Friday, May 31, 2013

Regression Happens

So we thought Mayzie was almost fully potty-trained.  Sure, she still wears a diaper to bed, but she was using the potty all day long and happy about it.  I signed her up for a 1/2 day summer camp with her sister. Naturally, one of the requirements is that she be fully potty-trained.  Said camp is in less than a month.  I'm starting to get nervous.

It started with a couple standing pees in the living room.  I brushed it off because the TV was on and she has a hard time pulling away from Wild Kratts.  

Then she did it at the babysitter's house.  
Then at her Nana's house.  
Then out and about on a play date.  
Now it's happening more often than she actually uses the potty.  

I know it happens.  I'm trying to be patient.  I'm crossing my fingers that she's going to get it again before her camp adventure that we've already paid for.  

Until then, I'll laugh at her carrying around her penguin potty and continue doing a silly dance and over praising her for her potty successes.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

15 Reasons I'm Awesome

Thanks to Mama Kat's prompt this week as inspired by LouLou's Views, I get to indulge in a little fantasy and try to remember how I'm different now that I'm a mother.  Here are 15 ways that being a mother makes me more awesome:

1.  I can listen to multiple requests at the same time and respond to them all.  Example: 
Andy: Honey where's the hammer?
Annika: Mayzie took my bunny.  Make her give it back.  
Mayzie: I want some juice. 
My response:  Let her play with the bunny.  Use your polite words.  The hammer got lost in the move honey. 

2. I lick my thumb to wipe my kids' faces even though I remember how gross it was when my mom did it. 

3. Projectile vomit doesn't even make me flinch. 

4. From the driver's seat of my car I can reach anything that has fallen to the floor in the backseat. 

5. I can put together a healthy lunch in less than 5 minutes.  Our old babysitter's favorite that I once told her to serve as running out the door: venison sausage, blueberries, and crackers with goat cheese.  

6. In less than 20 minutes, I can get myself and both my girls dressed and out the door.  I swear I should get a medal for this.  

7. I can hear a cough, sneeze, or whimper in my sleep and will wake to worry and comfort the child who emitted it asap.  

8. When Annika climbs things that make other mothers worry out loud to me, I consistently respond by saying, "Don't worry, we have good health insurance." 

9. My purse always contains gum, bubbles, a plastic shopping bag, crayons, a pad of paper, and extra underpants for all the girls in my family (including me). 

10. Singing theme songs to kids' shows is a daily occurrence.

11.  I hide chocolate in the kitchen and can eat it stealthily enough so as not to be found out.  

12. I've flown alone internationally with 2 children under 5 without incident.  

13. I know how to deal with kiddie jet-lag. 

14. I build outstanding forts in my living room. 

15. I keep my calm when my kids are losing their schmidt in the middle of any store.   

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Strawberry Picking

A short drive away from our apartment, there is a place where you can pick your own strawberries.  It is the same place we took the girls to pick out pumpkins in October, as Mayzie reminded me when we pulled up.  (I thought it rather impressive for a girl who isn't even 3 yet.)  We found our row and started picking.  Andy did most of the actual picking, with a minor assist by me.  Annika found some really succulent and ripe berries, and ate every single one of them she could stuff in her mouth.  Mayzie preferred to sit between the rows and play with the straw when she wasn't splayed across my back as I was crouched down next to a strawberry plant.  In case you were wondering, yes, it was uncomfortable.  Then there was the all girl trip to the bathroom that naturally took no less than 20 minutes.  So thanks Andy!  All together we picked almost 10 pounds of berries.  Half are now frozen, and the other half are reserved for strawberries and shortcake.  Any recipes out there?  

