Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas...Oprah?

Merry Christmas Oprah! Yep, I made a great big O carrot cake for my very first traditional American Christmas dinner in Holland. Like many Amsterdamers, my 1930's totally orginal kitchen is not big enough for an oven until we win the lottery and can renovate. So I make do with a combi-magnetron that cooks everything but the middle. I paid $10 for my Betty Crocker carrot cake and $8 for Betty crocker frosting so I wasn't about to throw it away. I cut away the middle and the only thing I could make was an O. Now, my Dutch family will just think we Americans love Oprah that much more!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mama goes to the gym!

It's a miracle...I not only stepped inside, but actually worked out, in a gym (all thanks to a good friend/colleague).

But the fear of working out for the first time after a LONG hiatus was overshadowed by yet another embarrassing moment in my life. Let me set the scene...nice gym...big machines...even bigger Trainer...young, chiseled, mama-can -just imagine the six-pack -under-that-shirt Trainer...

So,  in the dressing room, I'm changing into my workout gear when I look down at my feet. My feet. I was not able to see them for years and now unfortunately,  I could see them clearly. They were no longer feet. Somehow my feet and toenails had turned into something you would see in the Thriller video. Big, hairy toes with claws at least an inch too long and an inch too thick, coated with patches of blood red polish, chipping to reveal putrid yellow-green-brown nails. And God only knows what was under the nails.

I totally forgot to cut, clean or even think about my toenails. I barely have time to brush my hair most days, so toenails...not even on the list. No worries though, like many body parts after having a baby, it was my little secret, no one would see them tucked away safely in my running shoes.

Problem solved and I was ready to workout! But first, dessert...I had to sit down with the hot young trainer and tell him all about my workout habits (rather, lack of). So we sat down and chatted and  I attempted to flirt, but of course, that ended abruptly when it was time to jump on the scale.

I took off my shoes and bravely stepped up to the scale...and then he asked me to do the unthinkable. He asked me to take off my socks. My heart skipped three beats. No, I said. I told him I was not taking off my socks. My face was burning red and I just wanted to run out of there. I had to think fast so I said I was too cold  to take off my socks (lame).

In that forceful Trainer tone, he scared me into removing my socks. I had no choice. I removed each sock slowly, hoping he wasn't looking. Then it was like a scene from a horror toes were sticking out like little rotten pieces of macaroni. I tried to pull my pants down lower on my waist hoping they would lap over my nails.

No such luck, the nastiest toe still peeked through. And then the situation worsened. He got down on his knees just inches away from my crusty daggers to read the weight.

I tried not to move, then maybe he wouldn't notice them. But how could he miss them, both of my big claws surrounded the digital number on the scale. By that point, I was drenched in sweat and I hadn't even lifted a weight. I was exposed. It was too late. I had to save myself, so in a soft apologetic voice I said, "Glad I have time to get a pedicure tomorrow."

No reaction. No reply. He was probably trying not to let the vomit escape his mouth. Oh well, I thought to myself, just another embarrassing moment to add to the list. I am a mother, not a Barbie doll and I will never be perfect...and I am just fine with that!

But a New Year's Resolution for 2012...cut my toenails next year!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Papa has a penis, his pee is strong!

Yes, another penis story. It seems to be a hot topic in our house lately. Matter of fact, not only the house, but they talk about "The penis" in the supermarket, in the car, on the street and every toilet trip with mama.

But the conversations go way beyond, wow, papa has a penis and mama has a long butt crack. I know I should teach them vagina, but I can't bring myself to that point yet. Besides, they are not interested at all in the long butt crack aka vagina. Anyway, the conversations are mainly about how strong papa can pee with his "big strong penis." The conversation goes like this: "Papa is SO strong because he has a PENIS and he pees SO strong, so much stronger than mama pees, mama's pee is not strong because she has a long butt crack."

Ok, I take this personally. So what are they really saying, papa is stronger in general because he has a penis? They can't be, they are only 4 and 2 years old. It has to be a misconception babies are born with. It has to be. I am the strong woman of the house, I am the pillar of the family. Or at least I thought I was. If they keep talking about how strong papa's penis is because his pee is so strong and loud, then I will begin to doubt all of my efforts to be the mama I want for my kids.

I even caught myself trying to pee really hard the other day for the little toilet critics. It was only when Luca said "Mama, are you in pain" that I realized what I was doing and stopped the madness.

This too will pass, just like every other stage in their lives. I just have to be patient and bite my tongue. Soon my day will come, when my daughter will be trying on my bras hoping for boobs like mama! And she wants to be strong like mama!

This is how Granny rolls in Amsterdam

Mama is a very young 29 (and holding) but it always makes me chuckle when I see a granny rolling down the street in one of these. I know grannies get around pretty much the same way in America except check out the tarp rain cover. The difference between the Dutch grannies is they roll outdoors on these scooters. There are no Wal-Marts or super malls to shop in over here, granny has to brave the elements if she needs to shop, and anything else. To the Dutch Grannies, it's the same as riding a bike, they even ride on the bike paths. And it rains a lot here, so naturally the scooter needs a red-neck raincoat!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What happened to real women modeling bras?

 Man lands campaign modelling push up bras for Dutch retail chain!

Not sure if much of the rest of the world has seen this ad yet, but in Amsterdam it's big news. Well not shocking news, just regular Man Models Push Up for a Dutch store (equivalent to Family Dollar in America) kinda news.

First of all, could you imagine, a man in bra ads for Family Dollar? No way. But that's not what bothers me about this ad. No, and it doesn't bother me that a man is so beautiful he can model as a woman. No, what bothers me is that they are moving further away from portraying real women in advertisements. Real women like me, without a penis, of course, and with breasts down to the floor from hours of breastfeeding, in need of some serious pushing up.

That's when I would buy a bra from them. If they could show me a real woman in this bra holding up her tons-of-once-fun without her face twisted in pain and not wrapped around her neck, then I am first in line at the register.

Of course smaller chested women need these bras just like us big girls, but if I were less endowed I would be offended too. If I had a small chest I would be offended they portrayed a smaller chested gal with a male, who has no breasts and had to use chicken breasts to re-create!

Oh well, I buy my push ups in America anyway, ha, where they use real women in ads! Skinny and unrealistic, but they dont have a penis!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Tree Adventure

This is how mama gets the Christmas tree home in Amsterdam. Slowly, we made it after about 1/4 mile, but not before knocking over a bike and running into the side of the building.