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The Magic of Baseball
The Magic of Baseball
MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010

My 12 year old son’s baseball season started recently. So, for the last couple of weeks, we’ve been going out back and throwing the ball around almost every day. Just me and him.
He’s decided that this year, he really wants to take pitching seriously, and is willing to put in the time and effort by practicing. I’m his catcher. We take the bases out back, measure off the distance and start throwing. He’s doing great. I think he really has potential. (I know, what mom wouldn't say that, but I'm serious here.) It’s not easy for me to get in the catching position though. I am 43 years old and a little out of shape. But at least I still have my arm.

So he and I go and we throw the baseball. Really throw hard. And we laugh. A lot. About really silly things, like how the way I crouch down to catch his pitches makes my butt stick out.
Will started playing t-ball when he was 5. For those first few years, he would stand in the outfield looking at the clouds and the butterflies. But I couldn’t wait for the day to come when he and I could play catch together, really play catch. It happened two years ago. I was still using my old softball glove from high school. (I am proud to say that I was Co-Captain of my high school varsity softball team.) The leather in the glove was a little thin and I sprained my finger when I caught a ball in the wrong spot. I had to get a new glove.

There’s a parenting metaphor in here somewhere between his changing skill level in baseball and his changing need for his mom. In the beginning, in t-ball, he needed a lot of teaching and patience. He couldn’t do it on his own because he was just starting out, didn’t know how to throw or hit. At home, he also had a very physical need for me, making his dinner, helping him get ready for bed, lots of time spent reading together.

Now, he’s on the cusp of surpassing me with his skills and his physical strength and, of course, his height. In baseball, we’ve become even in many ways. We can both throw the ball hard and accurate. But I can’t pitch. He still needs me on a daily basis but in a different, less physical, way. He needs my guidance, my encouragement and some urging (get your homework done, clean your room, hang your towel up). He wants me to hug and kiss him, but not when I pick him up at school. He can make his own dinner and when he showers and gets ready for bed, he locks the door. Though I still kiss him goodnight and tuck him in when he’s done.
In another year or two, as his skill increases and he goes to high school, I imagine he’ll need me less. He’ll be stronger than me and a better ball player. Hopefully, he’ll still want to play catch. He may even teach me a thing or two. I hope he cleans his room and hangs up his towel without me having to ask. And, by then, I’ll have taught him how to do his own laundry. He’ll still need his mom, but in a more cerebral and emotional way. And that’s okay with me. As long as he still lets me hug and kiss him. Giving our children their independence is probably one of the best things we can do for them.

So, for now, I’ll play catch with him whenever he wants me to. And when he throws the ball so hard that my hand stings, I’ll grin and bear it. And I’ll be happy to be sore in order to spend this kind of time with him. Just the two of us. He thinks it’s cool, and so do I.  He says he doesn’t know any other 43 year old mom with an arm like mine. The time we spend together is better than any words that I could say to him about growing up and becoming a teenager, and it is in these moments I experience pure joy--a feeling I wish I had more of. But pure joy is hard to come by, not with the trials and tribulations of everyday life: viruses, broken wrists, bad days at work, mean girls in fourth grade, a troubled economy. That's the magic of baseball though. If only for short while, it lets us forget everything else.

Jen Cullen is a 40-something pseudo housewife, divorced and re-married with 2 kids, one stepdaughter and no pets. She writes Life’s Dewlaps: Musings From An Underused Brain (http://lifesdewlaps.blogspot.com) where she unburdens herself of the many thoughts in her head. It’s not as ominous as it sounds but she likes to explore random topics ranging from using at-home hair color and playing baseball with her son to taking Milk Thistle to prevent hangovers and using arousal gel.

 


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Night Out
Night Out
FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2010

I follow a certain routine when I’m getting ready for a night out.

It starts with a full-service shower: shaving, full body exfoliating and, of course, shampooing and conditioning my hair. And when I get out of the shower, I usually find that my husband has left me a little present on the counter. A cocktail of some sort, usually made with vodka, club soda and pomegranate juice (got to have those anti-oxidants). If he is feeling particularly generous, he might leave me a martini. Either way, I’m off to a good start.

I pop in my contacts, put on my foundation and blow dry my hair. Then the real fun begins. I start playing some music. And I find that I tailor the music that I am listening to depending on what I’m getting ready to go do. Going to a big party needs something rowdy like Adam Lambert’s “If I Had You” (I’m a big fan regardless of what others think. Love his music) or C+ C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat”. Going out with the girls requires Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” or Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”. And then going out to dinner with friends would require something a little more toned down. Maybe a little jazz like Terell Stafford’s “Blues for JT” or Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now”.

You get the idea.

(I actually think music makes doing a lot of things better. I also listen to it when I’m cleaning the house. Some classic rock like Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones.)