Andy and Annika with our loot

The pipe slide at the farm

It was a beauty, fun, frustration, and frenzy filled day, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  All of it, that is what I will miss when this fleeting moment passes.  This moment when they are almost 3 and 5.  This last summer before anyone is on a real school schedule.  This last summer of being together with me and my girls all day long.  I want to drink it in while I can.  I don't want to miss these moments, especially not the frustrating ones, because those are the ones when I learn the most.  I want to appreciate them while they are happening.  On the flip-side, I'll also be grateful to never have to sing songs with all the lyrics replaced by the words "poop" or "fart"; this phase can disappear fast please.  It was a great day, and I want to it as a whole bounded memory of the good, the bad, and everything in between.  

This is why I write, for days like this one that I want to stick in my brain forever. It isn't necessary to document  every mundane detail, but finding exuberance in the everyday and the special moments simultaneously is something to remember.  

I <3 linking up with my friends at #iPPP


P.S. Greta, I'm totally getting back on my #500in2013 train asap.  Don't lose faith! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Monday Bloody Monday

That title really has nothing to do with the U2 song, but everything to do with what I did yesterday.  

Thanks to my good friend Jenny, who came over to corral my munchkins so I could, I went to give blood yesterday.  

I always liked to give blood, but due to the fact that I was pregnant or nursing for 4 years straight then out of the country, I haven't been able to do so for a long time.  Yesterday, I broke the streak.  

So that's it.  I gave blood.  I've been in a very giving mood lately.  Maybe you should too. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Grocery Stupids

Anyone who has had the pleasure of grocery shopping with children before, surely will understand the absurdity, ridiculousness, and hilarity of this story.

We needed a full on grocery run.  It was necessary, otherwise I would have waited until later that night instead of venturing to the store with both Annika and Mayzie along for the ride.  They were wound up, and I wasn't in the mood to yell at them.  They were just being kids and exploring their surroundings and not really bothering me at all.  Just behind us in the store, there was a woman with triplet boys.  She had one of those wagons with three individual trailers, and her boys were sitting quietly and eating a snack.  I complimented her on her genius and she intimated that it was the only way she could get anything done.  Oh, the woes of a mother of multiples!  We shopped on.

I was standing and picking out produce, when all of a sudden an elderly lady addressed me:

Woman: Did you know that your daughter is running around with a bag of brussels sprouts?

Me: Yes. They're her favorite.  How lucky are we to get a 5 year old who loves brussels sprouts?

Woman: Well, both of your kids are being wild.  I saw a woman over there with 3 boys who were better behaved than your children.

Me: [astounded and too stunned to speak for a moment] Well, all kids are different.

Woman: [scoffs and walks away]

I laughed and went on with my shopping until the mother of the triplets turned the corner.  I HAD to tell her what that lady said.  I relayed the story and we shared a laugh.

She: Well, I guess I'll take the compliment.

Me: I knew you'd love it.  It didn't bother me.  After 5 years of this, I've learned to let stuff like that roll off my back.

She: Well you know what my husband always says? "God must really love stupid people, because he sure made a lot of them."

Me: I'm totally stealing that.

We finished shopping, and I warned a woman on the way in with a kid to beware of judge-y elderly people inside.  She laughed and said, "Thanks for the tip."

Two thoughts occur to me upon reflection:
1. I really LOVE the camaraderie between parents.  We're really all in this together, and I adore parents who just GET it.
2. Exactly how long does it take before you forget what it's like to be a parent of small children and to become judge-y and arrogant enough to feel that you have the right to tell others how to handle theirs in public?

Here's hoping I never get like that.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

You're Perfect!

I wrote this a few weeks ago, but have just gotten around to publishing it.  I still like it, though our mornings are quite different now that Annika is out of school.

Mornings are so sweet.
Andy and Annika leave in a flurry for school and work, while Mayzie and I get to cuddle on the couch.  She fits so perfectly into the nook under my shoulder all curled up into a ball.  She refuses to get dressed, and I don't force it.  That's an argument for people with places to be, and we have none right now.

