Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Hair-raising post!!!

I don't really know what that title means, but I am posting some hair pictures, so why not go with it!

Below are pictures of my lovely pink extensions that I got November of 2008 for my 30th birthday. I had them removed about four weeks later. I loved, loved, loved the way they looked (and now that I see the pictures, I totally want them back), but Jack yanked them out and I struggled a bit with styling on those days when I just wanted to let it go curly (aka frizzy) and let it ride. But, on a well styled day, even at 30, my hair was hot!

(I don't know who that chick with my hair is... really.... I look exactly like Heidi Klum so I am not sure why the picture is so fuzzy making me look all old, fat and unattractive).

And.... here are pictures of Tabbi's fab hair makeover from about a month ago. She picked the Victoria Beckham bob and she managed to finally find the absolute best looking hair style to suit her stick straight hair. Love it!!!

Seriously cute stuff! If you liked either of these styles and are within a car ride/flight/train trip/dog sled ride, you ought to see Cari at Rumors Salon. She is magical, I think.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Top 10 Reasons Why Will Shall Be Kicked Out of PreSchool

10. Because he has a habit of saying "Jesus" every time something bad happens.... and I am pretty sure he doesn't mean it in a "Jesus, please forgive me for spilling my grape juice and grant me the power to use my quicker-picker-upper to clean it."

9. Because he thinks learning is playing with trucks while listing off every truck classification he can think of. Picture Bubba from Forest Gump, but in construction. "There's dump trucks, lifter trucks, fork trucks, tanker trucks...."

8. The teacher is going to be sick of holding off the Lilliputians to keep them from tying Will/Gulliver down so he doesn't step on them and squish them.

7. Because he kept asking when he gets to go on stage (aka the altar in the room where the church services are held) and sing. Not sure Pastor C is going to be thrilled with a booming "If You Like To Talk To Tomatoes" drowning out his sermon.

6. Because he can't pass a drinking fountain without "refilling his tank." And the school has three. That's a lot of pit stops.

5. Because Genius (aka Mark) taught Will how to "farmer blow" last night. Yeah. Good call, Mark.

4. Because Will still wants prizes for going potty, even though he's about three months potty trained, and I am pretty sure Miss M isn't going to want to dig around her purse for that Altoid that fell out of the tin back in 2003 just to get him to stop screaming "I GET A PRIZE!!!!"

3. Because when you ask Will to color inside the lines, he takes that to mean within the borders of the desk or table he is coloring upon, but not limited to an outline on the picture on the paper on which he is to color.

2. Because I really didn't realize we were supposed to bring in school supplies at Meet the Teacher night and I still have no idea what those supplies are supposed to be. Oops.

1. Because the idea of having Will gone two mornings a week, during the time which Jack takes a morning nap... It's just too good to be true!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Motivational Mantras

So I was reading Good Housekeeping today and there is an article called "Words to Chill By." The premise is that you can relax by using a motivational phrase that will take you out of your stress zone and into Chill-Land. They say that marathon runners do this during the most difficult sections of the race so that they can concentrate on something other that putting one foot in front of the other AGAIN. Now, I know when I run my marathons, I don't usually need that kind of help because my version of a marathon is the kind on USA on Tuesdays that involve Detectives Benson and Stabler doing all the running, but I digress.

Last week was particularly stressful. We had some ups and downs in Preteen Land and Jack spent the week being... well... unpleasant. Our house payment went up $300 a month and while I wish I could say that we live a life where an additional $300 a month is not an issue, but that is as likely as me strapping on some Nikes and running a real marathon. It hurts. And shin splints don't take away your house, you know what I'm sayin'?!?!?! And, on top of the usual day to day "oh my God, why do I have three kids and a spouse and a house" stress, my aunt (who I adore) is super sick and not getting well. The roller coaster of "I think this is a good sign" only to be dashed by a "I think this is a bad sign" updates on her health are unbearable. So, I read this article with gusto. Save me, Rosemary Ellis, and your magical publishing geniuses!

Here are some of their mantras:
  • When life looks like it's falling apart, it may just be falling into place. I like it, but it doesn't really work for my stresses. Money problems doesn't make my life fall into place. It's not like five people living in a box on the corner makes you say "Gosh... this is where I'm meant to be." And, it sure doesn't work for my aunt's failing health. So, thanks anyway.

  • Don't worry about the mule going blind; just keep the wagon loaded. Despite the fact that I don't own a mule, and my wagon is always loaded with Will and Jack... I still like this one. It basically means, some things are out of your hands, so deal with what you can control. Now, as a control freak, I feel like I can control everything, so again... doesn't work for me.

  • The kids will never remember, but you'll never forget. Wha huh???? That doesn't make me feel better at all. I want to forget. I WANT TO!

So, I basically veto any and all Good Housekeeping mantras, but I like the idea. So here are a few from my world...