Once the music gets going, I get going. Getting ready is more fun, is easier and I tend to finish up faster. In no time at all, I pick out my clothes, put on my makeup, accessorize, finish my cocktail and then head downstairs where my husband is waiting to tell me how great I look. And to ask me what took me so long. Guess I’m not as fast as I thought.

Then out the door and on to yet another fun evening! I love a good night out.

What’s your getting ready to go out routine?

Jen Cullen is a 40-something pseudo housewife, divorced and re-married with 2 kids, one stepdaughter and no pets. She writes Life’s Dewlaps: Musings From An Underused Brain (http://lifesdewlaps.blogspot.com) where she unburdens herself of the many thoughts in her head. It’s not as ominous as it sounds but she likes to explore random topics ranging from using at-home hair color and playing baseball with her son to taking Milk Thistle to prevent hangovers and using arousal gel.


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Whats the 1st Thing to Go From Your Beauty Cycle?
Whats the 1st Thing to Go From Your Beauty Cycle?
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2010

I treat myself to a professional pedicure almost every six weeks. It’s the least I can do for my beaten-up feet, particularly my cracked heels. Because I live in Florida, my feet are subjected to all sorts of daily torture; including going barefoot and wearing flip flops. The pedicure is part of my Cycle of Beauty, the name I give to the ongoing efforts I make to look my best and includes, but is not limited to, haircuts, hair coloring, eyebrow and bikini waxing, exfoliating and anti-aging regimens.

Each time I get a pedicure, the unfortunate soul who is working hard on making my feet beautiful pulls out the razor blade and asks if I want them to use it. I mournfully nod my head yes, apologize for their struggles and smile at the immediate gratification of my short-term heel solution. But this solution only treats the symptoms not the problem. Nothing will change the fact that I abuse my feet.

Then last month we had a 10 day cold snap. And it was the best thing that ever happened to my feet. During that week and a half, it was so cold that I wore socks almost all the time, even around the house and in bed (not the most romantic thing but then again neither are cracked dry heels that get stuck on the sheets). And I slathered my heels with Aquaphor Ointment before I put the socks on. Lots and lots of it. After just a few days, my feet were smoother and my heels were less cracked which motivated me to take my foot care one step farther and use a foot file in the shower. And it worked. No more cracks!

It’s been a few weeks since our cold snap and my feet are still looking good. Though I don’t know how long it will last. It’s time consuming to keep up with my Cycle of Beauty. I don’t want to be a grey, hairy woman with ugly looking feet, dry skin and wrinkles but, sometimes, something’s got to give.

So tell me, when you’re pressed for time, what’s the first thing to go from your Cycle of Beauty?


Jen Cullen is a 40-something pseudo housewife, divorced and re-married with 2 kids, one stepdaughter and no pets. She writes Life’s Dewlaps: Musings From An Underused Brain  where she unburdens herself of the many thoughts in her head. It’s not as ominous as it sounds but she likes to explore random topics ranging from using at-home hair color and playing baseball with her son to taking Milk Thistle to prevent hangovers and using arousal gel.

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Whats Your Favorite Feel Sexier Product?
Whats Your Favorite Feel Sexier Product?
THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2010

Nothing makes me feel sexier than having really, really smooth skin. Well, having smooth skin, sipping anejo tequila on the rocks and wearing either a low-cut blouse or a short skirt, though not both at the same time. Oh, and the ten pounds I just lost.

Of all of the above, smooth skin is actually the cheapest and easiest to get. And I can tell you how in just two words: exfoliating gloves.

A few years ago, I saw exfoliating gloves in my local drugstore and bought them, took them home and tried them. I was really impressed with the results, particularly on my legs, arms and yes, on my ass. And I’ve been using them ever since. One of my friends, who came to visit me and tried the gloves when she was using my shower, was actually offended that I hadn’t shared this knowledge with her.

The gloves are inexpensive (less than $10.00 a pair), are easy to use (one size fits all) and produce really phenomenal results. The gloves work by removing the surface layer of dead cells so that the new, pretty skin is exposed. I wouldn’t use them on sensitive skin like your face or neck because they are too abrading. And I’ve found that I get the best results by using them with either a moisturizing soap or body wash and then applying lotion right after my shower.

I use the gloves a couple of times a week, especially on date night with my husband. And he notices. Which leads to more physical contact because who doesn’t want to touch smooth skin? And more physical contact leads to…. Well, you see where I’m going with this.

So, I’ve shared with you my favorite make-me-feel-sexier product. But I can always use a little more sexiness in my life. Can’t you?

What’s your favorite make-you-feel-sexier product? Don’t hold out on me!


Jen Cullen is a 40-something pseudo housewife, divorced and re-married with 2 kids, one stepdaughter and no pets. She writes Life’s Dewlaps: Musings From An Underused Brain  where she unburdens herself of the many thoughts in her head. It’s not as ominous as it sounds but she likes to explore random topics ranging from using at-home hair color and playing baseball with her son to taking Milk Thistle to prevent hangovers and using arousal gel.

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