiches) and two cookies, chocolate chip and peanut butter, and no drink. Anyway, I arrive at my allergists office and there is a little boy there, maybe 6 years old who is having a meltdown because he doesn’t want his shot. I mean, MELTDOWN. The doctor said, well we can’t give him a shot until he calms down because the needle may break off in his arm, then he’ll have to go to the hospital to get it removed. The mom also had a little girl with her, probably around 4 years old. I felt really bad for the kid. I know kids don’t like getting shots, but his fear was probably the worst I have ever seen. I just hope mine aren’t too bad. I am in the “shots aren’t so bad” group. They just really do not bother me. At all. I used to (before I was eternally pregnant) give blood all the time, then I had that period when my asthma was really bad and I needed steroid shots every week. Flu shots every years…you get it. !WARNING! !GRAPHIC! The only time I was ever squeamish was when they had to draw some artery blood, and the nurse had to literally dig around inside of my wrist to find my artery. It hurt like the dickens and I almost passed out. Yikes. I had a bruise there you had to see to believe. !WARNING! !GRAPHIC! So I felt really bad for the little kid. He was still screaming when I left. Poor baby. So then I go over to Safeway and get my not very good sandwich ( I only ate half of it), then I am in line for checkout and I am behind this complete wack job. He turns around and says something like he doesn’t have to pay taxes and it is all a big government conspiracy. At least he smelled nice because he was ALL UP IN MY PERSONAL SPACE! The he shows me some tax exempt ID and he is all talking about conspiracy theories with the government (or the gub’ment) and how it is all going to come out, and I am just to scared to confront the truth, and there is a movie coming out on July 28 (at least we don’t have long to wait) that will turn everything upside down, and the back out in New York was just a big cover up because they were looking for a dirty bomb, and yadda yadda yadda. The whole reason I was even in the normal check out instead of the one in the deli is because the deli worker over there sing to the customers and I find it annoying. Boy did I learn MY lesson. The whole time I am thinking, “what a nut job”. I guess the joke will be on me on Friday. What a day. I wanted to talk about Project Runway and miss universe, but perhaps another day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I have milk on my pants...

This is the familiar cry of the new (or not so new) mom, as she is at work. She has just finished pumping, and she is now extricating her boobs from the cones off the breast pump. Either I an a pump-tard or this happens to everyone. I have been doing this for quite awhile now, and I can auure you that if anyone is a pro at extracting milk from her breast via a mechanical pump, it is myself. Sorry if I have grossed you out, but I think my male readers have long since left, and most of my female readers are mothers themselves. If you fall outside these categories, then please come back tomorrow when I will have a "less gross" topic up. If you are a mother who did not breastfeed, or did at one time but never pumped, stay for the humor. It is funny, I will say. Nothing is funnier than the woman who is tied to this silly contraption. At the very least, you can read this and say to yourself, "So, that's why I never did that." I once had some girlfriends remark on how "dedicated" I was. What I really think they wanted to say was "mental" but being my friends they were being nice. I must be mental to go through this every day, but it is alwasy worth it when I get home and nurse my lttle nursling. Her little sighs and cuddles really do make it all worthwhile. Neverless, a few hours later I am cursing my fate as I clean bottle and cones. Why must they make these parts so complex? It is impossible to get a brush small enough to clean out the crevices of the milk collecting devices. I always say I'll get pipecleaners but I never have. part of the reason I nurse is because it is easier. Emma sleeps in her bassinet next to our bed and when she awakens at 2am, all I have to do is flip over, grap her and put her to breast. I love my sleep and I won't let anything get in the way. It does get old though. I have bottles, nipples, more bottles and pump parts to clean everyday. Now that Emma is older, I don't sterilize everyday, more like once a week. SHe is six months old Friday, so maybe we'll start thinking about the rice cereal. She really has shown zero interest in solid food yet. Fine by me. I'm not looking forward to the stinky poo. So, think fondly of me as I go once again to spill milk on my pants.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


