Monday, November 30, 2009

Curly Locks of Love

Just before my son turned two (he's now 2 1/2) he had his first haircut. It was a bit unruly and they gave him such a cute, little man hair cut that I loved. However, I was also devastated as his curls fell to the floor. Right then and there I swore to never, ever cut his hair again. His curls grew back and the unruliness returned as well. I've trimmed it a couple of times just so he doesn't look like a hobo all the while keeping the length and general shaggy look.

This morning he woke up looking like Einstein and I realized that it might be time to officially cut his hair. So with each painful snip of the scissors and buzz of the clippers I winced as his locks fell to the bathroom floor. He was such a trooper and he looks so handsome with a "little man" haircut, but part of me is sick inside for once again cutting his curls after I swore I wouldn't.

I assume, like last time, the curls and unruliness will return and I'll suffer this same internal struggle all over again. For now, I'll just spend the rest of the day gushing about how cute he looks.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Public or Private?

There is a school affiliated with the the church I have attended all my life. I attended there for grades K-8 and received a great education. I attended a public high school and received a wonderful education there as well. Over the past couple of years enrollment has sharply declined, yet cost of enrollment has gone up (to compensate for the money lost by those leaving the school). Class size has always been small with, on average, ten to fifteen students a grade. My 8th grade graduating class was a class of nine. However, in the seventh and eighth grades combined there are five students this year. Where in years past there was a waiting list, this year there is a plethora of available seats. The total school for all nine grades has seventy-two students. To say the school is in crisis is an understatement. One of the options that is on the table is combining more than two grade levels in a singular classroom (currently K is alone as is 1st grade and second grade, third and fourth are combined, fifth and sixth are combined, and seventh and eighth are combined and even with the combined grades no classroom has more than fifteen students). To me this just does not seem like a wise move beyond the financial reasons. Combining second, third, and fourth, or fourth, fifth, and sixth or any other combination raises a couple of concerns.

First, there is a big age difference between a second and fourth grader. While only two numerical years separate those grades there is a vast divide when it comes to maturity and social development. I think it is a great disservice and potentially harmful for students to be shoved into a classroom with those that aren't technically their peers. My other concern is that now one teacher is responsible for teaching all subjects to three grade levels instead of one to two grade levels. Obviously, those kids are getting short-changed somewhere. In the time the teacher previously taught two grade levels, he/she now needs to teach three grade levels. I don't care how great of a teacher it is or how bright the students are something is falling by the wayside. Furthermore, one would now be paying the same price (or possibly more, if tuition yet again increases) for less instructional time. Eight hours of the day are now divided by three instead of one or two as they had been in the past.

By comparison, the public school system already has large class sizes. With our state proposing more budget cuts in education the chance that class sizes will again increase isn't just a possibility but a strong likelihood. While large class sizes at the high school level don't concern me as much, class sizes in the younger, formidable ages concerns me greatly. I don't want my daughter (who begins Kinder next year) to be one of thirty-five or forty kids and that is now a possibility. So, while the class size, even with three grade levels, would be considerably smaller at the parochial school the larger public classroom would at least have one to two teachers teaching the same grade level all day and not trying to divide his/her time between multiple levels. Plus, it's free.

While the parochial school has always been a possibility my husband and I decided months ago we would send her to the local public school and while I still feel confident in this decisions and feel that ultimately she would receive a better education, become more well-rounded, and be able to participate in more extracurriculars, I am waiting on the edge of my seat to see what happens to the class sizes as our state tries to deal with our budget crisis. On the flip side, cost is the primary concern of sending her to the parochial school along with what we feel to be an inferior gifted program, not as clear of a curriculum, and growing concern about class size (although on the opposite end of the spectrum....classes too small and being boosted in numbers by combining many grades). If this trend keeps up, it won't be long before it is a single room school house reminiscent of a time long since passed.

