Saturday, March 31, 2007

Superman Says "Hi!"


This incredible representation of the "Man of Steel" was done by my oldest. It cracks me up! This is the first time that he has actually drawn a person that was more than just a stick figure, thanks to the influence of having "art" once a week in his public school.

Superman looks so happy.

It looks like he might need to cut back on the jelly donuts.

Maybe he can do the You, On A Diet program with me.

Friday, March 30, 2007

*%$^#$@!! Scale

A vicious creature lurks in my bathroom. Seeming innocuous and inert, it strikes without warning. It's my bathroom scale. There is something masochistic about a woman owning a scale. After all, most of the time when we step on it and dare to look at the numbers, we step off feeling frustrated, depressed and ravenous...where did I put those cookies? It is an exercise of self-flagellation most of the time.

Well, last week this nasty vermin of a device lunged at me with a reading that I definitely did not like. I hadn't weighed myself for a while because the digital scale had been acting quirky; sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I had replaced the batteries twice, so I knew that the scale had bigger problems. One last time, I tried to use it. It worked. I stepped on and blinked my eyes in shock. It couldn't be right. I could not have possibly gained 3 pounds in two weeks. I don't remember eating cheesecake and pizza, or drowning my thirst with milkshakes, but I knew the reading was true. My pants did feel a little more snug than usual. Depression. Gloom. Despair. Stupid scale.

So, seeing as this is the most I have ever weighed in my life--and no, I will not tell you how much that is, I can barely handle the number myself--I went to Wal-Mart, bought a new scale, A couple of work-out T-shirts, and a book....You, On A Diet.

Dr. Oz, one of the authors, frequently appears on Oprah to discuss health and diet related issues. I had actually seen the episode in which he and Dr. Roizen, the other author, had promoted the book and talked about some of the principles in the book. Dr. Roizen also has a PBS special dealing with the same things in a little more detail.

When I was younger, losing weight was all about about looking pretty. I enjoyed working out, buying clothes, and feeling put-together. Now, as I get closer to my mid-thirties, I am thinking more and more about my health. I have slowly gained weight since becoming a stay-at-home mom. Being around food all day, preparing every meal, and being less active have all made me weigh more than my pregnancy weight....which wasn't really bad for being pregnant, but is totally not cool when you don't have another human being living inside of you.

So, I have had it. I have to stop this slow creeping weight gain or I'll eventually be past the 200 or 300(given enough time) mark. My husband always laughs when I say that. I don't think he really believes that's possible. But, given that I weigh about 30 pounds more than when we got married, almost ten years ago, I could completely see that happening. But, I am not going to let it happen.

I won't chronicle every experience on my blog, but I do have some more to say about the book and will check in once in a while.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Any Help or Ideas?

So, I spent one night tweaking my blog. I changed the widths, colors, and did a few small cosmetic changes. I was happy with the new look and very proud of myself for being a master manipulator of code only to find out that none of it actually worked.

When I view my blog, I see it exactly as I tweaked it. When my husband viewed my blog the next day, he said that it didn't look anything like it looked on our home computer. The color was missing, the borders were off and some things weren't aligned properly.

So, help me out here! Has anyone ever experienced this discrepancy between what appears on your computer screen as oppsed to what others see? How do you fix the problem if you don't even know if it's really fixed by viewing it?

I encountered this once before with my business site. I had posted some pictures and they came up perfectly on my screen, but showed up only with the red X-in-the-box for everyone else. I reposted the pictures and everything worked out, but it didn't require code manipulation.

I feel like such a blog-loser/wannabe..... :-(

Help!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dilbert's Cool!

I always read the comics, usually just before the editorials. I usually have a hard time telling the difference between them.

This comic strip now adorns my fridge.

It is so true in our household that I can't decide whether to laugh or cry!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

John Edwards Should Drop Out Of The Race

While getting ready to pick up my son from pre-k, I always catch the first fifteen minutes of The View. I am not sure why I bother to let the drivel drone on in the background while I am getting ready, but I do. Perhaps, I have a need to see what moronic, unfounded opinion Rosie O'Donnell will spew forth with no real, intelligent opposition to show the faulty logic she so readily applies.

Either way, I watch briefly.

