Archives for November 2008
As we walked into church on Sunday, my friend Carmen said, “Wow. You should really get that girl some tap dancing lessons.” And she’s right, because then not only could I publish her childhood details online but I could possibly make some dough by selling her into showbiz.
And regardless of the Lohan-esque horrors that brings to mind, I think she would be pretty darn cute tapping it away on the silver screen as her curls bounced fiercely up and down. She doesn’t have dimples, but I’m sure there’s some sort of surgery for that.
If you know Laylee at all, you can guess that she was quite pleased with this latest hair care masterpiece. When I suggested we put in her hearing aids before leaving the house, she balked, “I don’t want to mess up my curls.”
“Medical devices before beauty.” That’s what I always say. Some people attribute that quote to Confucius or Coco Chanel but I’m pretty sure I said it first.
When we got home from church, she created this self portrait.
I think it’s pretty good but in my opinion, she didn’t spend nearly enough time shading her upper lip.
I’ve come to realize that there are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who wear and love Keens, those who covet Keens in a way that Moses would greatly disapprove of, and those who’ve never heard of them.
So for those of you in category 3, here’s a rundown of why I love Keen to encourage you to join categories 1 or 2. If you still need convincing after reading this, visit their new website and I’m sure you’ll be hooked.
1. They’re environmentally and socially responsible. Much of their products are made from reused or recycled material. They use environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, give back to the community, and are working through a Fair Labor certification process. There are so many companies who have jumped on this bandwagon half-heartedly but I get the impression that Keen really means to make a difference in the industry and the world. Their company was founded on these principles 5 years ago and they keep taking their commitment to the next level.
2. They’re based in the Northwest so we’re neighbors and likely soon to be BFFs.
3. Their design is smart and their shoes are well-made, rugged and durable.
4. Handbags. You just have to look. Trust me.
5. Everything they make is gorgeous.
Now you’re asking yourself, “Why is Kathryn giving me a big fat advertisement for Keen?” Firstly because I like em so darn much and secondly because they want to give one of you a Christmas present. An awesome Christmas present, a present of which I am totally jealous in a hypocritical I-enabled-this-so-why-am-I-freaking-out-with-envy sort of way.
And let’s face it. If it were me, I’d spend a good long time checking out their laptop bags and handbags. I’ve particularly got my eye on the Oswego and the Betty bag. The day packs are also delicious but I’d feel like I’d end up sharing them with my family and honestly, who wants that?
So yes. Go to the site. Pick out something you can’t live without and come back here and tell me what it is in the comments section of this post. Next Sunday night I will choose one random winner to rule them all who will receive a coupon code good for one free item of your choice from the Keen website. That’s right ladies and you 3 gentlemen. The winner gets to pick any one thing you want. Squeee! I’m so excited.
Here’s the bonus. If you post about the contest on your own site with a link back to this page, then come back here leaving a second comment with a link to your post, you’ll be entered twice.
But wait. There’s more. When the contest ends, I have a coupon code for everyone else to get free shipping on anything you order from the site.
So everyone wins. And the peasants rejoice. Now go. Window shop. Come back and report your findings.
Magoo loves Lego Star Warts so much! I’m finding I love him too much to allow him to keep playing daily.
Do you remember the movie Regarding Henry with Harrison Ford, where he gets shot and turns into a vegetable and then has to do all kinds of rehab just to be able to speak and move his limbs and he has a huge transformation and it’s all kinds of inspiring?
Well we had a similar experience this morning only without Annette Benning, head wounds or physical therapy equipment.
You see Magoo is 3 and a half and absolutely refuses to put on his own socks. I’ll put them on his lap and he just lets them lay there all limp and sad and looks up at me with dog eyes and cries, “CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME! I CAN’T DO IT! IT’S TOO HARD!!”
I usually cave after a couple of minutes in interests of time if not of mercy. I know he’s old enough to do this but he’s used to be being the baby boy and frankly he’s too lazy to rehabilitate himself to the point where he can put on his own socks, or should I say “habilitate” since he’s never known how.
