Friday, October 30, 2009

Mom Always Said, "Never Trust a Man Wearing Mascara!"

In general, I don't think that I am a very difficult person to please. (Mike, you are not allowed to comment on this post.) I just feel like things should be done a certain way; the right way. When the "right" way is not achieved, I think that there is a "right" way to handle that too. Case in point...

Yesterday, I decided to go and get my hair done. Back in the day, in a time before children, I had a regular stylist that I went to faithfully. I had my hair highlighted every few months and I was almost always happy with the results. However, once the kids were born and I stopped working, I decided that I should cut back on such luxuries and I stopped going to the pricey salon with the pricey, yet oh so nice highlights, and I opted for a more affordable salon and I started coloring my hair myself. But on occasion, I will go and get it colored professionally and yesterday was one of those days.

So I went in and scoped out the stylists that were working and let me say that I was less than confident in the prospects. There was the token twenty-something with the jet black hair and chunky bleached white highlights, and a thirty-ish woman who from behind looked more like she was pushing seventy because the blond that she chose for her hair was very blueish/grey blond and the cut was very short and unflattering. She also sported these really chunky, thick, dark-rimmed glasses that also did nothing for her overall look. From what I could tell, she looked like she should be named Madge with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth while she swept the floors.

So to say the least, I was a little nervous about turning myself over to one of these two.

After I signed in, "Madge" came over and started to ask me what she could do for me. I described the color that I was going for and she sat me down with some books to find a picture of exactly what I wanted. A few pages in I found this really great picture of a girl with a beautiful dark chocolate base and very sparse carmely, mildly reddish highlights. It was perfect and was definitely the way that I wanted to go. Anytime I get highlights, they are always blond, so I was really excited to see how this would look, especially since the highlights were so sparse, it wouldn't be too overpowering and it was going to be just the change that I needed to lift my spirits and make me feel pretty.

That WAS the plan until....

Madge says, "Well, it's going to be about a half an hour until he gets back from his break. Can you wait?" I was all, "He, who? I saw no "he" when I walked in. Just token black hair/bleach highlights and you Madge." Then, "he" came around the corner and my stomach flipped. Had I seen him when I walked in and realized that there was a chance that he would be my stylist, I probably would have ran the other way. I realize that what I am about to describe is going to seem, judgmental, possibly offensive, but hear me out. He was a tiny little guy, very thin, with hair very much like token black hair/bleach highlights except that the bleached hair was the entire front part of his head. He kind of looked light a black and white cookie. He was wearing more face powder than I was and a whole lot of mascara. When he walked, he walked with a sway that I feared may break one or both of his hips. Ok, with that being said, I know that his appearance has no effect on his ability as a stylist. How he presents himself is his own business, but I just feel that if you are in the beauty industry, your look should be very polished and when a client sits down at your station, he or she should feel confident that you can do the job. I shouldn't have been thinking, "Please don't make me look like you. Please don't make me look like you."

So I showed him the picture that I had originally showed Madge and he seemed to get it, but I was not confident. He didn't talk to me enough to assure me that we were on the same page and when he left to mix my color, a sense of fear and dread washed over me and I just knew that this wasn't going to go the way that I had hoped.

It took him a long time to mix the color, too long. At one point I heard him whispering with Madge about it and I had to fight every urge in my body to just get the hell out of there, but I ignored my instincts and stayed in my chair. Finally, he came back and we got started. He worked slowly and with a technique that I had never seen before. He explained that he was placing the foils the way that he was because it made the highlights less stripey. I was like, "Um, ok. You're the professional." Yeah, professional my ass.

So he finally finished and I started reading about what a douche Jon Gosselin is and suddenly my stylist starts to get chatty. He's talking about Lady GaGa and how much he LOooooves the Twilight series, and yada, yada, yada. Then he starts questioning the color that he used...out me...with the possibly incorrect color stewing on my head. He was even giggly about it and said, "Well, we'll see." Tee hee, giggle, giggle.