That moment when playful goofy giggles turn into real belly laughs, that is parenting perfection.  That is scrumptious vitamin filled goodness for my soul.  In that moment I am happy.  In that moment I am blissfully beautifully bravely happy to be your mother.

Sometimes, if I'm really lucky, Mayzie whispers to me, "Mama, you're perfect."  I treasure this moment with every fiber of my being, and try to remember the way that she looks at me, instead of how I look at myself.  And then I want to change how I look at myself, so I don't teach her to look at herself in the same ueber-critical light.  I'm perfect to her right now, and I desperately want to be deserving of her praise in my own mind.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Annika's Graduation

I didn't want to cry.  I seriously held it together for most of the adorable ceremony full of 5 year olds singing sweet songs.  When they lined up all the mothers to get handmade tissue flowers from their children, I still didn't cry.  They announced all the graduates' names and what they want to be when they grow up, and I was still holding it together.  Then, it happened.  They played a slideshow with pictures from the entire year of all the kids being kids at preschool.  I don't even remember the first song, probably because I was trying so hard not to cry.  But then they played Billy Dean's "Let Them Be Little" and the tears just started to flow.  I'm not much of a country fan, so I had never heard the song before.  The chorus goes like this: 

So let them be little,
'Cause they're only that way for a while.
Give 'em hope, give them praise,
Give them love every day.
Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle,
Let 'em sleep in the middle,
Oh, but let them be little.

It makes me cry just to read those lyrics. 

After the ceremony, there were many pictures.  This one made me crack up.  Even though the quality isn't that great, Annika's personality just shines through so perfectly. 

Graduating cousins Ella & Annika

Mayzie was so proud of her big sister
By this point in the picture taking, Annika was hot and over it. 

We retreated to the school cafeteria where there was cake and punch for everyone.  It was such a nice ceremony to mark the passing of a major milestone, and what better way to finish it off than with lime sherbet punch and buttercream frosted cake at 10am.  

Annika's pre-K teacher was amazing and sweet and everything you ever wanted in a teacher for your wild and rambunctious kid.  She collected all of the kids' art throughout the entire year and had them in giant folders for each of them.  That would have been above and beyond enough, but she went even further.  She made scrapbooks with pictures of each child individually and some of the entire class too.  This album is so beautiful and special that it brought me to tears, again.  (We've been soo lucky when it comes to teachers for her so far, and I am keeping my fingers crossed for Kindergarten.)

It was a sad day for Annika, as she knows that she'll be transitioning to a new school in the fall while most of her friends stay at the private catholic school for the rest of their elementary then middle school school days together.  She'll be fine, and we know it, but it doesn't make it any less disappointing for our little 5 year old who keeps having to transition to new schools for what will be 3 years in a row.  She's resilient, but I somehow feel like we're asking too much from her.  Either way, I don't feel strongly enough to figure out how to come up with the thousands of dollars it would take to keep her in private school.  

Here is our Pre-K graduate Miss Annika: 

Pre-K Graduation Questionnaire in her own words: 
When I grow up I want to be   a veterinarian. 
My teacher is   Mrs. B------   . 
My friends are J------, R-----, & A-----. 
My favorite thing about my preschool is   the playground.  
What I love the most about my mom is when she sends notes to Santa.  
What I love the most about my dad is  when he works a lot. 
My favorite Christmas gift is  the pink doggy.   

We're so very proud of our little graduate!  She's growing up too fast.  I tell her every day to stop growing, and it makes her laugh and counter, "I can't mama" every time.  Another milestone passes, and she's one step closer to being independent and leaving us.  That's what made the tears flow when she took her first steps and that's what brought me to tears at the ceremony.  I know this time is fleeting, and I know not to hold too tightly as it slips away regardless of how much I want to pause these moments.  But we're proud as can be, and grateful that we get to bear witness to the process of her becoming and developing and learning and choosing and growing.  