So this morning I had about an hour to spare before yoga class and a good incentive, a trip to his best friend’s house while I worked out, and I sat him down for an intense sock therapy session.
“I can’t do it!”
“I know you can. You’re such a big boy and you’re so good at trying and learning new things.”
“But I CA-A-A-AN’T! Please help me!”
“I’ll sit right here with you the whole time and you just try. Just pull the sock onto your toes to start.”
He pulled the sock barely over his little toesies and then threw his hands down to the sides.
“I can’t do it anymore. It’s too hard!”
“Oh but you’re doing so great already. You’ve got to keep trying.”
“I just can’t”
This went on for about 10 minutes, the coaxing, the cajoling, the whining and the cheer-leading. The first sock inched it’s way on slower than a slug on a tomato plant. Then he absolutely refused to do the second sock. Waterworks filled our family room. His struggles were too great to bear.
“If you don’t have socks on, you can’t go to River’s house.”
TA-DA. The second sock was on in less than 30 seconds.
And then it hit me. Somebody should have told Henry he couldn’t have a play date until he started walking and talking like a normal person and he’d have been painting Ritz crackers and fighting corporate corruption tons sooner. It would have been like a 10 minute movie. Oh. Maybe that’s why they dragged it out.
Either way. Guess whether or not I’m gonna be putting Magoo’s socks on for him tomorrow.
Each night in your prayers, you thank God for yourself and you mean it. You are absolutely tickled with who you are.
You see yourself as a fashionista. To school yesterday you wore a brown, teal and cream plaid dress with a white and red patterned t-shirt overtop, hot pink flowered tights and white tennis shoes. You found yourself unable to walk for the prancing.
I fixed your hair extra special that day to offset your extra special outfit and so your teacher would know you were not being neglected at home.
At dinner tonight you balked at the pizza I’d ordered and asked me to not make you finish your slice of pizza if you ate your entire huge portion of broccoli. You said you’d really rather eat my lentil soup.
Ever since I told you that getting down from the table during dinner meant that you would fall in hot lava, you always ask politely for a lava pass before getting up for extra napkins, forks or condiments.
Your favorite things to draw are robots. They are all nearly identical. They are happy and seem like nice robots, not the kind to develop artificial intelligence, turn on their human masters and lay waste to our planet. I like that.
Tonight at dinner I tried to pray in a more casual way like I was talking to Heavenly Father right there in the room. I rambled on about our day the way I would talk to any friend. I told him that we missed him and wished we could see him for dinner tonight. I wanted you to get a sense that he was really listening, that he was real. When I said amen, you wiped away a tear and said, “I think I’m just crying from happiness. That was a really good prayer!”
Yesterday you told me that you’d rather receive gifts from Santa than from regular people because they’re fresher. While a gift from your mom has probably been sitting around the store for who knows how long, a gift from Santa is just freshly made by the elves. You said, “You can just tell the difference in the freshness, you know?”
When I got home from my PTA meeting tonight, I came upstairs to turn off your reading light. I thought you were asleep so I leaned in and kissed you softly on your forehead. You smelled like baby shampoo. As I turned to walk away you whispered, “Sleep with me a minute please.”
I did. I ran my fingers through your damp hair until you drifted to sleep, the cadence of your breath resetting the rhythm of my body to a place of perfect contentment. Oh baby girl. You can’t possibly love yourself as much as I love you.
***And the Winner chosen by random.org after removing any duplicate comments by the same person (Which I then added back in) is Heather Lafter. More great giveaways are coming this month. so keep trying!***
Have you ever wanted to know how to make your own chain-mail bikini, grow rock candy, properly open a pomegranate, carve a radish rose, tie a bowtie, remove various stains from clothing, peel and devein a shrimp, get your kid to eat vegetables, serve a banana as an octopus, or understand vitamins and their proper doses?.