Forty minutes later he announced that it was time to rinse and I knew by his reaction that the results were not what we had originally discussed because he more or less kept trying to cover his ass for when the shit hit the fan and I got to see my results. When he turned me around in the chair I wasn't instantly horrified, but I was pretty confident that I was not going to be thrilled. The carmely/reddish highlights had a very orange look and the base color looked pretty close to the light brown that my hair was originally. There were only supposed to be a few random highlights, but it seemed like the entire top of my head was the highlight color. Did he even try to make me look like the picture? Still, I held on to hope that once my hair was dry something magical would happen and everything would be ok. But everything wasn't ok.

The whole time that he was drying me I kept trying to go over in my head what I was going to say when I saw my finished product. I decided that there was no way that I was going to pay for it if it looked as bad as I had feared. When he turned me around, my carefully thought out plan went out the window and I didn't know what to say. I had been in that chair for two hours by that point and my final result was my original color with orange highlights. To make matters worse, when I started running my fingers through it to really see what we were dealing with, I found that I had two pink streaks on each side of my head. He had carefully combed it so that I wouldn't have seen that part unless I did some careful inspection. Finally I was like, "My hair is pink." He actually moved in for a closer look and acted all surprised, like he hadn't seen that when he was drying my hair. I told him that this really wasn't what I wanted and what were "we" going to do about it? He goes, "Well, do you want to pay for it now and come back tomorrow to get it fixed?" In my head I was screaming, "Um, what now? You think that I am actually paying for this nightmare? I sat in this chair for two freaking hours when I could have been looking around at Target, or shopping at Sephora, or anything else that I wanted to do whilst I was child free. Um, pay for this? I think not!" What I actually said was, "Well, I'll pay for the cut, but I just can't pay for this color." I asked him when he worked the next day and told him that I would try to get back there to have him fix it. I paid for the cut, left no tip, and headed out the door to call Mike and cry about what the incompetent man did to me and how he wasted my two child-free hours turning me into Carrot Top. That bastard!

This is what I was talking about when I said that things should be handled a certain way because when he saw that what he had done was nothing, NOTHING like we had talked about, his first response should have been a sincere apology and an assurance that he would make it right at no charge. Can you believe he actually asked me if I was on a medication that might affect how my hair took the color? I don' think that is any of your business buddy!

So now I'm stuck. Stuck and pissed off. Do I go back today to have him "fix" it? To do that would mean that I have to get my mother-in-law to take the kids which I know she would have no problem doing, but I just hate to put her out, especially for something that I should not have to do. If she is going to take the kids, I'd like to get something done that I really need to do like grocery shopping or cleaning or laundry. I feel like just doing what I should have done originally and go get myself a box of color and do it myself, but am I a bitch for not going back to give him the chance to fix his mistake? Either way, I don't think that I could let him touch my hair again. I would have to get one of the other girls to do it. I don't know. All I do know is that this look is only going to fly until Halloween is over and then I am going to have to do something about it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So I Suck, But Admitting It Is the First Step, Right?

No one ever told me that when I became a mother, I would never again be caught up. That I would never again have the pleasure of putting a period at the end of anything because my life is in a constant, perpetual cycle where as soon as I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the cycle starts over again and I find myself right back at the beginning. I feel like I am vigorously trying to tread water in the middle of a hurricane and if I let up for a sec, I might drown.

So I guess that I am feeling a little dark and twisty today. I apologize for being such a Debby Downer, especially if you came here to read something funny and lighthearted. My hope is that by putting this out there, I can get it out of my head and heart, and refocus on the important things. I hate feeling like this and I am sure you hate reading about it. So if you would like to navigate away from here to something a little more positive, hey, no judgment. I promise my next post will be a hoot.

Anyway, I don't know what it is exactly, just that it is everything and nothing all at once. It's the fact that I have roughly six loads of laundry waiting for me when I was just caught up on Friday. It's that I have been painting the kitchen for almost three weeks and I am still not done because I only get to work on it periodically throughout the day when I have to choose to ignore the children in order to get two strokes painted. I have had the last two Mondays to devote to the kitchen project thanks to my wonderful husband, so I guess that I can't complain too much.

