Sunday, January 31, 2016

Head To Toe

I just can't leave you all hanging after the Great Hair Catastrophe post.* First of all, I'm sure you're all DYE-ing (ha ha, so clever) to know what happened when I went in for my color correction. Second, I feel like I need to clear the air and the name of my stylist (even though you don't even know her name).

The hair catastrophe:


I went back to the same stylist on Thursday, after wearing my hair in a ponytail all week at work. I explained that I was not fond of having what appeared to be hair half-dipped in bleach with random highlight streaks. I told her that I was skeptical that it could be fixed without just dying all my hair the same color. She reassured me that she could fix it by adding more high lights and some low lights. I desperately wanted to run away. The only thing that kept me in her chair was the thought of having to endure another day with cringe-worthy hair.

The stylist wrapped my hair in foil and chemical smelling paste then left me to sit in complete anxiety and near-panic for half an hour. I kept glancing at the clock every five minutes thinking, "what if it's in too long? Is now too long?" I picked up a People magazine and tried to distract myself with Hollywood gossip while the fate of my hair hung in the balance, subject to the whim and power of some god-awful smelling chemicals.

The stylist came back, declared that enough time had passed, and directed me to the sink where I swear she spent ten minutes just washing my hair while I was staring at the ceiling holding my breath, Then she brought me back to the salon chair and faced me away from the mirror while she slowly blow-dried and styled my hair. I almost scream "Just let me see it!" except I didn't want to know what kind of craziness I might find sitting on top of my head.

Finally, after a hair eternity, she turned me around for the big reveal. And it was PERFECT. Absolutely perfect. Almost worth five days of hair shame and embarrassment.

These photos don't really do it justice, but it's all I got for now.


The streaks in this below picture are not really this drastic, but you get the idea.



*Yes, I realize this is a total first world problem and that hair is not very high on the scale of life-and-death importance. But, that's so much easier to say when you're hair doesn't look like a teenage girl's bizarre fashion experiment.

Also, I feel extra fabulous right now thanks to a celebratory pedicure date with some friends this weekend. Thank you friend for being born in January! This was maybe my second pedicure ever. I decided that I do NOT like people poking my toe cuticles (ow) or filing my toe nails (feels too weird- I'm strictly a nail clipper). And when the technician started cheese grating my callouses off, I squirmed and flinched and made horrible faces. But now my toes are so happy and summery which is perfect considering we've endured nearly three weeks of grey rain and drizzle up here in the Pacific Northwest. And the massage chair was so amazing that it took much cajoling for me to finally pry my butt-cheeks away.

I keep wanting to strip off my shoes and socks and show random strangers my happy toenails but I don't think that would go over too well.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Deep Thoughts On A Tuesday Night

I had put Jonathan to bed an hour ago. I kissed his cheek, plopped him into his bed and tiptoed out of the room. But from the kitchen, where I was already cooking tomorrow's dinner (there is NEVER rest, I tell ya), I heard him beginning to stir again.

He rustled around in his bed and cried intermittently. Whatever had roused him from his sleep was making it hard for him to drift back to dream land. This usually happens one to two times each night and has taken on this pattern for the past month or so. A tribute to teething, I assume. Some nights, when I'm particularly exhausted, I'll let him just wail himself softly to sleep. Tonight, I couldn't bear the thought of my sweet baby crying along in his room. After five minutes, I put down the wooden spoon that was stirring a large pot of chicken fajita soup, and swooped into his room for the rescue.

He plopped straight up in his crib and smiled wide behind his binky. The edges of his mouth, peeked over the rim of the round plastic edges of his soother and erupted into soft dimples on his round cheeks. I picked him up, hugged his sweet little body through his soft footie pajamas. He immediately wanted me to put him down in front of his bin full of trucks and books. I don't usually oblige this request, I usually lay him back into his crib, wind up his lullaby giraffe, and walk back out.

But tonight, I wasn't ready to leave just yet. I put him down on the floor and sat next to him. I watched as he opened his books and pointed at the pages, babbling on in his little baby language.

Somehow, in the soft glow of the moonlight which crept into his room, my memory harkened briefly to when my first son was a baby. It was so long ago. I can barely remember him that way I recall that when he was small I rocked him and held him on several occasions and, in the sweetness of the moment, I swore to myself that that very moment would be imprinted into my brain forever. I would remember every detail. Seven years later, I remember nothing except that I had wanted so desperately to remember.