We have a new shopping center down the road a bit and across the street from my job. I could probably walk there, it is so close. It is still under construction but so far the Home Depot, Target and Shoppers Food Warehouse (grocery store) are all open. We are further promised a Starbucks, Chevy Chase Bank (mine), Quiznos, and some other cool stores. If only they would open a Nordies (*sigh*). So anyway, I don't really take my lunch to work anymore. Why not? I have a side by side fridge freezer at home. The freezer has three shelves, a basket on the bottom, and some very shallow shelves. One shelf is taken up by frozen milk, the drawer and a half shelf is taken up by my mom, and the remaining shelf and a half is taken up by frozen veggies and misc. So I have no room to store any kind of frozen entrees to bring in. I could buy them and store them at wok, but eh. I barely have time/energy to cook dinner every night, so I can't even begin to think of making extra food to bring to work. What I am trying to say is that I eat out very day for lunch. I know, bad on the budget and one of these days I will have to stop it. That Target has been making the siren call out to me. I want to go there. I don't need a damn thing. Especially since I went to CVS during my lunch break yesterday (Hey, it's right next ot my allergist) and got my supply of office hand cream and various purchases. I need nothing. Especially since we were there last weekend and dropped over 100 USD buying bedding for Martin. An aside: why are kids sheets such LOW QUALITY? I think those Spiderman sheets must have been like 40 thread count. So, I don't need a damn thing from Target. I know if I go there I will end up wandering around, then go to the checkout with a bunch of junk costing me another 100 USD and I will have to defend myself to Jason. I WILL NOT GO. I WILL BE STRONG. See, my male coworker probably has no desire to run to Target during his lunch break. He may or may not be happy we now have a Home Depot. I can guarantee that he is not sitting in his office, lusting after Target. He probably hates Target. Hates shopping. I wish I did. I would have a lot more money in my Ladies Nice Things account. Target used to carry Seventh Generation diapers in their stores, but I guess no one bought them. I love these diapers. When I must use disposable I tend to reach for these. I finally let go of my no-gel mentality. I figured as long as the kids don't live in gel, that's okay. So I have okayed them for occasional use. Martin also sleeps in the gel diapers now, as were we just tired of the soak throughs. I was upset when they stopped carrying them, as they are difficult to find. We tend to run all around town looking for them. So it was nice when Target sold them. SO I can't even use diapers as an excuse to go to that Target. Target now carries Boots products. I love Boots. It is an English shop and they have the nicest things in their stores. It's kind like Target, I suppose. We use this brand of cream called Kamillosan which is a chamomile based ointment made with all natural ingredients. It works so lovely on burns, scrapes, rashes, dry patches, and diaper rashes. It is very mild. I found it in Boots, I have never seen it in the US. Target has begun carrying some of their spa line there, and so I want to check THAT out. But I WILL BE STRONG. I'll just go to the sandwich shop for lunch, which is the other direction.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Product Review(s)- Clinique

