Thursday, July 29, 2010

She's Fly, So Fly . . .

" ... and fresh, truly fresh" ~ Tony Terry

1990. What a year. I was 13 and believed myself ready for the ride into adolescence. I had learned that puberty would be a storm of emotions and bodily changes. I had braces that made my already oversized lips cartoonish and fish-like. I had just switched schools after leaving a very comfortable position in the social world at my K-6 elementary. I was desperate to fit in and be liked by the already established cool crowd. I readied myself for a couple of years of angsty journaling and radio-listening ("... if you hold on for one more day, things will go your way ...").

But no one had prepared me for the Fly Girls! In Living Color debuted and with it the Fly Girls entered my life. And by entered, I mean they became my goddesses. Truly. My eyes did not blink once they were onscreen for fear of missing a key piece of choreography. I memorized every chest pump and body roll. If I was having a particularly horrid day in the power struggles of girlfriends and back-stabbing and gossip, I would close the door to my room, pump up the volume on my pink boombox, and choreograph with the Fly Girls as my mentors. If I was feeling especially self-conscious at school, I would think, what would the Fly Girls do? They would do the running man to class, of course! Fine, I didn't actually running man to class, but it helped to imagine myself with that kind of bravado. And I could really do their moves. School dances were my time to shine. Friends would ask me to teach them. They said I was like a Fly Girl. And you know that basically made my existence.

Ten years later I was taking hip-hop classes and soon after joined a professional hip-hop dance company led by Micaya, a renowned choreographer and teacher in the Bay Area and beyond. I danced with SoulForce for about four years, which was incredible and exhausting and one of the best experiences of my life. Even after being exposed to so many brilliant dancers in the dance community, I still look back on the Fly Girls as my main source of inspiration.

Now I'm a mom and dance is no longer a priority, but I miss it. And I think it will be a part of my life again. Beyond crying while watching So You Think You Can Dance, I mean. I can't wait to teach Q some moves. I try now, but he just rolls his eyes at me. Yes, he's already doing that at 18 months.

This video is long -- a compilation of a bunch of their routines -- but you'll get the gist if you only watch a minute of it. A total flashback to me at 13, the music I listened to, the clothes that I wore (okay, not exactly neon catsuits but definitely biker shorts), the moves that I mimicked.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Contemplating Two

"The girls look so good ... Next" ~ Gangstarr

Number two has been on the brain a bit lately. No, not that number two -- get your mind out of the diaper.

A recent conversation after seeing a darling baby girl while out eating brunch ...

Flyrish:     Oh, I want a baby girl!

T:     Why don't you borrow one of your friends?

Flyrish:     C'mon, it's not the same. They wouldn't be as cute!

Of course I was kidding when I said this (especially since my bff's daugher is all kinds of adorable). The girl version of Q would be pretty irresistible, though. And hopefully she would have Q's feathery eyelashes because then I could put mascara on them without it being quite so traumatizing to T.

In all seriousness, contemplating kid number two is a toughie. We know we want one more babe (and that's it, people), but figuring out the timing and finances and what would be best for everyone involved -- it can feel a bit overwhelming, to say the least. I always thought that three to four years would be the perfect amount of space between two kids, but if we want to follow through with that plan, then we should start trying again early next year. And here comes the deluge of questions, a hallmark of my indecisive nature. What if it takes us longer this time to get pregnant? I am getting older after all. But are we really ready at that point financially? What about my career goals? Maybe we should wait until next summer to start trying again. I'd like Q to be out of diapers ideally when the baby comes and he's not remotely interested in his potty yet. But then remember I'm getting older, so maybe just start trying sooner than later. Ugh, am I ready to put my body through that again? And what if it's another boy? Well, we wouldn't try again for a girl, right? I could be happy with a house full of boys. I think.

See what I mean? The inner workings of my mind are quite irritating, yes? I'm not typically a big planner, but it seems foolish to not think about practicalities, to not consider everything when expanding our little household. How do other families do it? Clearly some families just do it (ahem, Duggars).

In the meanwhile, here's my little hipster:




Thursday, July 22, 2010

Michies Shoes

"Act your age not your shoe size, and maybe we can do the twirl." ~ Prince



My friend's 2-year-old daughter used to point to my feet and say "Michiesss shoessss" every time she saw me. Aside from falling deeper in love with this little shoe-lover-in-training, this confirmed that I was indeed obsessed with shoes. But for a shoe lover, I'm pretty practical. I have never pulled a Carrie Bradshaw and spent my rent/mortgage money on a pair of shoes. I don't own a single pair of Jimmy Choo's, Manolo's, or Louboutin's. While I should be proud that I haven't thrown my life's savings at a pair of heels, I mostly feel like I'm missing out. Especially lately.

I've been craving sky-high, sexy-yet-tough sandals. Otherwise known as the perfect shoes for a mother to an 18 month old. Can you imagine me toddling on 5 inches of platform heel with my toddler? Of course I'm having a hard time justifying a purchase. But summer sales are well under way...