Here am I again. Faced with those same sweet moments with my third son. I don't pretend that I would be able to remember everything. The way his hair swirled into a circular pattern on top of his head. The crooked neck line of his first haircut. The happy and familiar gurglings of his own unique language. The way his cheeks encroached over his almond-shaped brown eyes as he smiled in my direction. There are so many things I wish I could remember about my sweet Jonathan. But I've come to accept the sad reality of life as a parent.

Life simply goes on. Every single thing is transient. The particularly rough stages that seem to consume life. The joy-filled moments that make you want to burst with happiness. The milestones. The phases. The routines. The activities. Even the way you communicate. The way you love. You can't harness it. You can't stop it. You can't direct it or control it. And, most tragically of all, you can't always remember.

If you step back and come to terms with the reality of everything- not just the fact that babies grow into children and children grow into adults. But the fact that our world, our lives, our reality, ALL of it is temporary, it makes everything seem so beautiful in a melancholy sort of way. The very fact that I will cease to exist in physical form. That I will someday have no eyes to see my children, no hands to touch my loved ones, and perhaps even no memory of them at all. If you come to terms with that harshest and most real secret of the universe, the entirety of our lives becomes one beautiful, difficult, joyful, challenging (but still beautiful) living photograph, or movie- a movie that you can only see once.

My little moment with Jonathan tonight was one flag on a garland of events that will happen over my life. I did not create that beautiful, tender moment. It was given to me, dreamed up and brought to life by an all-knowing producer/director much more masterful than myself. It's a moment that I wish would linger. That I wish I could conjure back at the wave of a hand, whenever it suits me. But that's not how it works. It was like every other moment, fleeting and impossible to fully recreate thanks to the limits of my inadequate memory.

Have you seen the movie Family Man? There is a scene in that movie that sums up what I believe to be the every day plight of the human experience. Nicholas Cage suddenly finds himself living a dream life. He wakes on Christmas morning to find that he is suddenly a father and a husband. Just as soon as he grows to love this strange new life, he learns that he will wake up the next day and the dream will be over. So he stays up late that night, clinging desperately to the new life and the people he has grown to love. It isn't easy or perfect, but he loves it nonetheless. He does everything in his power to avoid succumbing to the powers of sleep. But no matter how hard he tries, his will alone cannot change the course of time. He falls asleep and wakes to find the beautiful dream is gone.

That scene always makes me cry. It makes me cry because that is the simplest rendition of our own reality. That scene is all of us every single day, whether we recognize it or not. We are living in the dream life. Someday it will be forever gone. And that fact alone, makes every single second invaluable.

Love your babies. Love your spouse. Love your friends. Love what you are given.



Monday, January 25, 2016

The Great Hair Catastrophe

For the past six months I've been wanting to do something fun with my hair. I had bleach blonde hair as a kid but as I've grown it's become an inbetween blonde-brown color. Honestly, I think it's a non color. It's a neutral, blah-ish shade of no color.

Since we moved, I started going to a new hair place. It's well known for being a high quality salon. And I've really liked it so far. Last time I was there, my hair stylist talked me into doing a balayage/ombre thing. See, I wanted highlights but I was afraid of the high maintenance. But balayage/ombre is this new thing where your hair is darker at the roots and gradually fades into a light color. I googled it. Gorgeous! I downloaded this picture to show my stylist the color I was looking for:


I booked my appointment two weeks in advance. I was anxious and giddy and excited. Hair day could not come soon enough! Iwas going to trade my neutral blah hair for a gorgeous, gradual head of blonde!

Finally hair day arrived. I met my stylist. She served me fancy mint tea. I showed her my picture and she did her thing. She wrapped my head in foil. She painted different layers of color onto my head. I waited an awfully long 30 mins. She shampooed and rinsed and sat me down in front of the mirror for the final reveal. Yipes! She proclaimed how beautiful it would be as she turned me around to face my new self.

YIPES!


I'm sorry. WTF is this. Tell me it's a joke. Have I just been pranked? Not only is the color blotchy and not gradual at ALL, it's the color of brassy straw! This is NOTHING like the picture we discussed. The highlights on the top, which were supposed to flow naturally and gradually into my beautiful, cool blonde look like brassy skunk markings across my scalp.

It is HIDEOUS! I gasped. I had to explain what was wrong. She either didn't notice how bad it was or was playing it cool and hoping my ignorant hair self wouldn't know the horror that had just befallen my unsuspecting head. I asked her to fix the blotches. An hour later, they were NOT fixed. I had to run out the door (and pay for this god awful hair) to get my kids to a birthday party.