Today's topic was on Elizabeth Edwards and her recent diagnosis of bone cancer. It is apparently incurable and even with the best outcome only gives her a few years, barring a medical or God-driven miracle.

Apparently, Katie Couric had done an interview in which she questioned the Edwards about continuing the campaign for president in the face of this diagnosis. The questions centered around the issue of whether this would be a good use of the time she has left. The panel on The View spent much of their time discussing whether Couric should have asked those questions and if it was fair to the Edwards. No one was brave enough to actually focus on whether the actual questions had any merit.

When I first heard of Elizabeth Edwards diagnosis, I felt sad for her and her family. I am not a Democrat and have not really followed her husband's campaign, but I am a mother of two young children and a human being. I felt compassion for her.

That being said, I don't see how they can continue bidding for the presidency. I appreciate Mrs. Edwards' desire to continue life and fight for the things that are important to her, but the road to the presidency is grueling, unforgiving, and still about 19 months out. Should she spend so much time away from two young children that she might be leaving in a few years?

Of course, Mr. Edwards could still continue his campaign without her traveling with him. It certainly isn't necessary for her to go everywhere with him. That would be a temporary solution. But, despite what time Elizabeth has left and how she chooses to spend it, the most important reason for dropping out has less to do with her life and more to do with the life of her children. They are only six and eight at this time. If their father wins the presidency, they will be about ten and eight--still very young.

Mr. Edwards could be facing a presidency that would be fraught with dealing with the death of his wife and the future of his children. The presidency is a brutal job. It chews up men and spits them out four to eight years later. It shows no mercy to children. I still recall all the horrible remarks and jokes made about Chelsea Clinton when her father took office. Late-night comedians thought that calling a thirteen year-old girl ugly was perfectly acceptable. Never mind the fact that she wasn't/isn't, it simply shows the callousness of the world towards even children.

Presidents get little time for themselves and their families. They are called out of the country at the drop of a hat. They are required to be ready to respond to any emergency that arises, which is pretty much a daily occurrence. There is no snooze button in the White House.

So, how will an, eventually, single father be able to cope with the world and all its cares in the face of his wife's death? How will he be able to guide and comfort two very young children who have lost their mother? Nannies would never be enough in the face of such tragic circumstances.

Now is not the time for Mr. Edwards. He should spend the time that he has with his intact family while he can and seek the presidency in another four to eight years. His children will be much older and more able to understand the requirements of such a position. They will be more able to process their mother's illness and possibly her death. Even the presidency is meaningless compared to the health of one's own family.

I wish them all well.

All Better.....

Well, the wasp sting has slowly faded away and Tink's snout has returned to its pre-trauma size. She was a little lethargic yesterday because of the Benadryl, but it helped the swelling go down within an hour of being used.

Now, she is back to her weird, quirky self.

So, file this fact away for future use:

Benadryl: it's not just for humans anymore. *


*please consult your vet before using in your own dog....

Monday, March 26, 2007

My Poor Dog...

My dog makes no sense.

When encountering any large, black thing that isn't moving--such as garbage cans, storm drains, and holes in the ground-- she crouches as low as possible to the ground and tries to skirt around it, expecting that at any moment it is going to spring to life and devour her. However, in the back yard, she routinely chases and jumps at any flying bug that passes before her curious snout. That's not such a great idea in Florida. I have seen her stand on her two back legs and jump after insects and wasps. Once, she snatched a moth out of the air right next to me and ate it before I could stop her. It took about .000005 seconds. It was only a matter of time before something turned the tables on her.

After calling her inside, she layed herself between the couch and the table and kept rubbing her snout repeatedly against the floor. Knowing that something wasn't quite right, I called to her. Instead of springing to me with her usual enthusiastic bounce, she slowly walked to me with her head down and ears back, reluctantly making her way across the room. Her face was completely swollen except for her right eye. Her nose and muzzle tripled in size and the flesh around her left eye was puffy, red, and left only a small opening to peer out of. She looked miserable.

Remembering a conversation with the vet from about a year ago, I recalled that he said dogs could take Benadryl for allergic reactions. I hurriedly dialed the vet and explained what was happening and they gave the correct dosage for her weight. She needed one tablet of Benadryl.

