Sunday, March 21, 2010

Too Cute to Skip

Here I sit, carefully "filing" all my digital pictures so I won't miss a single precious moment when I put together each of the kids' year-in-review scrapbooks.  As I noticed how many cute pictures I was filing away without so much as a 2-day spotlight on my blog (and then reflecting on how word-heavy my blog has been lately), I decided to bring you these special moments:


Adam came to tell me he had a loose tooth.  Whatever.  I attempted to wiggle the tooth he'd indicated.  No movement.  Kirk thought maybe I'd tried the wrong one.  I wiggled the adjacent tooth.  Yep.  He really does have a loose tooth.  Hm.  I don't think I'm ready for him to be that old! 

Alex recently turned three, and part of his "Thomas the Train" birthday cake was decorated with black frosting.  Which Alex used as mascara.  Yep.



It's not often that the pets make the blog, but here is our cat, Roxie, stealing the left-over paper from my primary cut outs.  I tried to take it from her, and she scratched me with her hind claws.



And finally, this is not what I expected to see when I opened the door to check on a supposedly sleeping baby.  Thankfully, Dylan is learning to entertain himself for small stretches of time.  I call these moments: heaven.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nothing to Hate

I recently had the opportunity to attend a meeting in a gorgeously decorated home.  I paid little attention to anything that was said, because I was so busy looking around me.  I finally decided it wasn't that I loved any particular one thing; I was just a fan of the whole concept.

Each room was decorated with no more than 3 colors, and these three colors were used in large spans of solid color.  I loved that.  It didn't hurt that the colors were some of my favorites like chocolate brown and slate.  Mmm... love me some dark neutrals!

What really struck me most, however, was the "artwork."  I have the hardest time finding anything to hang on my walls, because I can never find anything that I like enough to put it out there as a representation of me. 

My favorite piece in this gorgeous house?  A big, white, plain rectangle hung on the wall. 

What does it say about how picky and opinionated I am if all I am capable of loving is a plain white rectangle?

And then I finally discovered the secret to finding pieces for my own home.  I am going to stop looking for things that give me something to love and start looking for things that give me nothing to hate.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Addiction

I just read an interesting email forwarded by my father in law.  The writer tells about a stranger who has lived with them for the past 50 years.  Despite the morals of the parents and the rules of the house, this stranger was allowed to swear, to drink, and to make smoking and sex look cool.  He often interupted family meals, and the children were far more interested in his stories than in listening to their mother.  The punchline?  "We called him simply... TV."

I thought for a moment.  How great would it be if I didn't allow the TV to say anything I wouldn't allow my kids to say?  (Insert mental picture of me on a high horse here.)  Easy to enforce for the kids, I think.  Then I thought about the shows I watch.  (Quick dismount from said horse.)  I'm not sure I can think of a single one of my "shows" that fit this standard.  If I truly did decide to raise the bar for TV viewing in my house, what would be left to watch?

When I think about turning my back on my favorite TV shows, it kind of makes me panic.  What would I do with my time? 

And then that thought kind of makes me panic.  Am I addicted to TV?  Could I stop watching it?

Then sadly, I start to think, "If I really did that, everyone would think I was weird.  My kids would be made fun of."

Do others' opinions really mean that much to me?  Am I seriously factoring that into the decisions regarding the eternal salvation of my family?

I'm not saying I need to turn my back on TV.  And I'm certainly not saying I'm going to.  I'm simply asking myself if I even could, and the answer scares me.

The definition of addiction:

"Being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming."
Hm.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tax Day Giveaway!

Head over to my business blog for details about my Tax Day Giveaway.  ($250 value!) 

Please leave your entry comments there, not here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Telogen Effluvium

I made a comment the other day that I only blog about things that make me look good, because I have this psychological issue that I like everyone to think I'm perfect all the time.  I admire my friends who are able to put their problems and imperfections out there, too, because their blogs are so honest. 

So here it is: my lame attempt at sharing something less than perfect.

Me: "I feel so bad for Dylan because I am constantly pulling pieces of my hair off him.  I pull it from between his fingers, wrapped around his toes, off his towels and blankets... he's constantly covered in my hair!"

Kirk: "Honey, we're all covered in your hair."
This didn't happen with my other kids, so I was starting to think I'd done something to my hair (oops! maybe I shouldn't have used $3 grocery store hair dye...) and caused it to start falling out like crazy.  At first, I didn't think it was thinning, so I wasn't too worried.  Then it started to feel thinner.  And thinner.  And I got worried. 

So I did what I always do, and I asked Google to solve my problems.