I have a color correction appointment on Thursday. But honestly, I have no idea that this can even be fixed. I mean, what can they do? Bleach all my hair to match the nasty brass color? Ugh. I've been wearing my hair up, avoiding mirrors, and trying not to cry all weekend. How am I going to go to work tomorrow?!  To top it off, I have several client meetings! "I'm sorry, due to your obvious lack of good hair judgment, we will not be taking your legal advice."

I might have a sudden religion change and show up to work tomorrow in a hijab.


Help!!!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hibernation

I think I might start winding this blog down. It just hasn't provided the much-needed outlet that it had in the years past. Lately, I sit down to blog and it just feels like a burden. More accurately, I can't even muster up the energy or will power to log in.

Trying to capture our days and our adventures just seems like so much work, on top of all the work I already do taking care of children, holding a law job, and trying to maintain a marriage and a house. Some days are awesome and I just don't know how to capture the awesomeness into words. Other days are horrible and I similarly don't know how to capture the horribleness into words.

In addition to this, there was that scare a couple months back where some creep took photos of my oldest son and tried to pass him off as her son. I did reverse imagine google searches and found that several other of my photos had been stolen and used by other websites without my permission. That just skeeves me out. It didn't stop me from posting pictures, but ever time I hit the post button, I felt a twinge of guilt. And my oldest is going on 8. I think it's time to respect his online privacy a little more.

I may post a little bit here and there as it suits me. But for the meantime, you can probably expect me to continue this slow blogging pace.

I'll end this little post on a high note and share a bit about our last couple days.

I forced the kids to go hiking with me yesterday. We hiked all of .3 miles before everyone got too cold. They were already cranky to begin with because they were mad I was forcing them outside. And they refuse to wear jackets or proper outdoor wear. Apparently, it's better to freeze to death than do what your mom says.

Can you tell how excited Ryan is? His shoulders are hunched from the weight of all the excitement.


Ryan: hating me and nature



But despite freezing hands, Jon LOVED hiking. He was the hiking king. He wanted to lead the way, blankie and all.

We're going hiking?


Woo hoo! Let's go!


It's alright guys. I got this. 


Follow me!


I can't wait all day. 


Today was also full of outdoor fun- we finally got some snow! The kids started screaming when they saw large flakes fall from the sky. They ran outside (in short sleeves) and hollered while running up and down the street. These kids rarely ever see snow. (I was born in Alaska, so I kinda feel like I've betrayed some innate duty to connect them to the snow on a regular basis).


Flakes fell for three hours but we only got a light dusting. It was enough to keep the kids busy and ecstatic. They built (the world's saddest) snow-fort. They had snow ball fights. They played snow baseball. They had snow races. They dug and shoveled snow for HOURS. Wearing nothing but long t-shirts and crocs. I finally made Jacob put on a jacket, but Ryan refused.

Snow races


They are snow BEASTS. And they have officially earned a sledding (and maybe a ski) trip up to the mountains.

Jon Jon wasn't sure what to make of all the cold, white stuff. At first, he just stared in awe.


I LOVE this picture of Jon. That overs-sized hat kills me. A hipster in the making.


Then he toddled around excitedly, watching his feet make snow tracks and only stopped to stare up at the falling flakes.


Then he fell a couple times and was ready for it all to go away.



So we came inside and he had his first hot coa-coa. :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

So Much Christmas

This weekend was full of so much Christmas. As a huge fan of Christmas, I thought it was pretty amazing.

On a preliminary matter of much importance, I was so caught up in work and un-festive adult matters these past few weeks that it took me a record TWELVE DAYS to bust out my Michael Buble Christmas album. His is my all-time favorite and I first bought it when I was pregnant with Ryan and it always makes me warm and fuzzy. It does not feel like Christmas until Buble belts out holiday greetings through the speakers of my Honda Odyssey.

We love Christmas!


This year's tree!


The weekend festivities started on a great foot when I came away from a very anticipated and anxiety-inducing court hearing on Friday with a nice win. I had been preparing for the hearing for a month. It was a little anti-climactic in that I had spent more than 30 days preparing for the hearing and then it was all over in two hours. This was especially disturbing as I had to forego 45 minutes of Buble holiday music to practice my argument on the drive down (INSERT SAD FACE). I inherited this case from another attorney and it's very complex and does not involve my area of legal expertise and constitutes two separate lawsuits that have been up and down and through multiple levels of appeal. It makes me brain hurt. A lot.