Are you the coach of your kid’s soccer team but you don’t have a clue about the rules and techniques of the game?
Do you wonder how long various foods stay good in the refrigerator?
Do you want to try to heal yourself with home remedies or perform first aid?
Are you horrible at Dave Letterman’s “Know Your Cuts of Meat” game and want to brush up on which cut of meat comes from which part of any animal’s body?
Do you want to know how to pick the best airline seat, tie basic sailing knots, mount a camel, compose a memorable photo, pick a lock, or mold a false fingerprint?
Have I got a book for you. It was sent to me by Harper Collins and it’s called Show Me How — 500 Things You Should Know — Instructions for Life from the Everyday to the Exotic. The book covers fashion dos and don’ts, beauty how-tos, cooking, crafting, survival skills, romantic instruction and a ton more. From the incredibly useful to the hilarious, it’s fun just to “read” all the way through. But it doesn’t involve a lot of reading because it’s almost completely picture based. The illustrations are fun and although I plan to use it as a conversation-piece on an end-table in my living room, I’ll also likely refer to it for basic instructions on how to do just about everything.
Reading through, I kept thinking, “OH MAN! I wish I’d had this last month or last year when I needed to…” Because I didn’t have this book or apparently a brain or internet connection, I gave a perfectly fine cast-iron skillet away to Goodwill because it had become rusty. Never again thanks to the page on derusting a cast-iron pan.
With Thanksgiving on the way, I’m grateful for the straightforward instructions for weaving a lattice-top pie, roasting and carving a turkey and making perfect gravy from drippings.
Thanks to this book I now know that a Vesper is an actual alcoholic beverage, not invented by James Bond, and how to make it should I ever eschew my teetotaling ways.
This is one of the best coffee table books I’ve come across and it would make a great gift. Although if you win it, you’ll probably have a hard time giving it away so you’ll need to buy another.
To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment listing one thing you’ve always wanted to know how to do. I’ll draw a random winner Saturday at 10pm PST.
Thank you so much for all of your kindness as I’ve been going through this rough time. It’s not hard to be open about my struggles when I get such a gracious and loving response.
It’s amazing how fast the hard times come and how quickly they begin to recede with faith, prayers, friends, good medical care and prescriptions, and a weekend spent sitting on an island watching the sunset with your main schmoop and zero small people.
Dan and I had planned a getaway for this past weekend months before my brain glitch last month happened. It’s the first time we’ve gone away for a weekend without the kids in the nearly six years since Laylee was born and I feel sure that all the planning and timing were no accident. Someone knew I’d need some extra relaxation to help get over the worst of my panic and anxiety.
Now we’re getting back into our routine and it seems strange that just days ago I was swallowed up in so much fear and panic. I’ve been sleeping in, grateful to be sleeping well again and we were a bit tardy getting Laylee to kindergarten this morning. I apologized and she sensed the stress in my voice.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m late for school Mom. It just matters that I’m alive. Come on, man!”
Yeah, yeah. Peace, love and all that jazz. I’d still like to avoid excessive and habitual late slips. But I enjoyed the sentiment. There is wisdom in our young ones. Upon arriving back home, Laylee’s favorite song “I Know Karate” (see embed below) was playing on the cd player and Magoo begged me not to go inside until it had finished.
So we stayed in the car as I unleashed the artistic fury of my funky greatness. Rolling fists, flashing jazz hands and bobbing my head like a skanking Rastafarian. Hey. My car dancing moves are limited because my mobility is restricted but I can still bust a move in a manner pleasing to children under the age of six. Magoo parroted my every motion and when the song finished he exclaimed, “I did it. I could do all of it!”
And his moves were passable. I hope they serve him well in his life. Maybe he’ll report back to me about how they’re working for him. Perhaps in junior high sometime. Maybe his peers will report back even more emphatically.
It’s been flooding around my town. Roads are closed. School has been canceled and we’ve all been anxiously watching the flood reports waiting for the water to crest and recede so we can get back to the normal flow of our lives.