Forget everything you have ever heard about Clinique. I know the Clinique camp is divided squarely in two. The half that loves the three step (hooray, my skin is beautiful) and the half that hates the Three step (WTF? Soap on my face?). I happen to be a member of the first half. Like everyone else in the world, I had been a casual user of Clinique. They regularly have GWP time, so I would go and dutifully buy my 25USD or whatever worth of Clinique stuff to get the GWP. Back in the day, it was usually some Clinique make-up. This is okay, but not really great stuff. About 7-8 years ago, I had a skin meltdown. Rough bumpy patches, it was angry. I had gotten a sample of environmental cream in one of my many GWPs, and I was asking the SA at the counter if it would calm my skin down. She asked if I was on the three step. Now I wasn’t a soap snob, at the time I was using Neutrogena soap, you know the glycerin bar. Even now I can still smell it. I told her no, but that was when I signed up and I HAVE NEVER LOOKED BACK. My skin calmed down and turned into a thing of beauty, although I must be honest, it was more of a 2.5 step for me. I used the DDML sporadically if at all. It would break me out except on only the driest of winter days. I was very pleased when Clinique came out with the DDM GEL. I bought a small tube a year ago and I still have a little bit left. What I want to talk about is the Repairwear and Pore Refining product lines. I got on the Repairwear wagon some months ago when I got a Repairwear Intensive Eye Cream sample and a Deep Wrinkle concentrate sample. I was using the Anti Gravity eye cream, and that has worked well for me for a number of years, but I really liked the texture of the Repairwear. The cream was not as greasy as the anti gravity, and it was more creamy and fluffier. It was very light and absorbs very easy into the delicate area of the eye. The texture of the deep wrinkle concentrate was very rich and I was also thinking it may well be time for a good anti aging product to use on my face. I was/am starting to get lines on my forehead, around my mouth, and the corners of my eyes. When I talked to the SA, she didn’t think I need the deep wrinkle concentrate, but she suggested the Intensive Night Lotion. The lotion leaves with a velvety finish from all the ‘cones in it. This has quite the list of ingredients, it took up the entire side of the box it came in. It hasn’t broken me out and I have been using both the Intensive Eye Cream and the Intensive Night Lotion for a few months now. I found the Turnaround line to be a complete waste of money. I used an entire bottle of turnaround and could see no obvious difference in the texture of appearance of my skin. I am very pleased with the Repairwear line. I am not wrinkle free, but I have noticed a decrease in the lines around my mouth and forehead. My eye wrinkles are still there, but diminished. I am very pleased with both the Intensive Eye Cream and the Intensive Night Lotion and I will repurchase both. I have heard good things about the Repairwear foundation, but I have not tried it. I am very happy at the moment with my Prescriptives Traceless. I haven’t had good luck finding a Clinique foundation that matches my skin tone. Now for the Pore Refining line. I purchased the summer kit in the Pore Refining variety. This came in a cute little violet and white soft case. The case is quite large and I’ll be using it on my next set of business trips to carry all my toiletries. Inside it came with a full size take the day off solvent for lashes, lips and eyes, a full size superbalm, full size Pore-Minimizer Thermal-Action Skin Refiner, a sample size of Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector in Invisible Light, sample size Pore Minimizer Refining lotion. I also got a sample of high impact mascara in black, all about eyes, and a Take the day off cleansing balm, but these were not in the kit, I just love free stuff. I also got two headbands and a clear tote bag for buying two items of the three step, the new liquid soap and a toner. What I am going to review are the Pore Minimizer Thermal Action Skin Refiner and the Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector. The PM Thermal Action Skin Refiner is a very interesting product. It is meant to be used after the soap and before the toner, so between steps one and two. I find it is best to cleanse, and then completely dry my face. Then I take the refiner with dry fingers. It is very thick, like toothpaste. I place dabs on my cheeks, nose forehead and chin. Then I wet my fingers and quickly use a scrubbing motion. This product heats up on contact with water, so you must work quickly and efficiently to take advantage of the thermal action. It turns into a gel-like consistency and there are dome very fine particles. I do not find it as scrubby as the seven day scrub cream, but I find that after I rinse and tone, my skin feels very clean. It recommends bi-weekly use, I have been using it every three days or so. I haven’t noticed any improvement of my pores yet, but it has not aggravated my skin in any way. The PM Instant Perfector is the star of the entire PM line if you ask me. This is basically a foundation primer and very similar in feel to the esteemed Smashbox Photo Finish, which I also own. This product comes in two shades, Invisible light and Invisible Deep. Clinique only gave out Invisible Light, and I have already written to them about their folly. For this reason alone, I must use this under my foundation and not on it’s own and it clearly stands out on my medium skin. This is very thick, almost like a paste but spreads very easily. It leaves a velvet finish and basically coats your skin leaving a nice smooth surface. I only use it on my cheeks, under my eyes and my nose and chin. I have to work harder to blend my foundation in that I do with the Smashbox, but it finishes very nice. It wears nicely and gives you that perfect finish that will last the day. I find that I don’t need to use my blotting sheets with this. I have to say that Smashbox finally has some competition in this product.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