Of course we didn't have tablets; we had children's syrup. So I frantically searched the medicine cabinets for a plastic syringe used for dosing the kids. I found an old, dusty one. I washed it out, put 2 tsp of liquid in it, and laid Tink down to receive her medicine. Prying her swollen mouth open, I squirted the pink, bubble-gum flavor elixir into the back of her throat and prayed for the best.

It's been an hour and a half and she seems better, but still looks awful.

I guess tomorrow we'll see how much of a learning curve she has. If she is still jumping after and hunting every miscellaneous bug, then we'll know that our dog is a little shy of a full load of brains.

My poor, pitiful dog. Being beaten by a a measly wasp has got to be humiliating for her wolfish nature.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Things I've Done Right....

Usually my head swirls with all the things I have done/am doing/will do wrong in this whole molding-human-life thing. Evading mother-guilt is a constant preoccupation. Yesterday, all my insufficiencies melted away in the warm sun as I watched my boys at the park.

Things I've done right:

1. I taught my children how to make friends.

When J1 started kindergarten last year, J2 was left at home with just me. While I spent time with him each day, I couldn't play with him every moment of the day. I would take him to the park and, after pushing him on the swings for a while, tell him to go find someone to play with. I taught him how to introduce himself, how to ask another child if he/she wanted to play, and how not to let rejection bother him.

We have gone to three different parks over the past week and at each one my boys have found or formed a group of kids to play hide-and-seek or tag. They feel no self-consciousness in approaching other children. I am proud of them.

2. I answer all the questions they have.

Oh, the thousands of questions I have been asked over the past seven years--dumb ones, profound ones, silly ones and unanswerable ones. If I know the answer; I explain it to them. This has led to some pretty interesting conversations.

3. I have taught them to do what they can for themselves.

They are only 5 and almost 7, but they already have small responsibilities around the house and enjoy doing things for themselves. Now if I could just teach them how to scrub a toilet, life would be complete. :-)

4. I have taught them to enjoy books.

We have read, read, and read 'til our throats were dry and tired. Now, I watch my oldest sit and read books just because he wants to. Another proud moment.

I am not perfect by any means, but I have done a few things right.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring Break

I haven't blogged or even thought about blogging much in the last few days. The boys are on Spring Break.

You'd think that I would be going out of my mind having the two of them running around the house all day , chasing each other, and leaping upon one another like some sort of muscle-bound wrestlers from the WWF...or is it WWE now? But, actually, breaks from school are usually much more restful and peaceful. Without the pressure of the clock and the driving from here to there, trying to fit errands and work into a tight schedule, life goes much more smoothly. I can see why homeschooling has an appeal. Instead of trying to wrap your life around the schedule set by the public school, you can develop your own rhythm without outside pressure. If I didn't think I would go insane doing it, I might actually give it a go.

***************************

Our gracious in-laws gave us a year's pass to Busch Gardens this past Christmas. Because of our sad former car, we hadn't been willing to make the drive to actually use them. But now because of our great, new, little car(thank you God!), we finally got to use them.


Here are a few pics:


We took the park's train for a ride past the serenghetti part of the park. Rhinos, zebras, giraffes, and various gazelles roam freely through the park. There are no fences between the train and the veld where the animals are. If one developed animal psychosis and decide to charge the long, red animal with wheels, we would have all been speared. That's pretty cool! :-)

Besides all of the animals, Bush Gardens has multiple roller coasters and a special area for kids called The Land of the Dragons. It consists of a three-story high structure of netted, suspension bridges, a huge climbing apparatus, a bouncer half the size of a football field and lots of kid's rides. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time there!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Homosexuality In Utero...Wishful Thinking

As a former Southern Baptist, I shouldn't be too surprised by this week's brouhaha over Albert Mohler's statements about homosexuality and prenatal treatment. Southern Baptists are really not as bad as they are usually portrayed, but in their attempts to take an educated view of things, they sometimes fall short on working the logic all the way through to its end.

Apparently, Mr. Mohler has conceded, in his own mind, that homosexuality has a biological basis. Those in favor of the acceptance of homosexuality as normal, healthy behavior have sung this chorus for many years. The only remarkable thing is that Albert Mohler is a "leading Southern Baptist" (according to my local paper) which has caused some upset.