What are/were some of your concerns when it came to your children and education. Did they attend private, public or parochial schools? What led you to those decisions?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Death of Objective Reporting

I have been wondering for a while now what happened to straight forward journalistic reporting? I can remember a time in the not too distant past when I would open a newspaper or magazine, read an article and then formulate my opinion based on the facts presented in the article. Now you can't read an article or turn on the TV without being told HOW to feel about the “facts” presented. I hate that. It's most prevalent in politics or politically charged issues, but it is even seeping just into general news stories. I know the “liberal media” has been accused of doing this for years and many of them are guilty of biased reporting, yet the right does it just as much. Which leads me back to the question of what happened to actual journalists? It seems like all we have now are self-serving pundits trying to fan the fires of half-truths, omission, and just outright lies.

I skip through channels late at night and catch news from CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc. The other night Fox led with something to the effect of “Stay tuned to learn how Obama is continuing to ruin this country.” In all fairness there's the opposite end of the spectrum on MSNBC. Why can't they just report factually the decisions Obama (or anyone for that matter) has made and let us, as the viewers, decide whether we think he is ruining America or not? Obama is just a singular example. The same bias can be applied to almost any partisan person and issue. Apparently, all media thinks the general public is much too stupid to actually formulate any decisions on our own. We must certainly need them to tell us how to think and how to feel.
Lest we think this is just a national problem or a television problem, it's not. I read an article in a local right-winged journal based out of Brooklyn that was reporting on a situation that was happening in one of our many school districts here in Tucson. She repeatedly, throughout the article, referred to the school district as Tucson's School District as if Tucson only had one. Completely erroneous. Further she was outraged at the fact that the school district in question had come up with a disciplinary plan that was specifically for minorities and that this plan had to address why minorities were disciplined at a higher rate and how to address this. The way the entire article was framed would elicit outrage out of even the most liberal of readers, which was obviously the point, as it not only implied but pretty much said that if you were white you could expect to be stuffed into classrooms with Mexicans and Blacks who were hoodlums that should be suspended but whom the district now would not suspend, lest they seem racist.

What this author failed to point out was WHY this discipline plan was submitted. It seems like the sin of omission is commonplace in reporting now. They tell just enough to get everyone fired up without giving any of the background, history, or reasons that led to the “outrageous moment.” It would be like saying, “Man clubs neighborhood dog to death with a baseball bat” leading everyone to think he has a screw loose and failing to mention he did so because the dog was attacking his baby daughter. In this case, this school district is trying to get out of a 20+ year old desegregation order and in order to be in compliance the judge ORDERED the district to submit this plan. What this author also failed to mention was that the discipline plans are IDENTICAL but one is labeled “Minority.” Had they not submitted this plan the proceedings to break free from this desegregation order would not continue. Anyone not from Tucson would have no idea and appropriately would be outraged. Even many in and from Tucson aren't necessarily aware of the legalities and after seeing this article propagated as fact and wholly accurate the author or those dispersing the article are successful in eliciting the emotional response they desire while ignoring the facts.

I like to be aware of current events. I like to be given the specifics, the facts, void of any emotion or personal feelings attached. I trust myself to be able to decide how I feel about certain topics be it politics, religion, education, or even just local events that only affect a few. I was told recently, during a discussion, that I looked at things “too logically, too rationally” and maybe that is why I have such a difficult time stomaching what passes as “news” or “journalism” these days. I also would venture to bet though that there are a lot more people like me out there who would prefer their news to be a bit more logical and rational and not illogical, irrational, emotional, and biased.

So, what do you think of journalism these days? What concerns you most?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day Recap

Thanksgiving this year was another fun occasion, despite the semi-crankiness of our children. Wednesday evening I took our daughter up to my parents' Tucson home (they were in town for the holiday) so she could spend the night along with three of her cousins. Outside of the time our son was born or the time he was hospitalized she has never spent the night away from us. Even then my mom came and stayed with her at our home. Anyway, we weren't sure how it was going to go, but she loved it. She stayed up until midnight with her cousins, although my parents said she was ready to conk at 10 pm but didn't want to miss anything. Coming home last night without her was a little sad for me in a way, although it was great having all that time with our son and being able to give him some undivided attention.

We went up to my parents around 11 ish and our daughter was visibly tired, but she did a pretty good job of keeping it together throughout the day. My parents home is out in the desert so there is a lot of cactus both hidden and visible. Our son ended up grabbing/falling into some cactus getting most of it on his hand and arm which required my brother to try to get all the tiny, fine spikes out with tweezers while my husband and I tried to keep our son still and calm. I'm just thankful he had on jeans because there was a lot more cactus on his pants that could have been on his legs.