  • You're only as happy as you let yourself be. A fortune I received the day before my "life ending" move from Iowa to Kansas at age 14. It was true, and I was really happy in Kansas.

  • It is what it is. Hey control freak, you can't change it so shut up about it.

  • Anything can happen on any given day. That's why we play the game. A quote from my mom, said before every single sporting event of my entire life (which could total around 400 million). But, it works for life, too. Anything can happen on any given day. Be open to the possibilities.

  • Sometimes you just need to look reality in the eye and deny it. Amen, Garrison Keillor. Amen.

I think if I am going to wax relaxing, I would pick one of those last ones, depending on my situations. What's your chillaxing mantra?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mother of the Year Part Two

This is Will eating pasta when he was roughly a year old.

This is Jack eating pasta and he is roughly a year old.

What in the name of Super Nanny am I doing wrong here?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mother Of The Year

So I decide to go to the local Chick Fil A today so the boys can play in their play place. It's rainy and muggy here, and Chick Fil A's play place has a toddler area plus a bigger area, so Will and Jack can both have fun. When we arrive, I see a friend and say hello and she asks "you aren't going to the play place are you?" Well, uh... yeah. Why else would I be here. I say yes and she informs me that there is poop down the slide. Being the inquisitive sort, I take a look and there is indeed brown smeary poo traveling south on the twisty slide. I was horrified. I was disgusted. I was willing to eat lunch and then take my kids into the play place after the staff cleaned it up.

Hey, what's a little poop in comparison to the shit storm I'd be in for if I brought them home without visiting the play place that I had promised?!?!?!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Never Happy...

I wanted a patio, and now the dog rolls in the dirt left over from the construction and gets covered in the gray dye dust left over from the decorative border and tracks that crap into my house every single time he goes outside, which is roughly 862 times a day.

I waited all summer for the school year to start, so that I had one less kid in my house all day. Now I am already sick of waking up early to make sure she is ready on time and don't even get me started on homework, which is far more work for the parent than the child.

I was super excited for Jack to start walking, and now I am sick of him getting into everything, everywhere.

I couldn't wait until Jack turned 1 and we could quit buying formula and switch to whole milk. Now, I am sick of having to keep two gallons of milk in my already cramped fridge.

I look forward to going to Lori's house to swim on Wednesdays, but when I go I am utterly exhausted from having to watch the boys so closely.

I love going out with the girls for our weekly get-together, but I hate how tired I am the next day.

I was thrilled to get the laundry done this weekend, but now I have nothing to do today.

I wanted a job for extra money, but now if the boys nap at the same time I have to work instead of watching DVR-ed Law & Order SVU.

If my Diet Coke can is half empty, I don't see it as half full.

I hate our poorly manicured front lawn, but I am not willing to get off my butt and do anything about it.

Basically, I have come to the realization that I am never, ever happy. Sucks, don't it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Don't Do Eulogies...

Michael Jackson died, (in case you having been living on Venus with your DSL and Satellite down and therefore didn't know) and it got me thinking. If you interviewed the bulk of the American public the day before he died, they would have blabbed about the pedophile rumors and the Wacko Jacko behavior and oh yeah... he had some good music, too. The day after he died, he was Humanitarian of the Year and the best damn entertainer/human being on God's green Earth. Now, I don't care that much about MJ and I don't give a rat's tookis which one you think, because this is my actual point.... Why do we wait until someone dies to say all the good stuff about them. Why don't we say it when they are alive?

I wrote a post back in May about two men that died in 2005 that meant the world to me, my Grandpa Wilfred Ash and my dear friend Bill Tatum. Now, I would like to think they both knew that I loved them, but did they know how much? All those things I said about them in my post, I would never have said to their face. How stupid is that? How back-ass-ward of us, as a society, to bust out eloquent and loving eulogies when the person you are speaking about can't hear you. Why don't we open up and tell the person while they are alive, instead of telling all their friends and relatives after they are dead?

With that in mind, I am going to tell you about my Aunt Patti (who I would insert a picture of, except I know she'd be pissed because she'd see it and think she has a double chin or something else ridiculous that no one else sees). She is very much alive, and while she is ill right now, I have all the faith in the world that she will recover. Life is all about ebbs and flows, ups and downs, and this down will come back up. Here's how I know. Patti Erpelding is the strongest, bravest person that I have ever known.

There hasn't been a time in my life where she wasn't "sick." I remember being so young and riding bikes to a pharmacy with Patti's daughter Heidi and Heidi said to me "did you know my mom is dying?" I didn't know that, and I am not sure I was even old enough to understand what that meant, but I didn't admit it that day. I said "I know." Later I learned that Patti had an illness that could some day claim her, but you know what? It hasn't. And you know what else... I am really old now. I am not that 10 year old riding a bike. I am 30. So that means that Patti has been stronger than this for long enough for me to go from bike riding to teaching my son to pedal his own bicycle. I don't know many people who could have that kind of fight and stamina.