But as soon as court was adjourned, a gigantic boulder was lifted from my shoulder and the world seemed so much brighter and beautiful. (seriously!). My client wanted to download over a cup of coffee. I wanted to find a spa, get a massage, and get lost in a bottle of wine. Instead, I came home to three rain-soaked and and hungry children, one poopy diaper, and lots of whinning.

That night we visited our neighbors two doors down and had a Christmas cookie decorating/game night. We played the kid's version of Apples to Apples. I didn't even know there WAS a kid's version! It was a huge hit. Even the two and three year olds got to play. They had a blast even though they had no clue what was happening.

Then we decorated cookies while we watched Elf and I discovered that my three year old is a cookie decorating aficionado. All the other kids had employed the "eat while you go" method. At the end of the movie, their plates were empty. Ryan, on the other hand, had a plate full of intricately decorated bells, and angels, and trees. And by "intricately" I mean, meticulously piled high with mountains of sprinkles and M&Ms.

On Saturday, we did some shopping and celebrating (my brother became an Eagle Scout!) and then today we drove down to my husband's aunt's house for lunch and a visit with Santa. Santa patiently answered all the children's questions about what happens on Christmas Eve right down to a very detailed explanation as to how the genetically engineered reindeer are scientifically designed to fly. Apparently "Christmas cheer" is the dumbed down explanation. All the parents gasped loudly when Santa looked over at the Elf on the Shelf and exclaimed that it was "just a toy." Great job, Santa! Luckily, the kids may have been too engulfed in Santa's presence to hear his blasphemous statement about elves.

Pictures with Santa


Jon could not fathom what was supposed to happen or why he was sitting on the lap of a strange man with odd fashion taste. I mean, NEVER trust a man whose eyebrow color doesn't match his hair.


And this was as close as Ryan would get to looking at Santa.


Jon had a blast playing with everyone else's baby toys. He found a basket and immediately proceeded to sit in it, fall over, and sit in it again. 



You've heard of Jack In The Box? This is his knock-off little brother, Jon In The Basket.


The kids played with their second cousins for a bit and then we headed out to yet ANOTHER Christmas party for dinner. (Yay, free meals all day!).

I didn't get a chance to post last week, but last Sunday we went to a living Nativity. It was amazing! The whole church yard is decorated to look like Bethlehem and you wander through it on foot. No detail was overlooked. People walked around in Roman soldier outfits, shepherds, merchants, live animals, you name it. At each booth you learned a little about the lifestyle and history of Jesus' time. Jacob even got to make a candle wick and we sampled some food.

Ryan cried throughout the entire event. Apparently candles and sheep, and baby Jesus are all very terrifying. And I'm a horrible mother because I made him sit in the stroller while we strolled from booth to booth. Instead of comforting Ryan, I laughed out loud when he pointed at the sheep and exclaimed, "I don't like those horses mama!!!" If my son develops a deep-seated fear of all Nativities, I'm not sure how I'd ever be able to explain that.

At the end there was a live baby Jesus. I've never MET a live baby Jesus but I'm guessing the situation may not exactly be the most appropriate place to wear a Minecraft Creeper sweater.


Ryan yelled, "I don't like baby Jesus" and kept his eyes firmly closed. 


And then we walked into the church hall for hot coa coa and Ryan was instantly the perkiest, happiest child of them all. Yep. No offense baby Jesus. It's not you. And I'll totally understand if he gets coal in his stocking.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

SOS

Oh my gosh. My life has been insane. I've been working many 11 hour days-- putting in a good 8 hours at the office, coming home to my three children who require food, quality time, and to be put to bed-- then jumping back on the computer for 3-4 more hours all while doing a load of laundry (having three boys means doing a load a day) and loading/unloading the dishwasher. Then I repeat it all over again until days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months.

A lot of the craziness has to do with my work. I have four cases gearing up for trial and a couple of other litigation matters as well. I'm swamped. My legal secretary is pretty much keeping me alive. We had our work holiday party the other day and I was the grinch who kept thinking, "Why the eff do I have to sit down and eat cake?! Parties are a waste of my time people. I have three briefs that are due tomorrow!"

I spent two full days cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal all by myself. And almost everyone canceled on me. Luckily our friend couple took up our offer to come eat with us. They saved my Thanksgiving. Instead of crying into my dinner plate, I only cried into my pillow.

Someone gave my children jerk juice. I'm going to find that someone and make them scoop poop out of my bathtubs, launder the highlighter marks from my comforter, clean the ground up Cheerios off my van floorboards, and THEN I'll make them babysit my constantly fighting and whining children for three consecutive days while I go somewhere tropical.