We ate, drank, told jokes, chatted, listened to my kids cry....the usual. We all went outside around 6:15 our time to see the space shuttle orbit and while outside our son, who was barefoot, stepped in a cactus. He was screaming, we couldn't see anything visible, and he wouldn't hold still long enough for us to look at his foot so we loaded him in the car and headed home. He kept screaming so when we got home I pinned him down and discovered two pretty decent size pieces of cactus dug pretty deeply into his foot. Poor kid had quite the trauma with cactus today.

Anyway, both are conked out; husband too and I am trying to decide if I should get up early to shop or just stay in bed and avoid the crazies.

How was your Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mane Event

My kids are big fans of Beauty and the Beast and as a result have started referring to their hair as their "mane." It's pretty funny especially when my son will mess up my hair and say, "I mess up the mama mane" and then laugh maniacally. Another effect of their love for this movie is my son wanting to grow his hair long "like the beast." We've let him because he has curly hair and so while he has a lot and it falls to his neck it doesn't look as long as it would if it were straight. It has however begun to look a little unruly and I have been asking him for weeks now if I could trim it just a little, which always leads to pleas of "No, please don't cut it. I want it long like the beast."

Somehow I got lucky this weekend and he actually agreed to let me cut his hair because he said he was a "big man." As I was wetting his hair he grabbed my hand and said, "Don't cut it all off. Leave my mane." Too funny. So, I did trim it, but left enough so that he still has curls and it is still relatively long on the top and sides as well (didn't want him sporting a mullet) but it no longer looks like he has constant bed head. A win-win.

Now he tells everyone, "Mama cut my mane, but left some of it." It's like he's Samson all of a sudden and draws his strength from his long, curly hair.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Funny Now, Not So Funny Then

My husband was gone late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, both kids were asleep and a little after midnight I headed to bed myself. Ten minutes later I heard some noise coming from the back yard, which I attributed to our dog followed shortly by our home alarm system blaring. It scared the crap out of me, woke up my son and shortly thereafter sent him into hysterics. I yelled downstairs hoping that it was my husband who had come home and accidentally set the alarm off. No one answered, but I could hear things downstairs being rifled through. Honestly, I was scared to death. I called my husband, told him someone was in the house, and he needed to come home right away.

In the meantime, I called the police on my cell and had our alarm company on my home phone, also alerting the police. My daughter slept through the entire thing. I didn't know what to do. We don't have a gun or any other weapon for that matter, my son was in one room crying and my daughter in another sleeping. I kept thinking "What if someone comes up here? I've got kids on opposite ends of the hallway." So, I stood there, crouched in the middle, waiting to jump whoever came upstairs.

A little later my husband came running in the house and yelled. To me, upstairs, I thought he was being attacked or something. I was still on the phone with the police who assured me they were coming. A few minutes later they arrived, searched the house, neighborhood, etc.

Turns out, my husband forgot to lock our sliding glass door that leads out back. Somehow our dumb dog was able to push the door open, triggering the alarm. All the noise I heard downstairs? The dog knocking over and going through the kitchen trash. My husband yelling? Coming home and discovering said dog as the root cause for all this chaos.

The police man was very nice and very kind to our son who was so scared he was trembling. He kept saying over and over again, "Nice police man come to my house" and "Big gun." Obviously, I am thankful it was nothing sinister, but I was also incredibly embarrassed that they rush out here to find our dog had broken in.

How about you? Any "not so funny then, but funny now" moments? Or embarrassing moments involving the police?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Lesson in Giving

The dance/gymnastics studio where my daughter takes classes has decided to sponsor a local group home that houses children for Christmas. While I was was there today I was looking through the tags that had the age and sex of each child and then what the child desired. Most of the kids asked for gift cards to Walmart and then there were a handful that asked for things like Leapster games, IPODS, MP3 players, and other electronic gadgets. However, I was really surprised and incredibly saddened by the number of kids who asked for things like shoes, shirts, jeans, a winter coat. Things that are more necessities than wants. It really bothered me to think that a)these kids have no parents for whatever reason and b)simple needs became their Christmas wish.