Because Mr.Mohler has accepted the notion that homosexuality might be caused in utero, he suggested that prenatal, hormonal treatment could prevent babies from becoming gay.

There is so much bad thinking and fuzzy logic in his argument I have a hard time choosing where to start.

First, the fact that there might be "some level of causation" for homosexuality is not the same as proving that there actually is causation. Proving such a theory would require more in-depth studies than have been done, and would have to take into account a multitude of environmental and life-choice factors.

Secondly, even if homosexuality was determined in utero, the human experimentation that would be necessary to "prevent" it would be highly unethical, risky to mother and child, and expensive.

Thirdly, the focus on eliminating homosexuality does nothing to further the cause of Christ. Homosexuality is defined as sinful by the Bible. You can't escape that if you are going to take the Bible for what it says. It is very clear. However, promiscuity, greed, idolatry, malice and numerous other sins are described with the same scathing language that is used to condemn homosexuality. You can't cherry-pick sins.

Those three points are ancillary to the real problem with Mohler's thoughts.

The worst part lies in the sheer audacity of believing that sin can be rooted out through science. One of the most central concepts of Christianity is original sin; the belief that we are born with a fatal flaw already wired into us. From the moment we are conceived, and begin developing, original sin develops right along with us. It is already lurking within our hearts even as we begin our "innocent" lives as newborn babes. It is what condemns us before we even get a chance to live rightly. T

Trying to fix original sin with science is like trying to cut down a tree with a hammer--it's the wrong tool for the job. It is also counter to evangelical Christianity. If we could have figured out a way to be perfect on our own, why would we need Jesus? It seems like a lot of trouble for God to go to for no reason.

Who teaches a three-year-old to knowingly lie? Who teaches four-year-olds to name-call, hit and be spiteful with the ever famous, "I'm not your friend anymore!"? Nobody. Sometimes they might imitate bad behavior they've seen in others, but even in the most perfect circumstances those things come naturally. As we grow, our sins become less petty and more serious as we begin to be tempted by our own minds and bodies.

Sex, heterosexual or homosexual, begins to creep into our minds and tempt us to engage in behavior that isn't good for us outside of certain boundaries. Thirteen-year-old boys don't need to see pornography before they begin to struggle with masturbation and fantasizing about the girl in their class. (and yes..as a mother to two boys....I don't want to even think about that! :-) Infidelity, promiscuity, and sexual addiction don't have to be modeled for us, although that can certainly increase our chances of accepting such behavior. But, we can fall into these things at any time because sex has a powerful biological and psychological pull to it.

So...is Homosexuality biological? Yes, as is every other type of behavior that the Bible condemns. We are all touched with the "sin" gene. It is imprinted in every cell of our bodies' DNA. Attempting to erase it through gene therapy is like trying to hold the ocean in a teaspoon--pointless and futile.

The crux of Christianity is the premise that we need Jesus. That without him, we are powerless to overcome our lesser nature. That through Him, we can overcome the sin that so easily entangles us. That we are valuable enough for his sacrifice despite living up to our biological weakness for sin.

So, Mr. Mohler, even if you make "straight" babies they are going to be just as sinful as before. Sin always has a way of finding us, even if all our hormones are perfectly balanced.

Hooray! New Wheels!

It's been several days and I haven't even announced the new addition to our family!

We are now the proud parents of a 2001 Toyota Corolla. I would pass out cigars if I could. Really.

Our sad Mercury Sable has been slowing giving up the ghost. I don't know what sort of supernatural miracle God did to keep it moving along since last August, but I know He did something. It has serious transmission issues and would take 5-10 minutes each morning before it would even shift out of 1st gear.

Gone are my days of circling the block repeatedly while the engine revved, the transmission refusing to budge until unexpectedly kicking into gear violently. Then, after beginning to function in a relatively normal way, the unexpected downshift of the transmission, while going 45 miles per hour, made for exciting driving experiences. Each day was spent with an expectation that it might be the last.

Given such conditions, the whole thing has been stressful. We had been saving up our money, researching used cars and their reliability, checking CarFax on every possible vehicle; it was becoming quite exhausting.