Because my attention has been focused on the kitchen project, many normal household chores have fallen by the wayside, and the dirt and disorganization are starting to get to me. I have been letting the kids do things that I would never allow just so that I can get a few extra minutes to take care of something else that I have neglected. Why right this very second, Elyse is smearing Jello all over herself and the dining room table, but I'm not stopping her because it is giving me a chance to write this post.

I remember when Mike and I were first married and I had all of the time in the world to take care of the house, and the laundry, and everything else that goes into keeping a household, but now with the kids, there just isn't enough time. I feel guilty when I am working on something because I am neglecting them, but when I am with them, all I can think about is how behind I am. It's a vicious cycle.

I'm sure that I'm not saying anything that a million other mothers don't feel every single day. I just felt the need to get it off of my chest, and find some comfort in the fact that perhaps I am not treading in that hurricane alone. Thanks for listening. Now I have to go because my laundry needs switched and I think that I am burning the meat for the chili tonight.

Aaronisms Version 2.0

Talking about the surveillance cameras on the roof of Wal Mart:

Aaron: Mommy, Wal Mart has WALL-E eyes on its roof.

Aaron doesn't floss his teeth, he "strings" them.

While on our way to school one morning:
Aaron: Wow, look at all of those birds flying south.
Me: Yep!
Aaron: I bet they're headed to Mexico.

While getting ready to read a story before bedtime:

Aaron: I really wish that I had fur like Bella. Then I would always be cozy.

While looking for something to take to school that started with the letter "F" for "F" week:
Aaron: Mom, did you find an "F" word in my room?

While he was trying to move the couch in the basement:
Aaron: "Put your back into it man!"

Sitting at our campfire this past weekend:

Aaron: This sure is a great little family we have!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Girl and her Blankie - A Tale of Loss and Reunion

Elyse has a blankie that she absolutely adores. She loves this thing more than waffles, more than babies, more than even Elmo. She takes it everywhere she goes, she hugs it and kisses it, and she rubs her boogey nose on it when she has a cold. Oh the things poor blankie has seen.

The downside to this affection is that on a regular basis, blankie gets pretty funky and it was time that blankie had a bath. So I stole her blankie to get it into the wash and I thought that I had pleanty of time to get it cleaned and dried before nap time, but Princess decided that she needed a nap about an hour earlier than normal. She found one of her pacifiers ("BeeBee")that she has stashed all over the house and then she went looking for "Bankie," but "Bankie" was in the dryer. It was the saddest, most pathetic thing that I have ever seen because she wandered aimlessly around the house whimpering and calling, "Bankie....Bankie," and then she would look at me and go, "Peeeeaaaassssee Bankie...Peeeeaaaasssee, Mama, Bankie." Those sad, teary eyes stared up at me pleading for me to give her back her "Bankie" and all I could say was, "It's in the dryer Sweetie. I swear it's coming back. May I please buy you a purple poney to make the hurt go away until your "Bankie" comes out of the dryer?"
Finally her blankie was dry and the two were reunited, and once again all was right with the world.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

An Hour and a Half Late and Short on Patience

I believe that there is something that happens on a cosmic level when you oversleep. Some sort of shift in the universal balance of time and space, and although everything that was going to happen to you still happens as it would have had you not overslept, it happens in such a way that everything irritates you and everything pisses you off.

We overslept yesterday.

It had been a really long night. A night full of potty trips and baby awakenings. A night so long that when I looked at the clock and saw that I had only gone to bed three hours ago, I wasn't sure whether to be happy that there were still four hours left or be suicidal that there were STILL four hours left because God only knows what could happen in those four hours, sleep not being one of those things.

The last time that I looked at the clock it said 4:00 AM. I still felt exhausted and I decided that I needed to hurry up and fall asleep so that I could get the most out of that last hour. When I woke up again I thought, "Hmmm, I would have thought that the alarm would have gone off by now. That was one good, long hour." Then I looked at the clock and instead of seeing 5:15 AM, the regularly scheduled wake-up time, it said 6:45AM, as in an hour and a half LATE!!!