So, I let my daughter decide what gifts we'd get and she chose a couple of kids who wanted clothes. Honestly, I am glad that those were the children she chose. They are who I would have picked. I hadn't entirely planned to explain why we were getting these kids gifts but the ever inquisitive mind of a four year old wanted to know why we were getting them presents if we didn't know them.

This led to a gentle discussion of how some people aren't as fortunate as we are and that some children sadly don't have mommies and daddies to take care of them and so we are going to help so that they can have a nice Christmas too. My daughter is extremely empathetic. It is one of the things I love most about her. She is incredibly tuned in to the feelings of others and what she perceives to be fair and to her, the thought of children in this world not having parents seems unbelievably unfair.

So, this weekend I will take her with me to help pick out clothes for these children and while I am glad we are able to do this for these children I am equally glad that my daughter gets to be a part of it and understands why we are helping those less fortunate. Based on our conversation today and her empathetic response I am very proud of her and her ability to feel compassion for those she does not know.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lackadaisical Butt

In an effort to save some money and cut costs I put my gym membership on hold for the past three months. The intention was that I would work out at home with DVD's and free weights I had purchased and used in the past. The first couple of weeks I was incredibly diligent and managed to drop a few pounds. As time went on I found reasons not to fit it in each day, swearing I'd do it the next, until before I knew it a week or so would pass with me not doing a single active thing.

For the past month I have just felt gross. I hate how I feel when I don't exercise. It affects me physically, mentally, and emotionally and today I finally reached a breaking point. I stepped on the scale and realized that in three months I have gained four pounds. That is a faster rate than I gained when pregnant with either one of my children. At this rate I'll have gained sixteen pounds in a year. There is no way that can happen.

So, on Friday I am going to reactivate my membership. The deal I have made with myself is that if I don't go consistently over the next month then I have to cancel it and find another way because I refuse to throw money away. But I am hoping that I will once again fall in love with working out and use it as a release, escape, and a way to feel better both physically and mentally. The one legitimate concern I do have is putting my kids in the child watch area during the height of flu season, but both have had flu shots and hopefully after tomorrow both will have had round one of the h1n1 shot as well.

Fingers crossed that I can find my groove again and get out of this funk.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Parenting Dilema

There are things that my son does on an almost daily basis that are dangerous and heart stopping for a mother to watch. Some of these things are definitely things I never want to see him do again (climbing to the top of a bookshelf), while others I admit I find myself torn between wanting to keep him safe and wanting to celebrate the accomplishment. The list is much too long to go into, but the most recent stunt involves our couch and a trampoline.

He stands on the arm of the couch (no-no number 1) and jumps from the couch onto a trampoline a good two to three feet away. As he does this I envision him propelling forward, falling off the trampoline and landing on the tile either cracking open his head or knocking out his teeth. Instead he lands and in one fluid motion begins to jump....straight up and down. He never propels forward, never seems to lose his balance. It's effortless. And it scares me to death. I can't encourage it; he shouldn't be doing it, yet the other part of me is so incredibly impressed at his sense of balance, agility, coordination, etc. I watched him do it five times before I made him stop because I wanted to make sure it wasn't a fluke. Yet, with each attempt the ease of his land the transition to jumping became more and more flawless.

Impressive feat. Nonetheless, he was told to never do that again. However, part of me wants him to show my husband when he gets home. Would it be wrong to just turn away and act like I didn't see him perfecting his stunt?

Friday, November 13, 2009

On My Final Nerve

My daughter is four going on sixteen. If the past two weeks have been any indication she is moments away from entering puberty. She's moody, sassy, emotional, temperamental, and overly sensitive. In a nut shell she is a teenager, except for the fact that she is four. Right now, I am a bit at a loss in terms of what to do with her. She has spent quite a bit of quality time in her room, for a variety of infractions. It's weeks like these when I seriously consider putting them in day care/preschool and heading back to work. That thought it usually quickly replaced when either one of my children does something great that I am thankful I got to witness.

