Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lazy Thursday

If I could rap this post for you, I would.

I've been saving this post for a time when I need a go-to post because my brain is fried. Today is that day. If you were always the person named "least likely" to fill out an "about you" survey and send it on to friends, I apologize. I was definitely a "most likely" and I sent the hell out of those things.

Go ahead and post your own answers in the comments. You know you want to. Or, you could just go back to work.

A to Z About Me

A. Age: 29, as far as you know
B. Bed size: queen, would do a lot for a king sleep number
C. Chore that you hate: dishes, especially since my husband has a lot of nice stuff he won't let me put in the dishwasher
D. Dogs: collie or border collie mix. He's a rescue so we aren't sure
E. Essential start to your day: coffee
F. Favorite color: blue
G. Groin? Really?: Well, I could have used "crotch" instead. Or this. Would that have made you happier?
H. Height: about 5'2". One time a Dr. actually recorded my height as 5'2 and 17/18"
I. Instruments you play: my voice, but not much lately
J. Job title: homemaker
K. Kids: 2 sons and aforementioned dog
L. Live: on the far suburban edges of a large midwestern city
M. Memorable books: Middlemarch, Pride & Prejudice, Year of Wonders, Straight Man, Tess of the D'Urbervilles,
N. Nicknames: Punkin' (husband), my brother just calls me "girl"
O. Overnight hospital stays: aside from after childbirth, two stays when I was a little kid for getting really sick and dehydrated.
P. Pet peeves: abuses against the English language (not that I'm perfect)
Q. Quote from a movie: "Don't play dumb. We're better at it than you." --Bring It On
I love this movie but haven't watched it in years so I have no idea why that quotation popped into my head
R. Right or left handed: right
S. Siblings: a younger brother
T. Time you wake up: 1 am (bladder), 4:30 (baby), 5:30 (husband's alarm), 6:00 (3 yo)
U. Underwear: Gap lace-trimmed hipsters. Very comfortable, but still sexy
V. Vegetable you hate: peas
W. What makes you run late: I don't usually, but my mind isn't what it used to be. Sometimes I'll get everything loaded in the car and then remember that I didn't have my older son use the bathroom (and he thinks gas station rest rooms are the neatest), or I left my keys in the house, or forgot a wet bag for the baby's diapers.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: foot, for a stress fracture; breast, for a benign lump when I was too scared to have a biopsy (I was young); head, for sinus infection (ridiculous. This was in Spain. I used to get sinus infections about once a year, but the Dr wouldn't treat me till I had an x-ray); back, to rule out more serious conditions when I strained some muscles
Y. Yummy food that you love: Anything my husband makes. He's the chef in our house and his cooking is amazing. Some of my favorites are Thai chicken w/ peanut sauce, Cuban beef picadillo, and chicken tostadas
Z. Zoo animal: I love the big cats, and the guinea pigs at the Children's Zoo

Have a sexy holiday weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Burn After Reading

This is a replica of a love note from the groin. It was my first attempt at defeating Sex Drought II. The kids and I met my husband at work for lunch and, as he was helping me load the kids in the car, I handed him the note and told him to open it when he got back to his office.

And yes, sometimes my mind is just barely at the elevation of a "That's what she said". But, hey, it worked.

The thing about love notes, sexts, or any other method you choose to employ, is that they create anticipation. Anticipation is foreplay for your brain, which, as the women's magazines constantly remind us, is our most important sex organ.

At the end of every day, I'm still as tired as ever from trying to keep up with two kids, a dog, and a house, but if I've scheduled sex and invited my husband to the party, I find I can access the energy reserves. I haven't regretted it yet. There are a lot of things I've done that were not worth the loss of even 5 minutes of sleep, but good sex with my husband isn't one of them.

Now that's ambitious.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lower Your Standards

We aren't fancy romance-y people.

One thing that has really facilitated our having sex more often is setting the bar ridiculously low for our sexcapades. While we were never the sort of people who felt like we were slumming if we weren't doing it on a bearskin rug in front of the fire with a cut crystal glass of champagne in one hand and caviar on toast points in the other, we did have our version of an ideal setting. Mostly, we wanted the time to do what we pleased without fear of interruption, and to break out the sex furniture every once in a while. (Remember this? That right there is why there will never been any photographic evidence of what goes on in my bedroom.)

It took a while to come out of Sex Drought I for the simple reason that we couldn't figure out when to have sex. We had a lot of excuses: we were too tired at night, which was our familiar time, and I wasn't usually in the mood upon first waking. Once our son could get out of his bed, we were afraid he'd walk in because the bedroom door at our old house didn't close all the way, much less lock. It would be weird to have sex in the middle of the day when the kid was taking a nap, blah blah blah.

After we added a second kid to the mix, necessity forced us to drop all our inhibitions, get out of our comfort zone, and just do it. Also, we bought a house with locking doors.

Our older son turned 3 about a month ago and we have never had sex while he was awake. The other day changed all that. We woke up on Saturday morning, both of us ready to go, when at 6:10 our 3 year old alarm clock peeked his adorable head around the door. He always wins the race to morning, and I draw the line at setting an alarm for 5:30 on a Saturday just to beat him to it and have some alone time with my husband.