The teachers and children sang this perfect song together: 
I think you're wonderful.  I think you're marvelous. 
I think you're beautiful and magical and filled with curiosity...and dreams

Exactly, EXACTLY. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Color Party

I LOVE linking up with the #iPPP girls! 

In the last 7 months I have made exactly 4 friends here that I didn't know previously and that I'm not related to.  I met Jenny through a college friend, and we became quick friends, not just because of my interest as a medical anthropologist in her benign brain tumor.  Jenny's quick wit and sarcasm propelled us into a fast friendship that is seriously keeping me sane during this not-so-fun process of writing my dissertation.  Jenny is a former English teacher, she introduced me to David, and then we both attended David's birthday party together with Jenny's awesome husband Kyle.  

David is an English teacher and "photographer," though I think we've convinced him to stop using quotes when he talks about his artistic outlet.  David instructed us all to wear one color and be ready for portraits.  It was a color portrait party that I won't soon forget at this amazing venue PG.  

Jenny went with purple. 

I wore orange. 
I just LOVE this picture of us, other than the fact that I look completely out of it. 

David had this amazing set-up for the portraits, and gave us all great directions.  
Here he's directing Kyle in the green.  

After my portrait session, I got a quick shot with the photographer.  
Note to self: Suck it in next time! 

It really was a beautiful birthday party filled with color and love for David.  You can go check out the portraits at the special website David set up just for the occasion of his 27th birthday.  

P.S. I'm totally loving my new phone that took these pictures.  Hint: My husband can now bump phones with me to send me stuff.  This alone boosts the cool factor for me. 


Big Plans: My Listen to Your Mother Essay

It was almost 2 weeks ago, on May 2nd, that I read this essay before a packed auditorium of strangers and friends.  I wrote this to be read out loud, and sometime this summer you'll be able to watch me read it on YouTube.  Until then, I thought I'd share the actual essay with you.  I wasn't featured in the national media coverage like my gorgeous amazing friend Marianne at We Band of Mothers, but I was able to be a part of this national series of readings on motherhood that happened in 24 cities, giving Mother's Day a microphone.  I feel soo lucky to have been a part of this whole thing.  

Here is a picture of the lovely cast before the show*: 

I even got to look quite nice thanks to my friend Jenny who styled me.  Here I am reading at the podium*: 

Here is my essay titled: 

Big Plans

I never wanted to be a mother.  I never wanted to have children.  I had grand plans of being everyone’s favorite aunt and filling up my passport with stamps.  Life has a funny way of changing plans. 

You see, my mother held a really high standard for motherhood.  All she ever wanted to BE was a mother and she was mostly a REALLY good one.  She was selfless in a way that I could NOT comprehend, sacrificing everything for me and my brother.  She was Betty Crocker and Mister Rogers, and would have had 12 kids had she actually liked my father. 

I now realize that all those years I spent never wanting to be a mother were my adolescent way of trying not to become her.  I rejected everything she ever wanted to be.  I made plans, and motherhood wasn’t part of them. 

I had just begun my second year of graduate school, and felt like I was finally fulfilling that great potential mom always told me I had.  I was to officially begin the PhD program in January, and was to spend that fall semester wrapping up the credits for my two Master’s programs and writing grants to go abroad and conduct pilot research for my dissertation.  I had BIG plans. 

I was also 2 weeks late and in some serious denial.  I was just stressed.  I had been exercising more than usual lately.  Yeah sure, there was that night when Andy forgot how to count and we had too many mojitos, but surely, surely I couldn’t be…no.

Andy drove me to the drug store.  We bought 3 tests.  I’m pretty sure he thought I was being ridiculous and worrying too much. 
I wasn’t. 
He tried to make me laugh.  He said, “Well, I guess our junk works.” 

I cried.  I cried humongous slobbery selfish sobs,
for the life I had dreamed of that would never be…
For the poor baby that was going to have ME as a mother…
For not being more careful…
For never EVER paying attention to kids before….
For thinking about options…

But then we talked about it.  We made new plans of how to keep parts of our old dreams while changing the shape of our new future together. 