Fortunately, Mike has been starting work at 7:30 this week and he had plenty of time to get out the door, but while I felt good at first after getting to sleep that extra time, the rejuvenation was short lived and I just felt off for the rest of the day. Everything was a struggle and everything was a pain in the ass.

Everyone that I talked to yesterday agreed that there was something weird about the day because they all struggled to get through it too. So I have to apologize because it was us that altered the state of the universe. Had I only checked the volume on the alarm before I had gone to bed I would have known that the kids were messing with it again and instead of turning it up so loud that it catapults us out of bed, this time they turned it all the way down so that we would never get out of bed. I blame them really. The day could have been filled with rainbows and glitter, but instead it was filled with irritation and dog poo. So if yesterday sucked for you too, you may lodge your complaints in the comment section and address them to Aaron and Elyse.

PS. Aaron has refused to stay at school for lunch for the last two days in spite of his declaration on Tuesday that he loved staying for lunch SOoo much that would do it from now on. When I reminded him of that statement he said, "No mom, I told you I was only going to stay for lunch for one day." Kids are liars.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Well Hot Damn!

On the days when something great is going to happen, everything goes as it usually does until the great thing happens. You have no idea that something is going to happen because it just feels like an ordinary day. This morning was ordinary. I didn't want to get out of bed, I had to fight Aaron through the entire getting ready process, and we headed off to school like we always do.


After we got to the classroom and went through the morning routine, something miraculous happened. Aaron looked up at me and said, "Mom, what if you came and picked me up after lunch?" I was like, " Huh?!? "Like, when do you want to stay for lunch?" He said, "Today Mom." For a minute I was totally speechless. Hell yeah you can stay for lunch! So I explained to him that he would have to eat from the cafeteria since we didn't pack a lunch and he was completely cool with that plan. Stunned, I walked out of the room and proceeded to call everyone that I know to announce that Aaron was going to stay to eat school. EAT LUNCH...AT SCHOOL!

I had a small heart attack when I got home to see what was on the menu because aside from the vegetable soup that the teacher had mentioned before I left, and I knew Aaron would hate, they were also serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Good God of all days!

For those of you that don't know, Aaron has a peanut allergy and since this was his third teacher in two months, as in one, two, three teachers, I was a little freaked that the message hadn't gotten through about his allergy, but when I got there to pick him up they told me that he had a cheese sandwich and fruit and some other stuff and that they kept all peanut products at least a hundred feet from anywhere that he was sitting.


As we were walking down the sidewalk to get to the car he told me that he would like to start eating lunch there everyday. He always has to come to these decisions on his own. I could beg, plead, negotiate, and threaten till the cows come home, but if it isn't time for him to do something, he just won't do it. That's Aaron, always on his own timetable.

So Aaron is going to start eating lunch at school. When I got up this morning I had no idea that this would be THE day. What a difference from the first few weeks of school. At this pace, he should be teaching the class himself in about four more months.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Best Buds

So Aaron has a buddy. I knew that it wouldn't take him long to make friends because he is a very outgoing, social child;. a trait that he obviously didn't get from me. Anyway, a week or so after school started he told me about this friend that he had made, but he didn't know his name yet because apparently they weren't that far into their relationship to have exchanged names.


So more recently he started coming home talking about, for privacy sake let's call him Mater, "as in Ta Mater" (I apologize if you haven't seen the movie Cars, but Aaron and his buddy LOVE the movie and so I think that the nickname fits). Anywho....Aaron is all, "Mater said this," and "Mater does that," and "Mater is my friend."
Sweet, huh?
Every morning when Aaron and Mater see each other Mater yells, "AARON!" Even Mater's little sister gets in on the act and yells for Aaron when she sees him too. By the way, Mater's little sister is SO adorable and she reminds me so much of Elyse. I think that those two girls could do some real damage together.
Since Aaron and Mater have become friends, I have been amazed at how alike they are and it is no wonder that the two are such good buddies. They both LOVE the movie Cars and have their rooms decorated with stuff from the movie. They both have a little sister and when they had to bring in something that started with the letter A for show and tell, they both brought alligators.