As we researched everything, it became very apparent that American cars generally suck as far as mechanical endurance and reliability go. They are great for about the first 5-6 years and then they slowly begin their descent into molecular disintegration. Pretty soon they are nothing but a pile of nuts, bolts, and duct tape.

So, we had settled on a few cars that we thought would fit our budget and needs. We had settled on the Hyundai Elantra, Mitsubishi Galant, and Mazda Protege as distinct possibilities. They rated fairly well on reliability, gas mileage, and safety. Of course Hondas and Toyotas beat out all of those models, but because they are such good cars, they hold their value much longer than other cars. We thought they were out of our financial reach.

Then we found a 2001 Corolla in our price range, below 75,000 miles, and in great condition. We got it fully checked out at the mechanic, bartered a little bit with the owner and Voila!...we had a car.

It drives great. It is such a relief to get into a car and know that I am going to get where I need to be without the possibility of the transmission falling out of the car, spewing car entrails everywhere.

Here are a few sites we found helpful in our car research:

www.edmunds.com

www.autos.msn.com: This site is great for checking reliability, safety, and reviews for free. They compile their information from mechanical reports, not user reporting.

www.carfax.com: We purchased a 30 day membership here. It gives you the ability to run vehicle VIN numbers to check for reported accidents, how many owners the car has had and where it was purchased. This is really important if you go through a private seller. We found several cars that the owner had said had never been in an accident, only to find out that was not the case. It's worth the money to be able to check those things out. Any car dealership can give you a CarFax report if you are buying through them.

www.consumerreports.org: We purchased the Used Car Buying Kit from this website. It gives you access to reliability ratings on used cars and rates those which are good bets. Consumer Reports gleans their information from actual owners who have purchased and used the cars which they reveiw.

Well, I've got to go take my new wheels for a spin. C-ya!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Really Bored?

I checked out www.i-am-bored.com last night because......I was bored.

The Imagini test handily tested and analyzed my psyche, describing me as: a dreamer, a conquerer, back to basics, and home soul.

So, if you need some help creating a grandiose vision for dominating and subduing your home in a very simple way...I'm your man....er...I mean woman.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fun Sites For Kids

Yesterday was one of those days when I spent more time yelling at the kids than I spent doing anything else. They were rowdy, argumentative, and just generally enjoying tormenting each other which, in turn, torments me. Combined with the exhaustion I felt, it was the perfect storm of bad circumstances.

By the time dinner was over, I was feeling guilty about my inability to be patient with them and trying to ignore the voices in my head reminding me of what a crappy mother I had been all day.

I went online and found some activity pages to keep them happy, and most importantly sitting still and quietly.

Here's a list of sites I found with connect-the-dots, mazes, word searches and other fun stuff for kids to do.

www.billybear4kids.com -this site has activities for several different levels, so it could work for a broad age range. The "hard" and "very hard" mazes were much more complicated than most mazes I see for kids. My oldest loved them.

www.bogglesworldesl.com -this site is really aimed towards ESL (English as a second language) students, but it still has things that other kids would like. My oldest used one of the creative writing story starters and enjoyed it.

www.printactivities.com -has lots of theme-oriented print-outs

www.coloring-page.net -the mazes and connect-the-dots were much simpler and more appropriate for pre-k kids

www.pbskids.org -this site is great for online games, especially if your kids already watch PBS

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Unity--An American Paradox

Parade magazine, while not being a heavy hitter in regards to in-depth news, printed an interesting article exploring the readiness of Iraqi soldiers to defend their country. An unsettling picture of the Iraqi's military emerges in the interviews that David J. Danelo has recorded. The soldiers seem jaded, distracted and less than committed to Iraq's future.

Ryan Lenz, reporting for Associated Press, delves into the cultural divide and petty power plays between the American military and the Iraqi army. He describes a military operation starting hours later than planned simply because the Iraqi soldiers arrived late, seemingly for no important reason. More time is lost as the Iraqis bicker over who is walking into the operation and who is riding in the Humvees.

Not one soldier in either article displays any sort of dedication to protecting and bringing together their country. There seems to be no sense of urgency in the face of a military operation. Each one is portrayed as an individual with his own worries and no sense of being a part of something greater and more important.