I would love to say that motherhood has come easy for me.  It hasn’t.  So many times I feel like there’s some assigned reading I didn’t know about or secret place where everyone is getting all their information.  I feel like I started out behind and am still catching up.  I now understand that I’m merely searching for my place in the mothering spectrum.  Being a mother has forced me to reconsider my goals and achievements in a completely different light.  Some days I’m just happy we are all dressed.  I’m never going to be Betty Crocker or Mister Rogers or even my mother, and that is FINE. 

I still got to take a month long pilot study trip to Berlin, just with a 7 month old baby and my mother along for the ride. I still got to finish both of my Master’s degrees.  I had another baby, this time on purpose.  Our family of 4 got to live in Berlin, Germany for a year while I conducted my dissertation research and wrote a blog about our adventures.  I’m even going to finish my PhD, though a complete inability to afford childcare does not help that process along at all.    

Motherhood has also pushed me to become an expert in things I never even thought about before like: finding appropriate places to vomit, natural drug-free midwife assisted childbirth in a hospital, breastfeeding (sometimes during meetings you are conducting), cloth diapering, how to handle two year old tantrums, and the politics of preschool.  I’ve also learned the hard way how far academia has to go when it comes to graduate students with children. 

Professional struggles aside, being a mother has brought me closer to my own mother than ever before.  I call her for everything now.  I do think it is inevitable that we all at some point become our mother, or at least parts of her.  I recognize the way that I bite off way more than I can chew and refuse to ask for help when I quite obviously cannot do it all on my own.  That came from my mother.  My love of artsy fartsy handmade homemade things comes from her too.  While my choices have been very different from hers, so were my options because of the choices that she made for us.  I’m coming to realize that self-sacrifice for my children is a good thing that they won’t appreciate until they have their own children.  I certainly didn’t. 

Being a mother is the best job I never knew I wanted. 

*Photo Credit: Mike Washington    

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

There is a specific Mother's Day that stands in infamy in our family's past.  That year my brother was 9 and I was 10, and my parents had been divorced for almost a whole year by May.  Mom was still adjusting to the whole single mom business, and my brother liked to push the boundaries as much as possible.  That day, he and his friends were going to ride their bikes together to the local mini-mart to buy some candy with their allowance.  This was back in the day when you could still buy candy cigarettes for 5 cents, and you could get a real bounty for just a dollar.  There were 7 neighborhood boys that were all friends and around the same age, and some contingency of those were going together.  They didn't get far.  

One of the boys came bounding up to our house dropping his bike on our lawn and bursting through the front door instead of knocking.  "Hurry Quick, Justin's been hurt!"  Mom flew out the door and either sprinted the 5 blocks to where my brother was, or drove, and quite honestly I have no real memory of how she got there.  There was blood EVERYWHERE and my brother was on the ground clutching his mouth.  

The boys had gotten off their bikes to walk them across the street at a fairly busy corner.  My brother, apparently exhausted from all the bike riding that had already been done that day and anticipating how much they had left, rested his chin on the handlebars of his bike.  When his bike went down off the curb, it bounced back up to smack Justin's chin, forcing his mouth closed and his teeth through his tongue.  Why in the world was his tongue hanging out?  Who knows why 9 year olds do anything anyway?!?!  

In hustle of the emergency panic, mom kept cool long enough to get Justin back to the house and get his mouth rinsed out, so that she could see the wound.  The blood was gushing and Justin was crying, and mom had to figure out what to do.  She didn't want to take him to the Emergency Department at the local hospital because that would be hundreds of dollars and several hours, neither of which she had at that point.  She called her boss, the dentist.  He met them at his office, and stitched my brother's punctured tongue back together.  Justin ate a liquid diet while it healed, and we all had a great laugh later about what a crappy Mother's Day present that was for Mom

My Mother's Day today was not nearly as eventful, and I'm soo happy.  