Crazy, huh?

I am so glad that Aaron has found a friend. I was really worried about how he would fit in with the other kids after the tantrums that he threw the first week or so of school. I was also concerned that since he is doing half days and is only in school from 8:30 till 11:00 that he wouldn't have much of a chance to make many friends, but the chorus of "By Aaron" that comes from all of his classmates when he leaves assures me that he is adjusting just fine.

I have had absolutely no luck with persuading him to add any time to his day as of yet. When I bring it up his eyes glaze over and he drifts off into some magical fairy land that is full of fun and chocolate; you know, the typical male self-defense mechanism.

Right now Mike is saying, "Hey!?!"

I thought that he had an epiphany the other day because when he came home from school he told me that he wanted to try to stay to eat lunch the next day. He said that he even wanted to eat from the cafeteria instead of taking his lunch and that Mater would really like it if he ate with him. Then morning came and he was like, "Um, yeah, I don't really want to do that."

Of course.

I feel like it won't be long before he finally takes the plunge to stay for lunch. Aaron has always done things on his own time table and I'm sure that this will be no different. Mike and I are starting to wonder if a good old-fashioned bribe is in order; a new toy, a book, his own personal jet that he can use to run off to Disney World when ever it strikes his fancy. You know the typical stuff.

For now, I'm just glad that he found Mater because at least I know that when he finally does decide to stick it out for lunch, he will have a place to sit with his buddy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

An Indication that Elyse's Teenage Years May Kill Us

I'm not sure how it is possible to be so busy yet have nothing much to write about, but that is where I have been for a few weeks now. I suppose if I wasn't so busy, I might have time to actually think about my day and find the humor in it and thus post something mildly amusing, but my mind is constantly swimming with important dates, to-do lists, and the realization that these jeans, which were pretty comfy at one time, are now just slightly binding and it's kind of starting to drive me insane. Trust me, there is no more room up there to think about much else.

I do have this though...

Elyse has taken to stripping. Yesterday, after lunch she was a total yogurt covered mess. There was absolutely no way that I was going to be able to salvage her clothes, so I just took them all off and let her run around in her diaper while I cleaned up the table...and the floor...and the walls. In the middle of all of that, Mike called and I sat down to talk to him for a few minutes. Well, Elyse wandered off to her room and I heard her shut the door which can only mean that she is up to no good. I gave her a minute to let her think that she was getting away with something and then I went to check on her. When I opened the door, she was running wildly in circles, naked, waving her diaper over her head.


So I got her dressed and put her down for her nap. When she woke back up, I went into her room to greet my sweet baby princess only to find that princess was topless and as soon as she saw me she threw her shirt at me with the most ornery grin on her face that I have ever seen.

The moral of the story: The first person to mention Mardi Gras to Elyse when she is a teenager will suffer!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It Was So Much Easier When My Only Color Choices Came Out of A Box Labeled Crayola

A few months ago I mentioned that Mike and I are working on some home improvement projects. Mike has replaced all of the old, piece of crap windows that used to give our home that lived-in shanty feel with new windows that are clean, pretty, and open and everything. Along with the new windows, he has also installed new molding which really makes the windows look incredible.

The next phase in our plan is to start painting. I love to paint. I live to paint. I would blue tape, prime, and paint the children if they would just hold still. The dilemma is what colors to paint? It's not as easy as saying, "Well, the living room will be brown, the dining room will be......" because all of the rooms are sort of connected. The living room and dining room are one big room, and one of the kitchen walls flows into the dining room, so I feel like all of the colors need to coordinate. This also feels like a big decision because we are still up in the air about whether or not we will put this house up for sale in the next few years to look for something with a bit more space. So whatever we choose needs to be somewhat neutral so that we don't have to repaint before selling, if we sell, which we probably won't, but just in case.