As the boys went downstairs to start coffee and breakfast, I asked my husband, with a significant glance, to wake me up in a bit. A while later I heard my son coming up the stairs, which was seriously awkward because I had been this close to just taking care of business myself. Turns out my husband, who came upstairs with our son to deliver my coffee, thought I really just wanted more sleep. I can't say the man doesn't know me well. Once we straightened that out, he plunked the kid in front of Sesame Street with his cereal and raced back upstairs.

So, yada yada yada, we had a fun morning and were happy all day. Baby steps!

A door that locks has eliminated one scenario
 in which we have to see this face. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Today's Spongetastrophe

Have you ever watched a snake eat and wondered how a snack so big could fit down that relatively small gullet? (If you think snakes are cool, you might want to watch this video of a Burmese python eating a freaking alligator.)  The snake's jaw disarticulates (unhinges) so a snake with a head the size of a quarter can easily eat a big rat.

Last month I decided to try a new birth control method during the transition time before my husband gets a vasectomy. Instead of calling my OB for recommendations, like a smart person who was really serious about not having more kids would do, I turned to one of my favorite shows for ideas.

I love "The Sponge" episode of Seinfeld, but for most of the time the show was a regular part of the viewing line-up in my house, the Sponge was off the market. Happily, it's out there again and I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

The fuss is that the Sponge is very easy to use. You wet it, squeeze it, place it over your cervix, and forget about it for 24 hours. Piece of cake. Except that it wasn't. Let's go back to the image of the snake's jaw unhinging. Childbirth is like that, but in reverse. My OB once made a comment that being able to deliver vaginally was all about having a "big butt." I'm dragging a pretty big wagon, so I was like, "Great! My butt is huge!" And she said something about the inner mechanism. Probably having to do with the spread and angle of the pelvic bones and other anatomical things like that. Anyway, I'm very scientific, so I think of my body unhinging on the inside like a snake's mouth so something the size of a watermelon can pass through an opening the size of a lemon. The only difference is, unless she happens to give birth in France, a woman's body will not re-hinge exactly the way it was before. This is not a problem for anyone (except for some very small men). Or so I thought.

So, I placed my Sponge and puttered around the bathroom and bedroom for a little while until I had to go pee. When I sat down, I felt some alarming movement where there should be none.

And that's when I gave birth to the Sponge.

In looking over the instructions to see where I'd gone wrong, I came across the table of birth control methods and their effectiveness. I've studied that table many times in my life, but I definitely missed some pertinent information about the Sponge. Specifically, that twice as many women got pregnant in the first year of use if they'd borne a child before. Damn you, Postpartum Expanded Vagitis!*

I'm not up for a user error pregnancy so that's it for me. If I can't figure out how to use it correctly on the first try, then I am definitely not Sponge-worthy.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

They know what moms want

*Incidentally, the Today Sponge website says Postpartum Expanded Vagitis is not the cause of the higher incidence of pregnancy among parous women.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lube Up

My OB recommends olive oil as a great natural lubricant. I have never tried it because we cook with olive oil every day and I think the smell would trigger weird reactions--first our salivary glands and the next thing you know, it would be the Costanza Trifecta and we wouldn't be able to eat anything without a When Harry Met Sally diner scene.

If diamonds are a girl's best friend, lube is a woman's, especially after having kids. I literally do not care if my husband never buys me another jewel, but if the dog eats my lube (he's eaten much worse), he's for the glue factory and I might actually resort to olive oil.

The first time I ever bought a lubricant was at a Passion Party for a friend's wedding shower. I bought a sample size each of the Ultra Glide liquid and the gel. I have a decided preference for the gel. The liquid is very runny; the times I've tried to dispense it in the dark, I've ended up with a puddle in my palm and running through my fingers. It's also sticky. Yuck. The gel comes out in a firmer dollop and is therefore not messy. It lasts a long time and feels totally natural. Be advised that a little goes a long way. The only thing I don't love about the Passion Parties lube is that it's cold. I've recently tried K-Y's warming gel, which solved that problem.

What's scarier than salted, cured meats in the bedroom?
This guy in the bedroom.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Marge Maintenance

Do you remember the "Marge Maintenance" part of The Talented Mr. Ripley? Dickie, Marge, Tom, and Freddie are sailing and Marge goes below deck because she and Dickie have been arguing. Dickie shrugs to the other two men and follows her below for a little afternoon delight. In case you haven't seen the movie, Marge Maintenance is what Dickie calls the sex with Marge that he uses to soften her up, or manipulate her.

I remember being so outraged when I saw that scene. I was in college, not having a lot of sex (okay-- not having any), and I was highly susceptible to the suggestions about relationships between men and women that I saw in movies and read about in books. This was one instance of many in which I internalized the message that sex was a tool, a way to win a fight.

Much to my chagrin, I've realized that sex is indeed a softening agent in my life. I have a hard edge and if I don't have sex with my husband, I pick fights with him and get irritated over stupid things. A couple weeks ago, when I was really ready to come out of Sex Drought II, but my efforts at getting some were frustrated, I sat him down and said, "I need to have sex. It makes me a nicer person. Haven't you noticed how I walk around all sweet and docile for days after we do it?" Bless the man for looking like that was news to him.

So how did I get from angry, uninformed feminist to being able to live with sex being an essential part of Me Maintenance? More on Monday.

What does she see in him anyway? Oh, wait...