And now...The News

My Mom brought home a bag filled with mementos of my Grandfather. Apparently there was a t-shirt made up. I haven't opened it yet. I guess I fell that as soon as I do, it will become real and my Grandfather will really be gone. I guess I'm just not ready to come to terms with it just yet, so it is sitting on top of my make-up case. My mom asked me this morning if I liked the T-shirt. I told I hadn't looked at it yet and she just kind of harrumphed. Whad-ever. I haven't talked to her again, but I have heard hopeful things about her desire to move back to Seattle. My co-worker as it turns out has a wife that is trained in child-care and said she would probably be able to watch the kiddies in the short term. That is nice. I told Jason maybe I should just tell HR to just turn over the balance of my pay check to him. Har har har. So we were going to get an Au Pair, but the more reading I do, the worse I feel about it. Like we are going to get some crazy twenty-something that will just want to party and will hate us and resent us. Then it occurred to me, that is probably who works in day care. I don't know. Who are the actual workers in a day care center? I have heard they have high turnover, etc. The benefit of an Au Pair (or AP) is that she will live with us and become like part of the family. This would be good. The kids would really get to know her, and since she is from a different country we would get that aspect as well. Jason is English and I think it is important to both of us that our kids grow up realizing there is more than just the US. SO we will see. I'm sure you'll hears lots as we go through the process. Looking over at my sidebar, I notice that once again, it is woefully out of date. I encourage you to head over to Manic Mommies. Beware, it is a podcast, they have a blog but the podcast is really nice. What! You don't know what a podcast is or why you should care? Honey child, get your tech butt in gear, get a player and listen in. This link will get you started. They even have a free player. Or you can use I-tunes. Get on the tech wagon! So, you may know that I am a pumping mommy. On my recent cluster of business trips, I finally got a new laptop bag. Tis verrrr nice. Rosemont I have it in Avocado. This was a super improvement from my old bag. It was a Swiss Army backpack. It was nice, if I only had that bag. Also I could cram so much crap in it, but it would get very heavy. When I switched over to Avocado I had this nice small stylish bag. It also has all these inside pockets so I ca easily fit in this bag: Humungous Dell Latitude D800 laptop Power supply for above cosmetic bag wallet various small items to include: lotion, kleenex, mints, inhaler Various notebook accessories to include: USB cables for syncing, USB thumb drive, USB mouse A pen panel A wallet panel My Ipod My Pocket PC A water bottle A bag of snacks Some files and/or papers It does get heavy, but not to much so. The straps do tend to dig in. The thing I really like it that I can put all my "purse" stuff in it, so I don't have to carry my purse through the airport, ot jam it in my backpack. I have a whole shoulder to sling my pump bag on (My Medela Pump in Style Advanced). The FAA has this silly rule of only allowing two pieces of carry-on whatever. Some don't care, but some do. The last thing you want t be is getting on the plane and being stopped for three bags. Because it has happened to me. What occurred to me though was that I can't be the ONLY woman in this situation. There has to be another who has a laptop and a pump so I think someone should make a bag that you can carry your laptop, your pump and crap around. It could even be like a little wheelie bag, with a removable part for your pump. That would be soooo nice. Just thinking.

Product recall

There has been a product recall for Small World Toys. The vehicles in the IQ Baby Pillow Soft Activity Blocks, the IQ Baby Traveling Train Blocks and the Discovery Channel Vroom Vroom Vehicles. We have the Vroom Vroom vehicles and I have to say I was sad to see the recall. Martin is two and we got these when he was an infant. He doesn't play with them so much right now, every now and then, but he really played with them when he was 18 months or so. Emma has really started showing an interest in them. There were 11 cases of the wheel popping off. No injuries, but I am sure you all know that one is too many. It was with a heavy heart that I pulled these from circulation. I tugged and tugged but could not get one to fall loose. Jason said not too worry, but I do. Back to Small World Toys they go.

Monday, July 10, 2006

It was a lovely six days in a row at home. The best thing was it was unplanned time at home. I just took it as vacation as I could get no work done with the kids, so I just hung around, playing with them. As soon as the weather cleared up, we went on some walks. There is a small "tot lot" not too far from the house, so I would buckle in Emma and we have this little walking strap for Martin that works nice and he will actually wear it. The only problem with the tot lot is that it is in this little mini-forest. Add up the rain we have been having and you get mosquitoes. So we were all bitten. Poor little Emma, only 6 months and she already has been tasted by the insidious insect. AT least three times, no less. I have to go to work today. I went a few times last week. Oh, the Hell it was. My mom's flight gets in at 9am, which is a little less than two hours from now. I will have to pack up the kids and drive over there, then hopefully mom will be coherent enough to watch the kids so I can go to the evil salt mines.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Home, again, for awhile

I have been home since, basically last Friday. Not just last Friday, but a week ago Friday. I had a public speaking class in DC Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. I can barely remember what my office looks like. My mom was called back to Seattle for a family emergency, my grandfather passed. More on that later. We have been madly scrambling to look after the kids in her absence. We had considered finding a day care, but now we just decided to suck up these 2+ weeks by rotating our schedule. I haven't even been working from home, I took the three days as vacation because I could not watch the kids and work from home. It's impossible. We have decided to get an Au Pair. Since my grandmother is on her own, my mom may well fell like staying with her for a bit, and I don't want her to feel like she is abandoning us. Other than the very sad news (which is saying a lot), it has been nice with just us in the house. My mother moods were so unpredictable, sometimes it was downright awful being in the house with her. Add to it all of the very depressing news from my family lately and her less-than-stellar child rearing, things have been getting tense around here. I have to say that the house has not fallen apart in her absence. Dishes may sit around for a few hours and the dishwasher has definitely been getting more use, but all off us have been a lot happier and less tense. I can appreciate how she hasn't been able to take the kids out back, but the weather has been horrible and I didn't want Martin to fall into a pool of mud in the back. They really could use a bit of outside time.