I got an amazing veggie omelette, fruit cup, and coffee for breakfast.  

Andy went to play golf with his mother and brothers, so I took the girls to a playground in the morning.  We came home for nap time (for both me and Mayzie), and then I took them to our favorite frozen yogurt place.  

Tempting Mother's Day fate, I then took the girls to the Greenway paved bike path so they could burn off some energy. 

They enjoyed riding bikes AND running on the walls of part of the greenway.  

They rode their bikes while I walked from one of the parking areas to this skate park that they always like.  Mayzie was having a blast exploring the ramps and trying her hand at some tricks.  (I am totally serious!)  She kept asking me to help her go up higher, and it was cracking me up. Annika, having crashed a couple of times, turned to running and then climbing the ramps, and mostly just getting in the way of the skateboarders who were doing real tricks. 

We took a break and the girls picked me some flowers in a field.  

When we got back to the spot where our car was parked, Annika enjoyed climbing the sculptures there. 

There was whining.  There were almost accidents.  Girls fell off bikes.  There was forced public urination that may have ended up on one of my hands.  There was bickering.  I may have thought that I had lost Annika at least twice.  

But all in all, it was a lovely Mother's Day with my girls.  I remembered snacks.  I pampered my girls by doing exactly what they wanted to do.  It was brilliant to let them have the lead for a day.  We had so much fun and I didn't let the stress get to me.  I kept my cool, and stayed patient all day.  It was a freaking miracle! 

I hope that all the lovely mother's I know had a day that was filled with as much love as mine was.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rainy Otters Baseball Game

It had rained on and off all day on Friday, so I wasn't sure we were going to get to use our tickets to see the local minor league baseball team the Evansville Otters play their season opener.  We arrived at the field early enough to get great parking but not too early as to let the girls get bored waiting for the game.  Our seats were just behind 1st base, and we had a great view of home plate.  

The space looked oddly familiar to me, and I remembered that Andy had told me that Bosse Field is the 3rd oldest stadium in the country still in use (after Fenway & Wrigley).  I got even more confused when I saw the Otter Girls dressed in old timey baseball uniforms.  Finally, it all came together when I saw the sign on the opposite side of the stadium that said "Home of the Racine Peaches."  This was the stadium where they filmed A League of their Own!!  How my husband, who usually points out Evansville landmarks to me at least 10 times before I start doing it for him, failed to mention this to me is still a mystery to me.  It was a trip back to 1992 in my mind, and I swear I could pinpoint where exact moments of the movie happened as I looked around. 

Right after we got into our seats, the rain really started coming down.  It was one of those Indiana evenings when you can see the bands of purply-navy rain-clouds rolling in with streams of sunshiney sky strewn between.  It would rain then stop for a bit, then rain some more.  We weren't sure we would ever get to see an actual baseball game.  Luckily there was a clown with balloons for the girls, which entertained them for exactly 10 minutes until the balloons unrolled and then popped. 

Annika was more enthralled by the birthday party of 12 year old boys who were busy killing zombies and racing cars on their cell phones in front of us.

The rain finally did stop and they rolled up the field tarp.  I'd never seen that done before and found it really awkward.  Perhaps that was because they had all the interns doing it though.  It seemed a much more intricate and complicated process than I would have initially imagined.  

Annika & Mayzie danced in a puddle waiting for the game to start.  At this point it was almost their bedtime.  They were doing surprisingly well considering the circumstances, but we knew we were going to start with the meltdowns soon enough.

 Thankfully about that time, the two Otter mascots came by to give out high fives.  Our girls followed them down the fence in awe and pestered them for at least 20 high fives each.  They weren't the only distraction right about then.  We got the girls back in their seats and they promptly asked why there was a princess behind us.  I turned to find Miss Junior Miss Indiana in her crowned glory behind us.  She was cute and kept playing with the girls.  I was fine with it all until she started promoting pageants to Annika, and then I could barely contain my giggles.  This was partly because Annika refuses to wear dresses most of the time and partly because I was trying to imagine her standing still with a smile for long enough for anyone to even get a picture of her let alone judge her.