Very discouraging.

As I poured through these separate articles from two different journalists, I slowly realized the great gulf that seems nearly impossible to bridge in Iraq. Democracy has its roots in altruistic, elemental beliefs that seem desperately lacking.

Here in the U.S., we spend so much time in ferocious battle over so many political shadings and issues. We vehemently mock, argue, ridicule and generally try to annihilate each other in a war of words and symbolic gestures. We write scathing satires. We create entire websites to enumerate the many idiocies of our opponents.

In view of all the rhetoric, I still am filled with a sense of hope for our country. Between the great divide of the left and the right, the very fabric of our society is held together by the sense of freedom and even altruism. It may seem astounding to the right to declare our country as altruistic in view of abortion, gay marriage and numerous other scandals with which our country struggles. However, beneath all of it is a sense that what we have is worth fighting for, and also, not fighting for.

We stop short of violence in this furious skirmish of ideas. We bottle up our temper tantrums for the day and go to work, raise our families, see each other in the grocery store and say "Hi." We are unwilling to spill blood over our divergent views. It's not worth it.

Yet, when we sense that an essential element of human life and justice is crying out for notice, our people have shed their blood in gallons, vats, and oceans of red. We fought for our nation's freedom during the Revolution and the War of 1812. We lost 600,000 souls for the revocation of slavery. We flung our men to the ends of the earth to bring the Holocaust to its end. In unknown numbers, countless people poured out their lives and souls to win civil rights for all. We know when it's time to cross that line in the sand, even when the risk is great and the cost is high. We know when it's worth it to fight with all we have. That will never change.

As I read through these articles, all I could think of was the lack of solidarity of the Iraqi people, as a whole. They fight for all the wrong things because they have the wrong goals.

The United States was founded on Christian principles. These principles are ingrained within our society, even for those who make no claim to faith. The value of the individual, an inalienable right endowed by our Creator, the ability to move on when the battle is over-forsaking revenge, and the priority of peace over conflict; these core beliefs are present in almost any stripe of American. We bicker over the terms and how it all plays out, but when the chips are down, we stand together.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Everyday Meditation

Trying to be a better pet owner, I've been walking the dog more frequently. We used to go to the dog park more often; but, our dying car is too risky to drive the 5 miles out of the way to get there. So, she's been moping around the house, exhaling frustrated sighs of boredom as she lays at my feet. As always, guilt has motivated me to try harder, and spend more time with her.

Walking out in the windy coolness of a quiet day, we happened across several large oak trees alive with the frantic scramblings of hundreds of swallows (or possibly sparrows?). They adorned each branch and twig, filling in the spaces between leaves and blocking out the sun. Every few seconds one of them would call out "Chinese fire drill!" and they would swoop out of the tree in enormous, swirling groups across the sky. After a few loops and aerial acrobatics, they would once again descend into the crevices of the trees.

The silence of three hundred birds flying directly overhead amazed me. With all the activity and death-defying tricks, their wings glided and moved without a single extraneous motion or noise.

It was one of those mundane moments that had transformed into a "wow" moment as I thought about the mass of separate beings, of flesh and bone, flying in complete and flawless synchronicity. It was a brief moment of reflection and reminder of God's creative ability and incredible imagination.

Just. Plain. Cool.

Matthew 6:26

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them..

Matthew 10:29

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Spiky Hair...Part 3

I promise this will be my last post about spiky hair!

Friday morning was the first day that my son wore his new haircut to school. He was very excited to show it off to his friends. Although I had not done a bad job, the hair needed to be just a tad shorter to really look right. I told him that I would finish later that night before bathtime.

The day passed uneventfully and as the evening wore on I told him that I would finish his haircut. He was playing on the floor with his beloved Hot Wheels cars and he got suddenly quiet.

"That's OK. I decided I don't want spiky hair," he said, while looking down at the car in his hands.

I was taken aback for a moment because he had been so enthusiastic about it previously.

"Why?" I asked.

"I just don't want to," he said.

Probing a little further, "But you were so excited about your hair. Didn't you like it?"

"Yes."

"Then why don't you want me to finish the hair cut?"