Patti has seen her children graduate high school, college, marry, have babies and now watches her grandchildren grow up. The really amazing part is through this, through the times in the hospital and the transplant and the sickness and pain, she has remained this fantastic person. She isn't bogged down in the "life is unfairs" and she isn't bittered by the "why me" questions that I think I would drown in. She is funny and vibrant and absolutely the most caring mother/grandparent/sister/aunt that anyone could be lucky enough to have. I remember a day when we were visiting Iowa, where she lives, and she had to leave because her granddaughter Charly was really sick with a flu and Charly called to ask Patti if she could come see her. Patti dropped everything and went. What kid could ask for a better grandparent than that? She goes to every game, event, special occasion even if she's not feeling well, and it's because she cares more about the kids and their feelings than she cares about herself. She puts every single person before herself, because she loves them that much.

I have always felt a special bond to my Aunt Patti. I don't know if it was serving spaghetti on Easter (which rocked for me because I hate ham) or if it's because she is the only person who reads more than I do (and lends me books when she is done like she's my own personal Barnes & Noble). It could be because she shared my favorite color (yellow) and it could be because any time my hair or clothing went toward the...uhh...more unusual, to her it was always "unique." I do know it's because she will buy almost anything with a hood (and so do I) and she'll burst into song when the mood strikes her, and she almost always smiles when she talks, no matter what the subject is. The reality is, I can't articulate the all the reasons why this person is so special, but anyone who reads this and knows her will be nodding along with the simple statement... she just is. The bottom line is that this world would be a better place if there were more smiling, reading, family loving people like Patti in it. And my family is infinitely lucky because she's ours. I know in my heart that I have a really long time to wait before this becomes an issue, but I am not going to make the mistake of not saying it until it's too late. I love you, Patti! And you're amazing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jack!!!

Jack, Age 1

I always laugh at bloggers' birthday tributes to their children. Like their 8 month old is going to grow up to read this stuff someday? By the time our kids are old and jaded enough to blog and read blogs, there will be some mind telepathy technology where writing will become obsolete and thoughts just magi-ppear (magically appear... in Lynnspeak) in people's heads. But, today I feel motivated to write one myself. Maybe I am PMSing (which I am sure Jack will be thrilled to read if he ever reads this).

Jack's Birthday Cake

My baby boy turns one today. How weird is that? I feel like I was just pregnant with him. Truly, this year has flown by. I feel much more sentimental about this birthday than when Will turned one. Maybe it's because I know that Jack is my last. Maybe I know that this is the last first birthday in my future. Maybe it's because I now know how quickly this life flies by. Will starts preschool on "tember first" and suddenly I feel like he's going to college soon. Tabbi asks about puberty all the time, which makes me feel like she'll be married with her own kids soon (and no, not literally. This isn't... uh... can't think of a state where I won't offend people so I'll just leave that joke alone). And maybe it's because Jack and I had a pretty rocky start, but I now realize that my life would not be the same without him.

Jack's Smash Cake

When I got pregnant, I was actively trying not to. That birth control pill just can't be trusted. Moreover, I never got excited about it. I didn't glow with the thoughts of baby like I did with Will. It wasn't according to my plan, and I felt like I couldn't handle it. Will was SOOOO time consuming that how could I ever deal with a second one? Even when he was born, I didn't feel bonded to him like I did instantly with Will. I wanted to. I wanted my eyes to be glued to him at all times, like they were with Will, but they weren't. Maybe it was the circumstances or the fact that I didn't have time to bask in his glory because two other kids (much needier despite their ages) took up so much time. And, Jack cried. ALL. THE. TIME. There was no cuddly cute baby goodness. It was loud, screaming, spawn of Satan badness.

Jack's Food Coma

But, now. Jackers. Jack Attack. Jack Jack. He is mine and I love him. EQUALLY. I don't know when it happened or how, but at some point I realized that that crying, screaming, psycho child was wonderful. And I loved him. Maybe it was the medical scares, or maybe it's the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles. Maybe its the sweet way he lays his head on your shoulder or the belly laugh that comes when you least expect it. Maybe it's the crease on one cheek when he smiles his super big smile or maybe it's the two bottom teeth gleaming white against his pink lips and gums. Maybe its this babbling that is non-stop chatter with these intonations that crack me up or maybe it's the way he slaps his stomach as a clear attempt to communicate even though we have no idea what he is trying to say. Maybe it's the way he explodes with happiness when my mom or Mark walks in, or the way he waddles to me when he wants a cuddle. Maybe its that silly one finger point at everything or nothing, or the way he'll just randomly lay on the ground for a couple seconds before he gets up and plays again. I don't know what it is, but that kid gets hold of you and there is no going back. So, with all those things in mind, I want to wish Jack the happiest, eye crinkling, smile inducing birthday any one year old has ever had. Happy Birthday, Little Man. Happy Birthday.