When I’m hanging out with my family I’m sometimes overcome with feelings of dejavu, only in the current situation my kids are me and I’m my mom. [continue reading at parenting.com]
Archives for August 2008
In March I got the best haircut ever from a woman named Karina who my sister-in-law introduced me to in Utah. Although I’d never met her before, I instantly trusted her and she picked a new hair color for me and gave me bangs. And I loved them. And I was highly attractive. And I knew it.
And then a week or two passed and the bangs grew out and I was back in Seattle so I tried to cut them myself and then I put them up in a clip indefinitely. And then a couple of months passed and it appeared that the roots of my hair had not gotten the memo. They started to grow in this revolting dishwater blond color. Random.
So I’ve been limping along, dying my own hair all kinds of colors and stopping at random salons hoping for a good cut and being disappointed.
Then I went to visit my parents in Montana. On Saturday night I was begging my sister to take a whack at my bangs. To give her the courage to proceed, I decided to tell her all about how Karina is the only one who ever cuts my hair successfully and about how no one else could possibly measure up. She did not seem encouraged but she promised to try.
The next day was Sunday and I found myself sitting in my mom’s church congregation with all 5 of my siblings pretending to pay attention while we passed our children back and forth across the pews. And then I saw her. Several rows up in the center section of the chapel was KARINA THE HAIRDRESSER FROM UTAH. Seriously. I drove down from Seattle only to find my favorite Utah hair dresser in my parent’s church.
I leaned over to my sister Heather and whispered, “That’s HER. My hairdresser from Utah I’ve only met once and haven’t seen in 6 months. We will stop her after the meeting and ask her to tell you the secret of how she did my awesome bangs.”
So I did stop her and, dragging Heather along behind, I tore her away from the family she was visiting, re-introduced myself, introduced my sister and asked her to do an impromptu hair lesson. Although a bit taken aback at first, she was too rad not to help and started tugging at my hair and explaining to Heather how to make a proper line. Then she stopped.
“Oh, just go to the library and get a pair of scissors.”
“Yeah. I’ll meet you back here.”
So I went to the library and asked the cute ladies for the sharpest pair of scissors they had. They went through the drawer testing each set. “What are you gonna do, stab someone?”
“No… Um… I just need to cut something very precisely.”
I whisked Karina off to the bathroom where she cut my bangs with paper scissors while the rest of my family headed off to Sunday School. Heather stayed with me and stood in the bathroom with her hands cupped under my chin to catch the hair clippings as they fell.
Either she didn’t catch them all or I sprouted a unibrow in a way-too-short period of time. Luckily I was able to brush it away and my bangs looked fab and I flitted off to my next meeting.
I think next Sunday I’ll stop by the children’s nursery and see if anyone’s willing to minister to me in the form of a mani-pedi.
Life is full of learning. Magoo has a lot of learning to do. I’ve provided some crucial nuggets of information for him over at Parenting.com [read more]
My friend Susan is an amazing artist who paints portraits on commission. Her work is beautiful and original, the final product being actual art with style, rather than a simple reproduction of an image. If you’ve ever wanted an artistic rendering of your kids and you like her style, check out her site. She’s currently taking orders.
This summer the time seems to have spiraled out of control. I can’t possibly do all the fun things that are presenting themselves at every turn, let alone the boring lame chore-type things.
Last week we had a really fun visit from Dan’s aunt and uncle and 8 of their kids. They stayed for 3 days during which time we saw every site there is to see in the Greater Seattle Area. We had a blast hanging out with them and cooking food for their 5 voracious and appreciative teenage boys. I so love cooking for people who eat more than 2 teaspoons of their meal and who repeatedly tell me what a fabulous cook I am.
Well, as you can imagine, things were crazy. Laylee and Magoo were wired and hero-worshipful of the cousins and we were WAY off schedule. Complicate that with the fact that my life-sustaining device of communication and organization bit the big one right before they arrived and I was pretty much adrift in a tide of vacationism.
I’d ordered peaches weeks before in a bulk group order run by a very organized woman. She had spreadsheets and a process. She gave each person a pickup time that Thursday and told us we needed to be precisely punctual in order to get our fruit. If we did not come and get our fruit, we would jeopardize future bulk fruit orders. Very serious business, all of it.
So, my pickup time was 9:20am on the Thursday that the relatives were visiting. My digital calendar with the handy reminders was laying black-screened on the counter like a technological dead fish. I’d forgotten about the peaches I’d ordered. I’d forgotten that it was Thursday. I’d forgotten that my name was Kathryn and how many children I had.
Right as we were about to leave for sightseeing, about 9:40am, I was browsing my email when I noticed the alert about the peaches. “Don’t let me forget to pick up the fruit on Thursday, okay?”
“It is Thursday!”
So I began running around the house like a headless poultry, grabbing the kids under each arm, making plans to meet up with everyone later and muttering about how Fruit Lady was gonna find me and kill me in my sleep. Then the phone rang.
It was my friend Linda, who I hadn’t seen in months. She was picking up her fruit and noticed my name on the list. She thought things must be crazy for me at home with 2 little kids and wondered if I wanted her to buy my fruit and bring it to my house.
It seems like a small thing but I got teary-eyed, grateful that she’d thought of me, grateful that she didn’t shrug off the thought but called me and offered to help. It was just one more entry in my mental list of examples of why you should never hesitate when the thought pops into your head that you could do something to help someone else out.