Anyway, today I went to visit my grandmother, the children's great-grandmother, for a couple of hours. When it was time to leave my grandmother offered to keep my daughter for a couple of hours. I came home, put my son down for a nap and then had two solid hours to myself. I cleaned up the downstairs and my office, which didn't take long, I made myself lunch and ate it in peace without anyone asking for more water or milk or this or that. Then I sat down and watched last night's episode of CSI before my son woke up. It was seriously the highlight of my week.

An hour after that my grandmother brought my daughter home. She has been home thirty minutes now and for twenty of those minutes she has picked on her brother, talked back to me, and then melted down into a full out tantrum because she wanted the door closed and I needed it open to watch her brother playing out on the porch in the front.

My grandmother said she was perfect the entire time over there. So, either she's too kind to lie to me about it or else it's just me. Whatever it is, I hope she outgrows quickly.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Single Parent Problems?

I read an article the other day that placed the blame for all that ails society, from crime to violence to discipline problems in school, on single parent families and the disintegration of the traditional family. While I find myself agreeing with some of the claims to a point a lot of what was said did not sit right with me. While I agree that parents are the single biggest influence on their children's lives, or at least should be and that ideally we would all live happily with a mommy, daddy, 2.5 kids, and a dog in a perfect world, the realist in me knows that this ideal is far more fiction than fact. That doesn't mean, to me, we shouldn't desire that ideal or stop trying to achieve that ideal, but what happens when that is not the reality?

I taught in public schools for years. I know that many kids who come from broken homes statistically have higher rates of discipline problems, but from personal experience, something the author of this article doesn't have, I also know that kids who come from stable, two parent homes also have discipline problems and some kids from one or no parent homes are the epitome of model behavior. I had students whose single mothers worked their butts off to provide for their children, cooked them dinner every night, taught them right from wrong, set high standards for behavior, and were great parents. So, basically, I don't put a lot of value in statistics, especially those that can be manipulated for their own agenda, be it personal, political, etc.

Part of the article suggested that if we really want to see a difference in crime, violence, and discipline problems then we will start addressing the real cause--single parent homes. How exactly this is supposed to be done was conveniently not outlined or specified in the article. It made me wonder, though, what about homes that become single family homes as a result of a death. Are these families suddenly doomed and to blame because they are now one short as a result of something out of their control? What about those who gave their lives as the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom? They are now technically single family homes. Are they now suddenly responsible for the demise of our society as we know it?

There are just too many variables to simply say single parent homes are the cause of violence, crime and discipline problems. Sure, absent fathers, jailed mothers, drug addicted parents of either sex, non-present parents, are all contributing factors that have led to some of these problems. To lump them into the same category as families who lost a spouse and parent to something unavoidable seems outlandish and grossly misleading to me.

So, what are your thoughts? Are single parent homes partly or solely to blame for these issues? Do you see a difference in the TYPES of single parents homes? If so, should these be accounted for when making such sweeping statements?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why Children Don't Name Siblings

My sister is halfway through another pregnancy and the sudden topic of babies, surprisingly has my daughter begging for another brother or sister. This is a complete turn around as for most of her life she has been pretty adamant about not wanting another baby in this house. She insists she'll help rock it, change its diapers, take care of it, etc. Which, truthfully, she probably would.

Yesterday I was telling her what my sister was going to name the baby. Her response to the girl's name? "Ooh, no I do not like that name at all." Her response to the boy's name? "Oh, I like that name." She then shared her ideas for what I could name a baby when we have another one. Her girl's idea is Sunshine Flower (uh, not thinking so). For a boy she is torn between Sebastian and Otis.

I seriously have no clue where she came up with these and she'll probably be upset if we don't use them. (I actually like Sebastian, but my husband says no way). While she and her brother both have "unique" names they aren't strange or out there or wholly uncommon, although my daughter's is a traditional Irish name and not as popular here, so I am not entirely sure where some of these "different" names originated from.

So, what do you think? Could you imagine calling your child Sunshine Flower or Otis?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A House Divided

My husband and I have pretty similar political beliefs. At least that is what most would gather when talking with us. While there are subtle differences as a whole we pretty much see eye to eye. In fact, if I had to say who was more conservative I would have said him as would probably most others who know us would. (Although, as we've gotten a bit older he seems to have gotten a bit more liberal in my opinion and I think I've gotten a little bit more conservative).