The completely impractical but drool-worthy shoes on my summer list:
























* (clockwise from top) Stuart Weitzman, Topshop,  Seychelles, DVF


Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend Fly-lights and Fly-lows

"Five days to work, one whole day to play, come on everybody, wear your rollerskates today" ~ De La Soul

Another whirlwind weekend. I remember thinking in high school that, like, oh my god, the weekends went by hella fast. And there's homework too? Somebody shoot me because I won't make it to 21 anyway. In college I did whatever I could to extend the weekend, such as scheduling my classes for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and switching Thirsty Thursdays to Wet Wednesdays and attempting to not be so hungover that I skipped my Thursday classes, and... you get the picture (yes, I went to a party school). Then in my later 20's, the weekends seemed ridiculously short what with having to actually work M-F and all. But now. Oh, now that all is so laughable! Because once you have a kid, especially when you work outside of the home, weekends become blue balls. The truly satisfying relief and relaxation occasionally hits on a 3-day weekend, but otherwise -- blue balls.


Fly-lights:

- Gorgeous blue skies and 80 degree temps= ultimate summer weather
- Q's new pool
- Girls' night out with old college homies-- reunited and it feels so good! Especially when wine is involved!
- Family naptime on Sunday afternoon
- The awesomeness that was True Blood last night
- Not eating any dessert all weekend


Fly-lows:


- Q discovering my hastily discarded purple nail polish (that I could have sworn I had closed tightly) -- after a few flings onto the cream carpet, polish made its way into Q's mouth for a fashionable teeth and tongue splatter effect.
- Getting stuck in midnight traffic on my way home from said girls' night due to a heavily armed lunatic in a white pickup truck deciding to take on Oakland PD
- Q's double-fun teething and cold combo 
- Not eating any dessert all weekend


Okay, fine, it was a better weekend than I thought it was. Eventful at least. But still, not long enough. The vacation countdown begins ...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beautifying the Boudoir

We recently installed new custom drapes in our bedroom for our sliding glass door, and they have vastly improved things in there. And by things, I mean actual privacy for ... ahem ... beauty sleep. Also, they are much more aesthetically pleasing. They hang from silver grommets in a color reminiscent of the deep sea in a textured faux silk with white thermal lining . The light subtly filters in now and creates the ultimate relaxing, spa-like atmosphere, especially when the door is open with curtains softly billowing in the breeze and the sound of the fountain outside. Q also enjoys hiding behind them. Fortunately, Elroy hasn't seemed to notice them yet.


But, now everything else in the bedroom appears dull and uninspired in comparison. The quick fix? Some new bedding! We haven't purchased any new bedding in years-- our current bedding is from our wedding registry five years ago and is looking a bit worn. Time for an upgrade.


I've narrowed it down to the following (although I should probably consider T's opinion as well-- at least I know we like the same colors):

 I think the teal blue color would pop beautifully with our drapes. I'm also kind of digging the wall art. From CB2- love their playful, modern vibe

I'm into the idea of grey bedding since the drapes add a heavy dose of color to the room-- they take up most of one wall. I don't usually go for so many flourishes, but the muted color might balance the feminine aspects. Also from CB2.


Another grey option, but I like that the floral is more graphic and clean. Plus, the set is made from organic cotton! From West Elm.


I know, I know-- more grey. But I adore the starburst design and the darker shade. Just add a couple of colorful pillows and perfection. From Inhabit Living.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Mommyhood Memo

The Mommyhood Memos



You know your life has changed when ...
you're getting hickeys from your teething toddler, not from your passionate partner.


Adriel from The Mommyhood Memos is looking for your very own mommyhood memos. Love this blog and not just because of the alliterative title. Link up and join in on the commiserating fun!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blog Hard or Go Home

"She works hard for the money, so hard for it, honey." ~ Donna Summer

Guilt. For anyone who was raised Catholic, they are very familiar with this feeling. But instead of Catholic guilt, I'm experiencing blogger guilt. And this is my confession. I told myself I would start posting three times a week and it's been almost a week since my last post. I know-- a mortal sin in the blogging world. I've thought a lot about potential blog posts. I've thought about participating in one of those memes. But I just can't seem to find the time to write them. I admit it-- I watched Bethenny Getting Married? instead of blogging. Give me my penance already.

Here comes the justification. I'm a working mom. I don't read a lot of blogs about moms who also have a career outside of mothering. Those moms who actually earn money from their blogs don't count (mainly because I'm jealous). Like most people in the working world, I sit in front of a computer all day. Spending more hours in front of the computer during my limited free time isn't always appealing. Sometimes I'd rather listen to music with my husband or talk on the phone with my sister or sprawl on the couch and watch reality TV or cook something yummy or clean the bathroom. Ok, that last one was a lie. I pretty much avoid cleaning the bathroom until Q starts crying because the bathtub hurts his bottom from the grainy filth. Not really, but close.