They were so naughty yesterday that I threw their Elf on the Shelf in the trash. NOT the inside trash. The outside garbage bin. But five minutes later, my mommy guilt struck and I spent...too long...with my head in the garbage can trying to fish the damn Elf out. I left him in the gravel for Jacob to find later and then went to my room and curled up into a ball to cry. But only for thirty second because then that's when Jon highlighted 1/3 of my comforter (and 2/3 of his own face) with bright yellow marker.

I tried to be a good Catholic mom and took my kids to see a living nativity. That should be fun right? NOPE. My three year old screamed the WHOLE time. He's afraid of sheep. And Shepherds. And candles. And baby Jesus, apparently.

What I've ultimately learned the past month is that boys kinda suck sometimes. And I may not be here as often as I used to.

Send help.

Or chocolate.

Or wine.

Or chocolate wine poured by some help.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Halloween Was (Mostly) Glorious!

Candy. Costumes. Kids. What's not to love about Halloween? Seriously. I love it. And this year was one of the best!

The morning of Halloween, I let the kids carve some more pumpkins. The pumpkin Jacob carved at the beginning of this month was a gift from a neighbor and had already rotted. Jacob traced the goblin pattern and carved his pumpkin entirely on his own while I helped Ryan carve a bat pumpkin:


Here are my little monsters: Hulk, monkey, and dinosaur:


Ryan does not have a poker face at all. His expression simply could not mask the fact that, at that very moment in time, he desperately wanted a new family.


But then Hulk made him laugh and he forgot his deep-set turmoils and we had a lovely time trick or treating in the middle of the day.


We left the house at 2 to do trick or treating in the downtown of our new city. It was the first time I'd had the opportunity to explore the waterfront downtown. I love the idea of daytime trick or treating. The kids had a blast. And the downtown was cute and adorable and all decked out for Halloween. 

I discovered three bookstores, a quilt/fabric shop (yay!), an old timey-ish general store, and many other shops to which I shall be returning on a rare, childfree day. The general store has a DRIVE THRU. For groceries. This is so amazing. I can't even tell you how many times I had wished that our local grocery store had a drive thru so that I could grab a gallon of milk on the way home without trudging three sleeping children in/out of car seats and down multiple store aisles. It's like the universe heard me!

It rained 99% of the day on Halloween, but like true Northwesterners, we put on our rainboots, grabbed an umbrella and marched onward with our plans without batting an eye. No one complained once. And the rain did NOT stop us from having fun and filling our bright orange pumpkins to the brim with candy.

I held Jon in his monkey costume as we marched from business to business to ensure that his bucket was also filled to the brim. Because the privilege of trick or treating is one of the many automatic childhood privileges bestowed upon you when you become a parent. 


Me: did not dress up. Have already eaten 2/3 of Jon's candy.

My cute little trick or treaters braving the rain:



Jon was wide awake in this picture but he looks like he was in mid-sugar coma.


Jon had been crabby off and on for four days with a fever here and there. I thought it was a side effect of his one year immunizations. I did NOT want to be the mom who took her kid to urgent care over a low grade fever. So I let it play out. HA. Almost a week later I finally took him to urgent care and he had a whopper of an ear infection. My poor, poor, overlooked third child. He's been a big ball of sadness and crabbiness the past two days.

But he was such a good trooper on Halloween and made one heck of a cute monkey. I had so much fun carrying him around down and watching him point and exclaim at everything in excitement. 



After trick or treating downtown we went to our neighbor's house for dinner and a Halloween party. It continue to downpour but this did not stop the kids and dads from doing one more round of trick or treating in the neighborhood. 

As we were wrapping up our visit with the neighbors Ryan fell asleep on my outstretched legs. I picked him up and set them on their couch. The second I did that, he immediately spewed five packages worth of fruit snack vomit all over the carpet and couch cushions, his pants, and me. The neighbors wouldn't even let me help clean it up but insisted I take Ryan home and take care of him. I'm still trying to think of a good "sorry my kid vomited all over your couch" gift. But I think a gift basket is in order. 

I cleaned up Ryan and we put the two little kids to bed. Then I made a fire in the fireplace and Jacob and I sorted his candy and played a game of chess fireside. 

It was an absolute perfect day and even a little bit of vomit and ear infection could not mar what had otherwise been a wonderfully magical Halloween! 

Trick-R-Treat!!!

Here's some cool flaming pumpkins we saw downtown: