Archives for January 2006

Haircut Remorse

I am in mourning. I miss my hair. Since Friday, I have had several inches hacked off my hair and I so thoroughly regret it already that I have been sick to my stomach the past few hours.

The itch to cut my hair came Thursday when I realized that Pumpkin had swallowed some of my hair. Six months post-partum, and I still shed quite a bit. I was changing her diaper and found one of my hairs. To put it delicately, it was obvious that it hadn’t just fallen into the diaper. I immediately schedule an appointment to have my hair cut on Friday.

I have (I should say HAD) fairly long hair – several inches past my shoulders, and so I knew going to the appointment that I wanted a bit cut off. I wanted a noticeable difference. I wanted a change. Friday came and she cut a few inches off, and it was cute – but after a few days I knew it wasn’t really a noticeable difference, and it just wasn’t quite what I wanted. So… (stupidly) I went back today.

A few more inches are gone… My hair is now chin length. And I hate it.

My sister went with me and she tells me it’s cute. But I think she loves me enough to lie to spare my feelings. It’s not cute. I don’t have the confidence to pull off this ‘do, and I feel pretty miserable. Hubby hasn’t seen it yet, and he’s been warned to BE NICE. I’ve been trying hard to stay on the calm side of my spectrum (somewhere between “It’s only hair and it’ll grow back!” and “waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”), but admittedly, tears were shed.

The Princess asked me what was wrong. I told her I didn’t really like my hair cut, but I would be okay. Her response (kids, gotta love ’em) was, “It’s okay if it doesn’t look nice, mom. You don’t have to like it.” Um, yeah. Thanks. Her intention was to make me feel better… but I may remind her of this when she’s 14 and she thinks her wold is going to end over a bad cut.

To perk myself up, I am going to go out tomorrow and buy cute barettes and clips (Ponytails are a thing of the past – my hair is way too short for that now). And, if my mood persists, I may just buy a baseball cap or two.

Mr. Clean

This weekend, I don’t know what got into Hubby, but he was on a cleaning frenzy! Yesterday, he decided that our pantry cupboard area was a wreck, and he decided to reorganize it. I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut when he’s doing these projects – one wrong word, and as quickly as it comes on, the cleaning bug can disappear.

He went through each item in the pantry and classified it into three categories: Baking goods, snack foods, or breakfast foods. The bottom shelf was canned goods (of all varieties). His classification system, as I gently pointed out to him, was a little flawed — for example, where do you put pasta? It doesn’t really fall into either of the three categories. He put it with the snack foods – which I think is a silly place for it (mainly because that’s a low shelf, and easier for The Princess to get into – whether intentionally or otherwise). His system also didn’t take into account the frequency things get used. Rather, they were grouped and shelved by container size. Using this method, the graham crackers (which we use daily – and by we, I mean ME, since I really love graham crackers) were shoved all the way in the back right hand side of the snack shelf, but the Big Bird cheesy crackers that The Princess has had for about a year now are front and center.

I don’t anticipate it will be long before the food items migrate back to their proper homes.

In addition, he vacuumed and cleaned our living room (aka the Toy Pit), as well as putting The Princess to work (and helping her) pick up her disaster area of a room. He scrubbed the pots and pans and made Stepson put his laundry in the hamper.

All in all, the house looked grand for about ten minutes. But you gotta love the man for trying.

Happy Half-Birthday, Baby

Dear Pumpkin,

Today you are six months old and I am, as always, amazed at how quickly time is moving. Pretty soon, you will be crawling, cruising, then walking – talking, singing, reasoning. I am gathering these moments in my heart because I know how quickly they will fly away from me if I am not careful to hold them close.

When I found out I was pregnant for you, I was so scared – not of the pregnancy and not of childbirth, because I had endured that before with your sister – but scared because from the moment she was born, I was so in love with your sister. How on earth could I find enough love for another baby? I was really worried because I didn’t want you to feel cheated. A friend of mine had told me, “Don’t worry, your heart is big enough to love them both.”

You know what? She was right. When you were placed in my arms in the hospital, six months ago this very day, I loved you from the moment I looked at your serene face. At six months, you have this quiet grace about you – you have these clear blue eyes that sparkle when you smile and almost glow when you are laughing. I would never have thought it possible to love someone as much as I love you and your sister, but sure enough, my heart keeps growing every day you girls are with me.

Though you probably don’t understand me yet, I tell both you and The Princess how lucky I am to be your mommy. I feel so blessed to have the two of you in my life. Before you girls were here, I worked hard, I went to college and I had a job that I took fairly seriously. I took pride in many of my accomplishments – but all of that pales to the fact that I carried you both within me for nine months, and delivered you both – and now, now you are here.

Pumpkin, I am so excited to see who you will become. Already, you are a lot like me – you quietly observe everything. You don’t much like to be alone, but you don’t need constant stimulation either. Just knowing someone is close is usually enough for you. You don’t like sleeping – I think you are afraid of missing something while you nap. As I type this, you are fighting the afternoon sleepies – rubbing your eyes and yawning, but refusing to give in.

Sometimes, when you are crying and I can’t calm you down, your sister sings to you, and like shutting off a faucet, your tears stop and the crying quiets. This is what I wanted for the two of you. I hope that both of you are able to embrace your sisterhood and become friends. Sometimes when you look at your big sister, I see your face light up. When she’s been at preschool, and we pick her up, you smile, like part of you was missing, and now we’ve found it.

I hope you always know that you are supremely loved. Mommy and daddy are in awe of you daily. Your sister adores you. Happy Half-Birthday, baby girl.

I love you with my whole heart,

Who ARE These People?

The fifth season of American Idol has started, and like any other good couch potato, I’ve been glued to the TV. I love to watch the truly “dreadful” (channeling Simon there) people sing like they think they are something special, only to have their hopes and dreams crushed by Simon, Randy, and Paula.

Cruel? Possibly. However, in my opinion, my joy in their misery couldn’t possibly be any more cruel than the fact that these people have friends and loved ones who encouraged them to try out. These people had people who had heard their voices (often times voices like fingernails on a chalkboard) and told them they were good! I can’t even fathom letting someone who I knew had no musical ability get up there, potentially to be humiliated on national TV!

Now, I like to sing. Love it, in fact. I come from a family of musicians and I’ve grown up surrounded by music. Let me assure you: I have heard myself. I know it’s not a great thing I’m doing when I’m belting out a tune. Do I care? No, not really. Am I so misled that if the Idol auditions came to my neck of the woods, I would camp out for days just to expose others to that noise I call music? Um. No. Not even close. And even if I were so inclined, I’m sure Hubby would gently say to me, “Um, Sarah? Don’t do it. Just. Don’t. It’s just not good.” [Though I have to say, I am better than some of the worst I’ve seen on that show].

Of course, this is a scenario we’ll never have to worry about, as I am now too old to try out. I’ll never get my chance to get in front of those judges and cry and have a hissy that, “Music is my LIFE! If I don’t sing, I don’t know what I’ll do. Those three know NOTHING. They don’t know good when they hear it. They don’t know what they are talking about! I am good! Everyone says so!” While I’m bummed that I am too old, I am relieved that I am past the age where I would think it’s fun to humiliate myself… by singing… on TV… in front of the world.

The Butt of My Own Jokes

Never say never, people, or you may – as I did – end up lookin’ like a liar. I just did what I swore I’d never do, but luckily, I’ve lived to tell about it:

I bought a minivan.

When I first started driving, my first solo-trip as a licensed driver was in a van – not a minivan, but a massive Ford Econoline fan. Even with Nirvana blasting from the tape deck, there was no way anyone (especially me!) could’ve looked cool driving it. Moving on, I first swore I’d never have a four-door vehicle. It wasn’t necessary, two doors were just fine, and, in the event that I had more than one passenger, I would just tip the front seat forward and let the passenger crawl into the back. That was fine for a few years.

I bought my first four door while dating Hubby, when he told me the practicality of a four door car: the doors are shorter, thus less likely to ding into the car parked next to you. At that time, Stepson was a wee one, so there were occasions of having to stuff a carseat in the back.

I swore I’d never have an SUV, and if I did, it was because I wanted it for the style and not because I actually needed that cargo space. After The Princess was born (and after two long road trips with all of her gear), Hubby and I realized we definitely needed more room. We purchased a mid-size SUV and I adored it. I loved that I was able to haul furniture in it (by knocking the seats flat, I was able to haul a queen size bed, minus the mattress, home).

Minivan were never an option. I always figured that if we needed more room, had more kids or whatnot, we’d just get a larger SUV.

With three kids in the back of our sport-utility (two of them in child seats of some sort), the need for space came sooner than we anticipated. On our drive to Great Wolf Lodge last month, we felt crammed, and the kids were so close together that The Princess and Stepson bickered constantly.

Enter one massive sale at the car dealership and a great trade in.

I am now driving a minivan. I picked it up yesterday and it drives wonderfully. I don’t, as I feared I might, feel like I’m piloting the mothership (though it is just that, in a manner of speaking). I love the space, and knowing that we don’t all have to sit on each other’s lap on long drives.

So I am now the punchline to all those mom jokes. Guess I better learn some new jokes!

Sunday Drives

After waiting all day for Hubby’s parents to show up (a story in and of itself: they called last night asking if we’d be home today so they could come over and bring the kids’ Christmas presents, they said they’d call before they stopped by) with no call and no sight of them, Hubby and I loaded up the girls and all of our recycling to head out for a quick trip to the recycling transfer station [Note: Recycle, recycle, recyle!].

After slinging in several bags of newspaper into the bin, as well as various plastics and glass, we loaded back into the car where we noticed that Pumpkin was sleeping. She has been boycotting naps today – so the sight of a sleeping baby was just absolutely joyous. Two miles down the road and The Princess was sleeping too. Knowing full well that if we drove home, both girls would immediately wake up upon getting out of the car, Hubby and I decided we would drive around some more.

We made up errands just to keep moving, stopping at the grocery store to pick up a few things (I ran in while Hubby stayed with the sleeping beauties), and Hubby drove slower than I have ever known him to drive. By the time we got home, both girls had gotten about an hour each of rest, which is better than nothing.

I now know why so many people take Sunday drives (and why they are driving so slow!).

As a P.S., we noticed when we got home that the presents from my in-laws were in Hubby’s car – this means that they were by when we were home and our garage was open — they didn’t even come to the door to say “hi”! Not that I mind, but they are some strange folks, let me tell ya.

Is It April 16 Yet?

I am sure this is the first of many postings with that title, because as the wife of an accountant, life gets pretty ugly at this time of year. Hubby left for work at 6:30 this morning, and got home almost twelve hours later at 6 this evening. This is apparently going to be the norm. The partners at his firm sat all the employees down this afternoon, and talked about how many hours they all need to work during tax season. Hubby came home and told me that it would be easy – if he worked twelve hour days!

Hubby had taken a break from the wild and crazy life of a CPA for awhile, so the last time he was working like this during tax season was just before The Princess was born. I’ve never had to bear the bulk of the parenting load during a tax season before, so I’m a little frightened right now. As it is, I am so grateful that I am working from home, because I can’t see how on earth I would be able to pull it off if I was working outside of the home! If I was working an eight-hour day in an office, having to come home and start a second shift making dinner and being on mommy-duty, well, I think I’d pull my hair out.

Currently, I fit bits of my work throughout the day when I can, and then more after the girls are in bed. This arrangement is working well for me, and thank goodness, because it sounds like I’ll be lucky if Hubby is home in time to tuck them in!

He can spread some of those hours to work on the weekend (oh joy), and all this time he’s working doesn’t include the time he spends on his own business when he is at home. The poor guy – he’s going to be ready for a vacation by Tax Day (and I will be, too!). This is insane, but I knew it would be when he accepted this job. Ah, the life of a tax-season-widow…

The Princess Has Sticky Fingers

It’s official – The Princess is the house kleptomaniac. I’ve suspected for awhile that this was going to be a problem, but the other night confirmed it. Fortunately for Hubby and me, she has confined her grabby tendencies to the house, and not public places (like stores – my Stepson has seemed to lay claim to that department, having gotten busted two times already for taking five-finger discounts while shopping with his mother).

It seems as though anything lying around the house is fair game, and The Princess figures if she can reach it, she can take it. Currently, there are several of Pumpkin’s blankets in The Princess’s room, as well as several bendy straws from the kitchen pantry, and for awhile, she even had some of my books in her room (and she can’t read yet!).

Once, while playing in the bathroom she took a tampon out of its wrapper (I feel the need to point out it was unused) and took it to her room with her. Later, when I found the tampon in her room, she told me that it was for Barbie – it was Barbie’s fishing pole! Of course, I couldn’t just take it away without causing a huge hissy fit – so I had to wait until she had forgotten about it to take the darn thing and toss it.

The straw that broke this mama’s back was having to spend about twenty minutes Monday night looking for my bite plate. Yes, I clench my jaw and grind my teeth while I sleep, so much so that I needed that bite plate – which is probably one of the most expensive pieces of plastic that I own. I made the mistake of not putting the case high up in the bathroom on Monday morning, and apparently, The Princess got a hold of it. Hubby told me later that he saw her playing with it in her room (here is where I pause for a minute and wonder WHY Hubby didn’t take it away from her! It’s not a toy! It goes in my mouth!). When it came time for me to go to bed, I ended up going through her room with a flashlight looking for it! Hubby eventually found it in our room, under our comforter on the bed.

For reasons I can’t comprehend, in my mind, the bite plate theft is worse than the tampon incident. The kid has a room full of toys and keeps taking the oddest things. I really hope it’s something she outgrows.

Aim High…

Actual conversation with The Princess in the car today:

The Princess: Daddy, do you know what I’m going to be when I grow up?
Hubby: I don’t know, tell me.
The Princess: A battery changing girl – do you guys know what that is?
Me/Hubby: No, can you tell us?
The Princess: It’s who goes around and if something needs a new battery, I put it in.

Hm. That won’t much help her support Hubby and I when we’re old and gray.

A Taste of Freedom!

Yesterday, Hubby held down the fort with the girls while I went flower girl dress shopping with M (The Princess will be a flower girl in the wedding – she is so excited). In addition to The Princess and Pumpkin, Stepson is over this weekend – so Hubby was dealing with THREE KIDS. Yes, a difficult feat, and not something he has had to do on a regular basis, so I was a bit worried (especially because Pumpkin is temperamental, and won’t always take a bottle).

After The Princess’s gymnastics class was over, I hopped in the car, and drove out of town… by myself! To say that I haven’t been alone in my car for a month would NOT be an exaggeration. I can’t think of the last time I went somewhere without having to buckle carseats and get kids situated. Yesterday, it was just me. I drove with the radio up too loud and I was able to stop at Starbucks and just dash in (rather than have to unbuckle two kids and buckle them back up when we were done!).

I arrived at the bridal store where M and I, as well as another one of her good friends, meandered over dresses. We then perused jewelry for the bridal party before moving on to another mall.

I was able to spend a few hours shopping with M, as well as sit down to a nice lunch and just be a friend, and not in mommy mode. I love being a mom – with my whole heart – but it felt good to be spending time with one of my dear friends, and it felt good to have that time for me. M and I had a great chat at lunch (hitting the big topics without offending each other — whoo hoo!), and I drove home at the end of it all, looking forward to seeing my girls, but glad that Hubby had had some time to do things on his own.

I came home to a content family – Pumpkin had taken her bottle, The Princess had had a great time, Hubby didn’t even look frazzled – and they got a content mommy back. What a great deal for everyone.