His lower lip trembled and his eyes teared up a little, "Because my friends were laughing about my hair."

My heart sank. Only five years old and already having to deal with the sting of peer rejection.

I called him up to the couch with me and talked about it with him. It became evident that no one had overtly said that they didn't like his hair; but, they had been surprised by the dramatic change and a few girls giggled at the wayward spikes. I reassured him that it was only because he had never worn his hair that way and they were simply surprised. Anytime someone changes their hair, people notice...like when I color my hair, or cut it differently. He seemed to be comforted by our discussion.

"Do you like your hair spiky?" I asked.

"Yes," he replied with a huge grin.

"Then, you should wear it the way that you want to wear it. Everyone will get used to it and they won't say anything about it anymore."

"OK."

.......................................................**************************.........................................

After church we were driving home and again talking about spiky hair. We were teasing him saying that maybe we should all get spiky haircuts so we would match.

"No, we should cut all our hair off and be bald!" he shouted, giggling through the words.

I asked our oldest if he would like to be bald.

"No way!" he replied, "But if I were, then I could be on Deal, or No Deal!"

Apparently, he thinks that being bald is a requirement for participation on the show. That's the only logic for Howie Mandel's shiny, bald head.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Impending Birth...Update

We have a new niece! She's here about a week early. She was born at 8:08 pm, and was 6lbs. 15 oz.

Congratulations to my sister-in-law and her husband!

Spiky Hair...Part 2



You smell bad!

Spiky Hair

My youngest child loves to do things his way. He seriously contemplates each morning whether he should wear his brown, suede shoes, or his navy tennis shoes to pre-K. Determining if his socks should be navy or white, and whether or not to use his black toothbrush or his purple toothbrush gives him a special joy that he is the captain of his own ship.

He has certain outfits that he has created and will wear only in conjunction with each other. When he was three, he would always pick out a dark navy t-shirt and dark navy pants/shorts to wear together. I couldn't decide if he looked like an auto mechanic or a goth teenager who only had navy clothes instead of black. I hated that outfit. One day, the navy t-shirt mysteriously disappeared. Seriously, he really was growing out of it. :-)

The next great challenge was a pair of plaid shorts that he received last year. He absolutely loves them and wants to wear them all the time. I had to explain to him that he couldn't wear a blue and yellow striped shirt with white, red and gray plaid. I couldn't decide if he was slightly color-blind, like his father, or simply attracted to gaudiness. We had a long discussion about matching colors.


About a week ago, he came home from church and announced that he wanted spiky hair like Andrew, one of the children in his class. I wondered if most 5 year old boys had an opinion about how their hair should look. My oldest had never expressed any interest or thought about his "look". But, it was obvious that this one had definitely considered it. He even asked if he could dye his sandy, blonde hair to be brown like the rest of us. I told him that we could do spiky, but coloring would have to wait until he was 15 or 16. Always the master negotiator, he recognized the compromise as workable.

Last night I cut as much hair off the top of his head as I dared to. It was much shorter than what I normally do. We got hairspray and gel and went to work to create his makeover. It was OK, but I'm going to have to cut it even shorter to get it just right. We spent ten minutes this morning getting his hair ready for pre-K. It used to only take 30 seconds.

As we walked into his class he was very excited to show off his new "do" to everyone. He asked me if I thought his friends would recognize him. I said that I thought they would probably figure it out.

He's just too darn cute for words sometimes!

Pictures of the new haircut to follow soon.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Impending Birth..Not Mine!

Pink is on the brain. My sister-in-law is expecting her first child in the next week or two. She has been longing for kids for many years, so it is an exciting time for her, as it usually is for most mothers. She had her baby shower a couple of weeks ago and got all sorts of girly, pink things. We were more than happy to contribute to the cause. After all, we're not "planning" on adding to our family, so this is one of the few times I get to indulge in the many shades of pink.

I must add that boys get ripped off in the clothing department. The girl's section is always twice as big and overflows with variety. Meanwhile, the boys get to choose from dark jeans, kind of dark jeans, and barely dark jeans. Well, at least my boys don't seem to care about this great injustice! :-)


This was one of the flowers in the centerpiece at the baby shower. I love mums! They just scream out, "I'm Happy!"