I'm digressing, so back to work. I'm a research associate for a non-profit sociological institute where I get to write for a living. I've been doing this on and off for the last 10 years or so. I also work as a freelance copywriter and used to be the Senior Copywriter for an online boutique a couple of years ago. I was laid off while on maternity leave, and don't even get me started on that fiasco. We'll save that for another time when I'm feeling appropriately spiteful. In any case, I love being a working mom. I cherish the balance this choice to work outside of the home (and sometimes inside of the home while Q is at the park) has given me. I remember finally feeling like a true adult woman (all growns up!) when I went back to work and had my baby to come home to. I also love getting ready for work, putting on shoes that would be totally impractical when hanging with Q, and being around all of the other hustling bustling city folk. It's a time when I get to be multifaceted me, not just mama me.

At the same time I envy the stay-at-home mom. Time to dream up more fun activities for Q. Time to really work on the sippy cup push. Time to take him to the park. Time to better plan and prepare meals. Time to better document his toddlerhood. Time to stay on top of house chores. More time to be involved in the blogging community. Less blogger guilt.

If you're a full-time working outside of the home mom and still manage to find time to blog every day, then ...
I kind of hate you. Do you sleep? Your energy is unfathomable and you deserve some sort of award. I also want to be you (unless you don't sleep because I want to marry sleep). Because writing like this, expressing my personal views and relating to others who might understand even a little bit, feels incredible. It's a form of therapy that truly helps me. I think the guilt comes from knowing that blogging more regularly would only improve my writing-- and my sanity! That's why I'm spending my lunch break on the computer.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

18 Months: Miraculous Mayhem


"I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck" ~ Doris Day

How is it possible, my little Q-tip, that 18 months seem like they passed by in a mere minute? How can it be that I also feel like I have known you for my entire life? I should have started documenting your month days from the start. I should have kept up with your baby book. The months have already begun to melt together in a dreamy haze.I should be a much better mama, a near-perfect mama to my perfect baby toddler boy.

Sure, you have your own "imperfections." You like to gnaw on my fingers. You pull Elroy's tail with all of your might and dare us to stop you with those wide-open, piercing blue eyes. You drag us around with you everywhere by gripping our fingers like a vice, even though you can walk perfectly well on your own. You wail immediately in frustration if your truck runs into a piece of furniture. You continue to decorate the floor with your food when you're done eating, sometimes not eating your meal at all. You're a milk-aholic.

Oh, but those imperfections only add to your perfection in my eyes. You are learning about the world, forever testing, trying, investigating, wondering, wandering. You hold our hands because you want us with you for each moment. When I'm feeling worn out, I try to remember to cherish your firm grip because soon you'll dismiss my hand altogether. You're already learning how to slide off of our bed. You're maneuvering your ups and downs with much more ease. My late walker -- I still can't believe how mobile you are now.

Your favorite words are clearer and you're trying out new ones every day. Current favorites include "clock", "bye", "kitty", "dog", "door", "bottle", "foff" (I think that means fan or light), and of course "ball."

You love to wave bye-bye to the airplanes in the sky. Sometimes you'd rather watch the big kids at the park than swinging and sliding yourself. You push your face into my hands and nuzzle them tenderly. You love to give chase and dissolve into hysterical laughter when I chase you back. You hide behind me and then give me a big hug when I find you. I ask if we can hug forever, but then you spot your ball and run off.

You are my sweet boy. I'm so proud of you. I'm trying to be prouder of me, too. Quincy, it's your month day. Happy 18 month day, Quincy!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Michies Mixes: Summer 2010

If you, dear intimate group of readers, have been at all observant while visiting this here blog lately, you've noticed that each blog begins with a really profound quote from a song that is meaningful to me. Something to further enhance the depth of my blog posts. Okay, not really. It's more like whatever song pops into my head when I'm writing a post. Like a silly soundtrack. A long-running mixtape of nostalgia and current earworms. That's why you'll find everything from one-hit wonder band from the late '80s The Good Girls to Cameo's classic "Word Up."

For those of you who know me outside of the blogosphere, it's clear that my mixtapes -- known to friends as Michies Mixes-- serve as another creative outlet. They first appeared back in the days of waiting to hear a particular song all night long and then taping it off of the radio on my ultracool pink-and-black boombox. Imagine a little Flyrish in braces, pumped hair, and pegged jeans squealing and jumping up and down when Paula Abdul's "Rush Rush" finally hit the airwaves. But the real deal mixes started at the end of high school. I had gotten into underground hip-hop and old school soul and wanted to share my discoveries with all of my friends. I made mixtapes (yes, on actual cassette tapes) and they requested more. I started giving them regularly as gifts, and my husband and I began courting each other with the exchange of our mixtapes in college. He ultimately proposed to me on the back of a blue iPod mini eight years later, if that tells you anything about the meaning and evolution of music in our relationship. And how long it freakin' took him to drop to his knee. (I jest-- I was in no rush to get married.)

At this point in my life I'd like to think that my arms are open wide to embrace all that the musical world has to offer. While I still put '90s hip-hop and old school soul at the top of my list, I now enjoy everything from indie rock to electro pop. And summer always deserves an inspired soundtrack for us to marinate in like some portobello mushrooms getting ready to be tossed onto the grill. (I'm hungry.)

A few tracks already on heavy rotation...


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