Telogen Effluvium is when some stress causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state.  If there is some "shock to the system", as many as 70% of the scalp hairs are then shed in large numbers about 2 months after the "shock".

Turns out "child birth" is an excellent "shock," and I am now smack dab in the middle of losing up to 70% of my scalp hairs.  GROSS!

My hair is everywhere.  Be glad I am sparing you pictures.  Kirk has to use Drain-O in the tub practically bi-weekly.  We eat my hair in every meal I prepare.  Every time I run my fingers through my hair, at least 5 strands come out.  Again, I submit... gross!

Normal telogen effluvium lasts 6 to 8 months.  I estimate I am in month 3 or 4. 

I guess on the plus side, thanks to my thinning hair, if my blow-dryer breaks on a Saturday morning when I'm already running late for a million things (yeah, it happened...), I can dry my locks over the heater vent, and it only takes about 5 minutes.  Gotta look for the positive, right?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Little Red

My little Dylan is an adorable red head with fair skin.  But anytime I try to take a picture of him, he looks like a blotchy red mess.  I swear his skin doesn't really look like this!  I need help from my photography minded friends so I know how to capture some decent pictures of my little guy.  I don't want to remember him this way!


Okay, ignore the fact that I obviously should have wiped his boogers and eye goobers before this picture, because I know how to fix that in the future.  Other than that, though, this picture is a pretty good example of what I'm talking about.  Check out the ridiculously red eyelid under his left eye.  His little eyelids have a tendency to have some redness, but the flash just highlights it.  And in real life, his skin looks creamy and pale, but in pictures it is red and splotchy. 

Is there anything I can do from the camera end to fix this?  Will a certain background color help?  Lighting?  Camera setting?  (I have a pre-SLR camera that I really don't know how to fully use... I almost always shoot on auto.)

Are there some magical photoshop tricks I can use to fix these pictures after I've already screwed them up?

Dylan will be turning 5 months old on the 7th, and I'll be wanting to shoot some pictures of him at that stage.  How can I get a decent shot?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Good "Nideas"

I thought about taking the time to come up with clever transitions from one section of this blog to the next.  Then I thought, "Nah.  I'll just number them."  So here we go:

[1]     Adam has always talked very well, and so there's a little part of me that chooses not to correct him on the few words he says wrong.  I know it's wrong, but I think it's cute.  He never has ideas.  He has "nideas."  And we don't eat tuna.  It's "batuna." 

[2]     The scene: our boys and their live-in cousins are playing downstairs.

Kaleb: (to Alex) I'm going to sit on your head!
Alex: That's not a good idea.
Kaleb: I'm gonna do it... I'm gonna sit on your head.
Alex: (more agitated this time) That's not a good idea!
---PAUSE---
Alex: (crying)
Kirk: You'd better not be sitting on him!
---PAUSE---
Alex: (silence)

[3]     Here are a few good ideas I've heard, liked, and maybe even adopted recently:
  • For those of you with private blogs: set up a second, public blog where you can post a link to your updates.  That way, those of us who like to blog stalk you can do it a little easier.
  • Use your blog to document your personal history.  A friend of mine posts a weekly journal-type entry that serves as her personal history.  I liked the idea and set up a separate blog for just this.  I had started a personal history project several years ago, but just couldn't keep up with it by hand.  Doing it online fits my personality, and I'll also have the ability to get it printed into a book if I ever decide to do that.  Check mine out here: http://andreaspersonalhistory.blogspot.com/, but don't feel obligated to blog stalk it.  This one is mostly just for me.
  • Change your blogger settings to the new editor.  If you haven't done it... DO IT!  The picture uploading is a million times better.  (Go to settings and scroll down.  It's under "global settings.")
  • Learn to do one thing that you would normally pay someone else to do.  This is what I chose to get out of February's visiting teaching message (instead of just the standard "get out of debt").  Any ideas what I can learn to do? 
  • Keep the Friend magazine on hand for a last-minute FHE.  We were recently taught in Stake Conference that consistency is just as important as content.  Even if you don't have time to do it well, at least do it.
  • Show up, shut up, and get it done.  Have you heard the Dodge Ram commercial on the radio?  It explains that sometimes all the focus is on conservation and reducing your footprint.  The commerical asks, "But what about those of us who build stuff?"  It goes on to explain that, "Sometimes responsibility is more than just buying lightbulbs that look like curly fries.  Responsibility means you show up, shut up, and get it done."  I'm trying to adopt this philosophy in my life by eliminating some of the fluff.  All I really need to do is show up, shut up, and get it done.