Sensing the impending breakdowns as the game barely got started, Andy saved the day with ring pops.  Nothing like a jolt of sugar to keep the girls awake.  They finally sat down for more than a couple of minutes and I briefly explained the rules of the game to Annika in 5 year old terms.  This wasn't as easy I had originally thought by the way.

Annika giggled and had a great time trying to block the camera so that I couldn't get a clear picture of her.

Mayzie was happy to cheese for the camera instead of emulating her sister which has become her new norm.

Group pictures have never been our forte, but I think this one that Andy took is particularly fitting for us.

It was a little exhausting taking two girls ages 2.5 & 5 to see a baseball game.  They wiggled and squirmed and jumped and climbed all over everything and everyone that they could.  We only got to see 1.5 innings of the actual game, and even then, paying attention to the game wasn't exactly easy.  We got the girls home and in bed around 9pm and promptly plopped on the couch to de-brief the day as is our parental habit when we're both home (a more rare occasion that we would like).  

A baseball game with all 4 of us was a special outing indeed.  Currently, any outing with all 4 of us seems to be a rare thing that we seriously appreciate.  It isn't always pretty.  There's usually a tantrum or 4 by someone, and wrangling the rambunctiousness that our girls bring is always exhausting.  But it's worth it.  It is worth every tiring giggling raucous moment of worry.  Maybe a foul ball will find us, but probably not.  Maybe one of the kids will be eaten by a folding chair she was climbing on, but we can kiss the boo-boos away.  Did the girls care that Dad got the tickets for free from his work?  No.  Did they mind that we didn't stay for the entire game?  No.  Were they extremely excited to get to be out as an entire family of 4 later than their usual bedtime?  YES!  It wasn't about the money we didn't spend, it was about the time we were together.  That time was and always is precious, and I want to remember that in the moment instead of worrying about all the things we aren't giving them.  

This morning I heard Annika telling one of her soccer teammates that we went to a baseball game last night.  That moment was when I really understood how special it was to her.  I want to remember those moments of her childhood.  I want to wrap them up in tissue paper and put them in a treasure chest of memories.  I can't wait to keep making more memories like this with our family.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Locks of Love CHOP!

I arrived for my appointment and was SOOO excited! 

I consulted with Ms. Brandi and showed her all the haircuts I'd been considering.

She bound up my hair in sections.

She measured them all to make sure they were long enough.

Snippetty Snip

Here's the donation!

Chop chop chop...

Fixing me up...

Here I am modeling the final product with my amazing stylist!

Thank you so much to Brandi for making me look fabulous and for making me laugh through the whole process.  I think I freaked her out because of how calm I was the whole time, but I was just so excited to not have to deal with all that hair anymore.  Also, someone will get part of a lovely wig made out of my hair.   It feels amazing to chop your hair because as Coco Chanel once said, "a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life."  Brandi's life is also about to change; she'll be welcoming her 3rd baby in October!  Special thanks also to my friend Jenny who came along and took all of these pictures.  She was so nice to take time out of her day to be there with me, and got to run into her old boss who was in the chair next to mine at the salon.  

I know there are plenty of women who are very attached to their hair.  I have friends who cry when they cut any amount of hair off.  Rastafarians don't cut their hair and dread it up to remind them of where they've been.  Women in several religions don't cut their hair because they believe it to be the source of their beauty. Women in multiple religions cover up their hair because of the same belief.  I am not one of those women.  

I love to switch it up.  Going from long to short and back again is part of a cycle with me, and many of my adult life events can be dated based on my hairstyle in the pictures.  I like to think that chopping my hair off is akin to letting go and moving forward.  That's where I'm going now, forward.  



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