Anyway, I was sent three political quizzes today and out of curiosity took them. I would describe myself as a moderate. I'm pretty much in the middle. I agree with a more conservative stance on a handful of issues (fiscal, etc) and a more liberal stance (social, etc.) on a handful of other issues. Each quiz I took pretty much confirmed this. I scored just left of center and more toward a libertarian side than an authoritarian one. No surprises there.

What was surprising was my husband. He scored considerably more liberal that I would have ever guessed. Looking over his shoulder on a couple of the questions (ones we obviously don't heavily discuss) I was shocked by his answers. Not shocked in an "Oh my gosh I can't believe you think that" way, but a "I had no idea you felt that way" way. It was interesting and surprising. Some of the differences can be attributed to a different interpretation of intentionally vague questions, but still the fact that we interpret them the way we did says something about how we view certain issues.

The thing is, my husband is the son of a Mennonite minister (think more contemporary Amish). His parents are ultra-conservative and he was raised as such. Because he married outside his religion, we have been pretty much shunned. When I met him he was a registered Whig (a fact my family got a lot of mileage out of in the early years before others' political beliefs surpassed his in the humor department), but usually voted Democrat. His parents thought I was this raging ultra liberal anti-Christ who was corrupting their son because yes, my attending parochial school for grades K-8 and attending church regularly since my birth screams "Anti-Christ." The truth of the matter was that I was probably a bit more conservative than he.

The point in telling you about his background is that it cracks me up to think of him being the product of his parents. How did this happen? They would probably be appalled and start prayer circles for his soul if they found out he voted Democrat more often than not. To me, it was news that between the two of us I am "more" conservative (if you can count being smack in the middle "more" of anything).

Just curious. Do you and your spouse hold the same political beliefs or are you a house divided?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

One of the best things about being a parent is listening to all of the funny, crazy, outlandish things kids say. In lieu of an actual post today I'll share with you a couple of things my kids have said lately that have made me laugh.

My daughter, 4 years old, says, "Mommy you are beautiful, but you stink." (In my defense I was on my way to the shower as she said that).

My son, 2 years old, was chasing me around the house whacking my backside. I said, "Why are you hitting mommy?" He replies, "Cuz, I'm a boy."

I am so frustrated with our dog that the other day I said, "I just want to give rid of that dog." My son says, "But mama, I love that dog."

My kids have been sick and my son took my daughter's cup and started drinking out of it. My daughter ran to the phone, called my husband at work, and cried into the phone, "But daddy, he got his sick germs all over my cup."

My daughter's favorite Halloween candy was Butterfingers, or as she calls them "Buttery fingers" as in "Yum, I sure love buttery fingers."

After serving my kids breakfast in bed one day this morning my daughter pointed out that it was just like room service at the hotel and capped it off with, "And you know I just LOOOOOOOVE room service."

My son's hair is getting pretty long. My husband and I want to grow it out, but I thought I'd ask him if he wanted a haircut. He says, "No, long and wild like the Beast" (from Beauty and the Beast) His other answer when asked this question is, "No, put it in a pony-tie" (his combo work for pony tail and hair tie).

A woman in the mall was wearing a half top with her belly exposed. My son walked up to her, lifted his shirt, patted his stomach and said proudly, "My belly." She was not amused.

Passing by a section of homes that were pretty run down my daughter says, "That house is quite dilapidated. They really need to spruce it up a bit."

I promise that at least one day this week I'll have a "real" post.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Many of my closest, most trusted friends don't live in the same city I do. While we keep in touch via email, text, and phone calls it's not the same as being able to meet up for dinner or just hang out and chat. This weekend one of my closest friends who I used to teach with was in town. The thing about Jan* is that we can always just pick up right where we left off. It's like we talk everyday. The conversation comes easy and I trust her implicitly.

So, Friday I was able to spend close to seven hours just catching up on her life, catching her up on mine, catching up on mutual friends, talking politics, religion, education, marriage, parenting, our thoughts and feelings on just about everything, etc. And it was great! At the end of every conversation we both lament about how we've been missing that since I moved away.