For the past few weeks and ongoing I’ve been bleeding, before which time I was sure I was pregnant, not Psychosomatic Pregnancy Disorder sure but actually really sure. I had all the symptoms. I was even knitting for heck sake. But my body and repeated tests are telling me I’m not, at least not anymore. And I’d love to be.
I’m not that sad about a possible lost pregnancy I was never sure was real. Dan and I have waited years for me to recover mentally and physically from Magoo’s birth and have come to a point where I’m finally ready again but patient.
The problem came about 5 days after my cycle started and my anxiety and panic went through the roof. I’ve been off my post partum meds for months with smooth sailing and suddenly I found myself in that dark place, the place where I shake and throw up, cry and let my mind terrorize me, the place where I visit every doctor I know and end up back on my meds.
Although doctors like to say that bleeding for 3 weeks can be normal and that nausea in the mornings, elevated anxiety, ravenous hunger, exhaustion, catastrophic breakouts, a slippery pulse, and the 27 other things I was feeling before my cycle started don’t necessarily indicate pregnancy, I feel pretty sure that my dark place is a result of a microscopic baby who just wasn’t ready to come live with us but instead tripped my wacky hormone breaker on his way out the door.
When I’m in that place it feels as though I will never return to normalcy, that darkness, fear and panic are valid because the world is just a scary awful place. What helps me cope is Dan, Dan who is so sure that the flood will crest and I’ll return to myself again, Dan who remembers who I really am and loves me. And it’s not just Dan. I have a huge support group of family and friends. People have been coming out of the woodwork to make meals, bring flowers, give hugs while I sob and remind me that they know me and that this is NOT normal. I’ve even gotten several emails from people who I know and some who read this blog and could tell that something was not right. Thank you so much. I’ve been too overwhelmed to respond to everyone.
When my mind is in this place, it’s hard to believe that the world is a place worth living in. It’s hard to believe that I am good enough or worthy enough because if I were better or had more faith then I’d feel peace from my Heavenly Father.
Which brings me to my lesson on Sunday. On Saturday night when it became apparent I was in full scale meltdown mode I called and asked a friend to sub teaching my 14 and 15 year old girls’ class at church. Then I took a look at the lesson. It was about individual worth, how the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. It was about how we all may feel broken or unlovable at times but that God loves us all the time and that we each have a spark within us, a mission that only we can complete.
I knew that the timing of the lesson was no accident. It was filled with truth that I desperately needed to hear and I knew I had to teach it. So I went to church, tissues in hand, and taught the girls in complete tearful breakdown mode. I told them that I was teaching them even though I was having a rough time because I wanted to show them that their leaders are not always prefect. We tend to sit up there and teach about God’s love and the peace you feel when you’re doing what’s right and the joyous news of the gospel and the examples we show and the standards we set are high. I wanted them to know that each one of them was of great worth and that even when they were in the lowest depths of the dark places of their lives, they were still loved, they were still good people and it is those times that they need to rely on their faith and on their past experiences of joy and peace to get them through until the floods of darkness crest and recede.
I read them the story of Snowman, the old grey beaten-down horse who turned out to be a champion show jumper, and I promised them that they could do great things with their lives and that I knew in my heart that I could do great things too, even if I couldn’t feel it right then. My hope for them and for all of you is that you never feel that your struggles or heartaches are an indication of your worth. You are not your trials. Sometimes I think we all act so perfect on the surface that when we struggle, we doubt our divine nature and the huge gift we are and can be to so many people in this world.
I hope they got the message, rather than thinking, “Wow. Kathryn’s really lost it.” I think they did.
But whether or not I’ve lost it, I know I’ll find it again and I have a lot going for me. I do have a great work to do. Even if the only thing I ever do is make these two people, my life will be a raging success.
I’ve got a fun and scientific post up at Parenting that may help you get your kids to bed a little easier.