When we painted the house the first time, Mike and I were newly married and I wasn't sure what my decorating style was exactly. Up until then, I lived with my parents and decorating a bedroom is nothing like decorating a house, as New Kids on the Block posters and college mementos don't really say fine home decor. Since then I have accumulated enough knick-knacks to decorate the house several times over and never once repeat a theme, but nothing goes together. They make it look so easy on HGTV. Damn you Genevieve and your mad decorating skills.

I just want the house to look put together, but not so much so that people don't feel comfortable hanging out here. I want to decorate with things that mean something to us as a family, but not with just any old junk that has been lying around for the last six years. Of course, I can't even think about decorating until I make the final paint color decision which brings me right back to my original dilemma...what colors? So what do you think? What colors say comfy family home that is put together, but not too much, and looks like it was decorated by a woman who has logged thousands of hours watching HGTV, and not by a girl that has never had to decorate anything larger than a 12ft x 12ft box in the upstairs of her parent's house?

Friday, October 2, 2009

The End of an Era

There is a small piece of me that thinks that I should start this post with this video from Friends:

Yes, it's true. Today I turn thirty. I guess I feel a little sad to be ending my twenties, but not as bad as I thought that I would. Actually, I think that I am handling it quite well. I guess maybe it's because my twenties were so full with so many life changing experiences that I am excited to see what this next decade will bring.

I got my first real job at twenty; a Histology Technician in a Pathology lab. The friends that I made there are still my friends today and I feel like I did some real growing up in the four years that I spent with them.

I met my husband Michael at twenty-one and he forever changed my view of love and the true definition of soul-mate. He is my other half, my shoulder to lean on, the one who makes me laugh so hard that I cry, and without a doubt, he is my best friend. I'm not sure where I would be without him and I thank God everyday that he brought him into my life.

I was engaged at twenty-two and I got married at twenty-three. I found out that I would be a mother at twenty-four and became one at twenty-five when my son, my beautiful baby boy Aaron was born. Becoming a mother changed my entire world in so many unbelievable, life-altering, mind-blowing ways that sometimes I feel like I hardly know the woman that I was before I had children, but the woman that I became is stronger than I ever thought I could be, weaker in some ways than I never knew possible, and always hopeful that I can find the right balance of both.

At twenty-six, I faced the most difficult experience that I have ever lived through when I had a miscarriage just shy of ten weeks gestation. The events of that week that led to the eventual loss are seared into my memory and heart forever, and when I think about it, it is like I can see it as clearly as if I were actually living it again.

By the grace of God, I was blessed with another pregnancy at twenty-seven, and at twenty-eight my beautiful baby girl Elyse was born. Like Aaron, she has changed me in so many ways and when I look at her it seems as if she is looking into my soul.

This year, at twenty-nine, I decided to take back some control of my life when I took off the fifty pounds that pregnancy and motherhood added. It was something that I felt was almost impossible at times, but with the support of my husband I did it. Even more incredible than that, this summer I completed a 5k. Crossing that finish line was so overwhelming, so rewarding, and such a wonderful way to put a period at the end of my twenties. I am so thankful to my friend Leslie for inspiring me to do it, and even more grateful to both her and her husband Dave for running it with me.

I started this last decade of my life single, with a new job, and hope for whatever the future held. I am closing this decade and beginning a new one married, the mother of two, and as a stay-at-home mom, I am working the most demanding job that I have ever held down, although the benefits are much greater than when I was in the workforce. As with the start of my twenties, I have hope for what the future holds, and in the next ten years I will see my little boy become a teenager, Elyse will begin school, and by the time that I turn forty, Mike and I will be three years away from twenty years of marriage.

I hope that this next decade finds me healthy and happy. I look forward to watching my children grow. I can't imagine loving Mike any more than I do now, but I know that somehow, over the next ten years I will. More than anything, I thank God for getting me to the place that I am now and I ask him to guide me through this next chapter.