The list includes people who brought me dinner when they had no idea I was having trouble, people who stopped by randomly to say hi only to find I was trapped at home with sick kids and then offered to do a quick grocery run for me. Last week, I was having a tough time in blog land, sick of writing, sick of being criticized for the personal thoughts I send out into the interwebs. Not even knowing this, one of my bloggy friends wrote a way-too-kind post about how much she loves my site and it gave me just the boost I needed to keep writing.
My point. Don’t hesitate. I have never regretted doing something nice for someone.
Last year after experiencing the domestic bliss that is peach canning and spending several months hacking black crispy somethings off my stovetop, I told Dan I would never do it again. I believe I said something about Hell becoming very chilly or about how I’d rather pass away.
(On a side note about death wishes, Laylee and I had the following conversation in the car today:
Me — Poor Buddy is so sick today. I feel so sad for him.
Laylee — So, after we die we’ll never get sick again, right?
Me — Yep. That’s right.
Laylee — I can’t wait to die! That is gonna be SO! COOL!
I think it’s good not to fear death. I’m just not sure it’s healthy for a 5-year-old to look forward to it with such excitement.)
So after eating home-canned peaches all winter and scraping nearly all the charred fruit guts off my stovetop, I decided I’d better order a few more cases this summer and get down to bidness. Tonight I realized that it was time to can before every single peach rotted in its box and at 8:05pm PST I turned on the Olympics, put on my giant apron disguised as a bib and began to sort, scrub, chop and boil.
During the 5 hour process I periodically stopped and caught snippets of the Olympic action, mostly audio only. Here are my thoughts on what I witnessed:
1. If trampoline is an Olympic sport, why don’t they have juggling or competitive break dancing? I could handle me a sweet crew of Ukrainian b-boys every 4 years or so.
I was particularly delighted by the comments of one reporter during the event who said something like, “She’s got one minute before she must start flipping acrobatics.” And all I could think was, “For REAL! Could she just start the flipping acrobatics already?!”
2. Watching the totally wacky and unpredictable gymnastics scoring over the past few days, I couldn’t help but think that there has to be a more fair way of choosing a winner. I have 2 suggestions. A — Have an additional scoring category for aroma. The sweetest smelling girls should really have some sort of advantage. This is of course subjective as what might smell quite lovely to an American could be repulsive to a Romanian however I think it would fit in perfectly with the current scoring system. B — Shoot a couple hundred slugs out of a canon against a wall and use their splatter patterns to determine which country is most deserving. Then package up all the medals and send them home with the appropriate coach or coach’s wife.
Seriously. Am I the only one who sees a made-for-TV movie in the near future starring Tracey Gold as a Canadian gymnastics judge who uncovers a seedy bribery plot in the 2008 Beijing Olympics?
3. I wonder if Jenn Stuczynski would have decided to pursue pole vaulting 4 years ago if someone had told her then that a silver medal at the Olympics was a piece of hud for losers. Watching her coach tell her how poorly she’d done after she came in second to a woman who set the Olympic and world record during the event had me really steamed.
4. I’m inclined to believe anything Bela Karolyi says. I’m not sure if it’s the accent, the mustache or the number of Olympic medalists he’s glared at from the sidelines over the years.
5. Beach volley ball. The teeny tiny bikinis. The riding up. The why.
And now I think I deserve a medal for canning 26 quarts of peaches all by myself in record time with very little mess, minimal browning, zero breakage, perfect seals, and only half a cup of syrup left over when all was said and done. And it only cost me slightly more than if I’d bought the peaches factory-canned at the store.
***If you’d like to be entered to win a This is Me Journal, leave a comment that lists your favorite beverage. I’ll pick 2 winners randomly Wednesday at 10pm PST.***
Although Laylee’s a frequent indirect contributor to Daring Young Mom, she’s too young to actually blog. However I love hearing what she has to say about life. Her pictures tell so much about what’s going on inside that amazing little head of hers.
One of my favorite ways to dig in and find out what really matters to her is with the This is Me Journal. Designed by a fellow mom-blogger, this journal is going to be an absolute goldmine of preciousness and blackmail material for years to come.
It’s part journal with questions and fill-in-the-blanks, part drawing pad and part scrapbook. Luckily the scrapbooking component is very small and easy. Insert picture of your favorite stuffed octopus here. I can handle that.
Laylee listed me as one of her best friends and for favorite drinks she listed lemonade, strawberry lemonade, apple juice, cow’s milk (as opposed to the milk of a tsetse fly), and soda with Echinacea in it (a family favorite sick drink).
For the first several days after receiving it in the mail, Laylee slept with her “Book of Me” under her arm. When I suggested we put it somewhere safer, she took initiative and hid it. I finally found it today months later and we had a blast working on it. The journal would make a great gift for young friends and cousins whose homes seem to be filled with every new gadget and toy. I plan to buy copies the next few years for Laylee, help her fill them out and see how they compare.
Maybe in the future she’ll decide she doesn’t like cow’s milk anymore but I’m sure I’ll always be listed as a best friend.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to have an evil stepmother around here to not-so-gently guide me away from my chronic procrastination, someone who’d force me to get things done or else face life in the cellar with the rats. [read more at Parenting.com]