One of the topics of conversation was how I rarely do things for myself anymore. I do a lot for my husband and kids and by the time that is done there's not much effort, energy, or money left for me, so I go without. The example I gave was that I used to be naturally blond. As I got older my hair started getting darker and so I would have it highlighted every couple of months. I loved the way it looked. After I had our daughter my hair got even darker and not once in the past five years have I had my hair colored or high lighted. After being properly chastised for not treating myself once in a while to something simple that would make me feel better, I silently made the decision right there to make it to the hair salon this weekend.

So, today I went and had a little more than 4 inches cut off my hair, bringing it up to the top of my shoulders and then also had blond highlights added, giving my hair a lighter overall look while not truly looking colored. You know what? Jan* was totally right. It was an instant picker upper.

I guess sometimes I just need a little reminder to do things for myself because ultimately it will make me a better wife and mother. It's nice to have a friend who will remind me of this. It was also a good example and reminder of what a positive, healthy, supportive, unconditional friendship should be.

*name changed for purposes of anonymity

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Flu and Fury

So, our kids appear to have the H1N1 flu. I say "appear" because they've stopped swabbing and testing here and since our kids had the regular seasonal flu shot but not the H1N1 (whole different story...don't even get me started) the doctor just assumes it is of the swine variety. Which sucks. They've been miserable and cranky and SICK. Our son is a major concern given his asthma and history of respiratory problems so our doctor is keeping really close tabs on him. So, far both seem to be handling it as well as can be expected, though so I just have to hope and pray that they both continue to fight this off.

They've been sick since Sunday which means we've been housebound and aahhh I think I might lose my mind soon. I guess on the positive side I have managed to gut my son's room, closet, the playroom, and the downstairs closet of old, broken, or unused toys. I just have my daughter's room left but am putting that off. I need to hang on to part of my sanity.

While we are on the topic of illness and germs let me just share with you a major irritant. Parents who don't keep their sick kids home and away from other children. Teaching for six years it was shocking to me that parents would send their visibly sick and miserable kids to school. Once the shock wore off, anger set it. Anger that they'd be so inconsiderate to not only their children, but the rest of us who are now exposed. This frustration has only intensified as I've had kids of my own.

When my kids are sick I don't take them to play dates or to the library, or to my daughter's gym class,or to church and Sunday school, or to any of the other social function with which we are involved. I seem to be one of the few that actually lives by this code. It is shocking to me the number of parents who bring their children to gym or dance class sicker than dogs. Or the parents who bring their children to church horribly ill because they think God will definitely damn them to hell if they dare miss one Sunday to care for a sick child. (I'm a church goer, but I tell ya, church people are the WORST about taking their sick kids out).

Anyway, this brings me back to my original point. Last week at my daughter's gym class a mother was in the lobby with us who looked on the verge of death. She was coughing, sneezing, sweating, wheezing. I'm sure she had the flu. I even made a comment to my mom, who had come to watch my daughter, that I was going to flip out if we ended up sick. Sure enough, three days later my son is sicker than a dog. Granted, he could have picked this up at Target or Costco, but chances are pretty good he got it from the inconsiderate lady who just infected preschoolers.

As I wrap up this tangent, I'll simply say this. Sickness is part of life. However, I would greatly appreciate it if sick people stayed home. It's not that difficult of a concept.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Weekend

We spent Halloween like every other family and went Trick or Treating. Our son went in his scrubs but insisted on carrying his new gun that his daddy just bought him, so I decided he was Dr. Kevorkian. Here he is with my husband in pursuit of more candy.
Our daughter went as Tinkerbell this year. She had a great time and ended up with quite the stash of candy.
We stayed up so late on Halloween that we spent most of Sunday just recuperating. The best part was that I even got a nap. (In all honesty, I got a nap Saturday, Sunday, and Monday).
My husband took Monday off for an appointment and it ended up being a good thing. Our son fell ill with a really high fever. He cried and moaned and was just otherwise beside himself all day. Having my husband home allowed me to care for him while he kept our daughter entertained. Plus, getting undivided daddy attention was a bonus for her.