Beauty School

Today, (since I was home early again!) I decided to try out the Beauty School in town. The boys were in serious need of haircuts. Last time Olaf took them to get haircuts Middle Child was complaining. He did not want his hair cut. It was finally getting long enough to keep him a little bit warm since the temperatures were below freezing. Baby, on the other hand, was more than willing to get his hair cut. But when they got home Middle Child had a short haircut and Baby looked like they had trimmed around the ears and not much else. Needless the say his hair has been WILD the last two weeks.

I decided it was time for haircuts. I texted my friend because she loves the beauty school. $5 for haircuts! Can't beat that when the next cheapest place in town is $12. So I called and made appointments for after school.

We got there and checked in. The room was full of hairdressers in all ranges of schooling. Middle Child was whisked away first by a cute, short redhead. I had to go into great detail in order to get her to use a #2 on the edges and back and trim the top about finger length. "My fingers are kind of thin, should I do a little longer?" Sure, whatever, just cut the mop!

A few minutes later another young girl came and got Baby. I gave her the usual story about how to cut his hair. I told her it needed to be much shorter. She was good with less than a dozen words versus the other girl with whom I carried on a five minute conversation to relay the same information.

15 minutes later Baby was done. Other than being super itchy he was great. I was busy reading so I let him chat with Middle Child. I figured a few more minutes and we'd be out of there. No. such. luck. I sat and read a magazine, another magazine, and finallly another magazine. Then I played Solitaire on my phone.

Soon Baby came over to inform me that Middle Child was wiggling too much and if he wiggled any more he was gonna have messed up hair. I've heard this story before! Middle Child is a fidgeter. He couldn't sit still to save his life. I decided to go and sit by him to help him stay still. I went down and sat in the chair near him and remarked on how good he looked. I thought he was almost done. Guess again! The girl kept trimming, and trimming, and trimming, and shaving, and thinning, and trimming. Judging from the praise the teacher gave her I'm thinking it was one of her first haircuts. She gave him a great cut, it just took her an hour! Meanwhile, Baby informs me that Middle Child keeps swiping stuff off the haircutter's counter and hiding it under the cape. She told me she put her shears up really high on the counter so he couldn't reach them, she was worried he'd cut himself. Sure enough, when the cape was taken off Middle Child he had one of her brushes hidden under there.

Finally, we were done! I paid. The price had risen to $7 plus tip. I felt like I had to tip that poor girl that had put up with my wiggly child. I barely got out of there for under $20. As soon as we were out the door Baby had his hair covered shirt off in the 36 degree weather. Middle Child claimed the first shower and Baby was fighting him for it. Not only do hairstylists learn to cut hair but also to keep it off their clients. It must be the last thing they learn at this school. I decided it might be worth $12 plus tip to get in and out of there with a lot less hair attached to their clothing.


Middle Child - the title alone tells you all you need to know

My Middle Child is the quintessential Middle Child. He reads this blog and absolutely loves it when I blog about him. Whenever I write something witty for an 11-year-old he gets all silly and acts witty for the next two or three days, trying to get me to write about him. It really gets annoying to always have him answer the phone this way. (Yes, click those bolded words to see how he acts on a regular basis.) He is always screaming for attention, especially in the way he acts all shy when he does get noticed. He knows people will try to draw him out, therefore paying him more attention. Whenever he gets a good grade on a test he calls me to let me know so I can laud him with praises, which I do cuz he's usually missing half the assignments leading up to the test so I don't really know if he's ready or not. And this is characteristic of Middle Children, starting and not finishing things, wreaking havoc on my high expectations of his schooling.

But being the Middle Child he has learned some skills that the others haven't. He has mastered non-agressive strategies to get what he wants. At Olaf's Christmas party he and Baby won a Nintendo DS. Now Middle Child had worked hard one summer and saved enough money to buy himself a DS, about four years ago. But this was a brand-new, shiny, red DS! After the party was over and the DS prize was secured he went to work on Baby. By the time we had gotten home he had talked Baby into believing how Wonderful! and Great! the old, scratched screen, missing hinge, DS was. Baby was all set to own the old one and let Middle Child have the new one all to himself. He is the master at negotiation.

We often wonder if he will be an attorney when he grows up. When I'm not upset, I'm not an Absolute person. I don't believe in Always and Never. But whenever I make any kind of statement he always responds with "What if. . ." Augh! It drives me crazy! I'm not caring about What If's when I tell him that no Aliens have been found in our solar system or that he has Guitar class at 6pm. After so many What if's I have to tell him "I don't entertain What If's anymore!" He stops for about a half hour and then starts up again.

Another aspect of Middle Child Syndrome is creativity. Middle Child is quite artsy and creative, by our family's standards. By anyone else's standards we would fail miserably. But this child likes acting and artsy projects. The picture at the beginning is of a spaceship he made. I found out about the project the night before it was due on accident from my best friend. Every year since her son and mine started school she would call me to ask me how we were progressing on a project for school and I would be completely clueless about any project! For this particular project he had to make something that reminded him of his State that he reported on earlier that year, which happened to be Nevada. The guidelines were 1) It had to be smaller than the child, 2) Have fun, and 3) Have fun! Those are really helpful. Don't get me started on school projects, hate 'em with a passion! If any of you know he loves Aliens so we decided to make something reminding him of the famous Area 51. Middle Child and another friend had decided recently that when they grew up they wanted to work at Area 51 so they could see all the aliens we had caught. So naturally, that was what he chose. So the night before I am at the store buying glitter glue and paper plates and bowls in order to make the spaceship. He made half that night and fininshed it in the morning in the nick of time for school. It wasn't dry, so he had to be careful. But he was so proud. And once again, a spaceship is unusual so he would be drawing attention to himself!

After this post the next few days are going to be torturous when he answers the phone.


Practicality Rules

The other day I was talking with a friend and her husband. She asked what Olaf had gotten me for V-day.

"A sleeping bag to keep me warm on that campout," I proudly replied.

"Were you just so mad?!?" she questioned.

"No, I was so glad cuz I needed it."

Her husband started snickering.

"My husband bought me a sleeping bag for one of our first Valentine's Day and I was so mad!"

"I still haven't lived it down," he said.

"To me it seems as though he's not putting any thought into a gift, just buying us something we need, or he needs. We're going to buy it anyway so put some thought into a gift and buy me something different for my Birthday or Valentine's day," she complained.

"Yeah, but that's the beauty of getting stuff you need. I know we're going to buy it anyway, so instead of spending money on something I might want but don't need for V-day or B-day just seems so frivolous. I'd rather spend less money and get what we need and not have to fork out money for it later," I explained. I'm kind of a practical girl. "One year when my whole family got together for Christmas I got all this camping stuff. After everyone went home Sister Quilter asked if I liked the camping stuff or if I was kinda mad about it. I told her I loved it. She was glad for me because it would have ticked her off. Her husband never would have lived it down."

At this point her husband is laughing hysterically.

"Stop! You're feeding the fire! My hubby now knows that there are girls out there just like him when it comes to gifts! Stop talking!"

I can't help it if I'm practical. That's just me. It's a blessing. And a curse.


Fashion Revisited

Husbands are so good for some things. But not other things. Like helping me pick out clothes to wear. As long as they're tight he loves it. Nothing slightly loose, cuz that looks like Grandma clothes and heaven forbid he be married to someone old! I must show how young I am at heart. I don't know if other husbands are this way because I've heard of a few who buy their wife clothes and shoes and even purses. Olaf would never attempt to buy me clothes without me first seeing them. He's got marriage-goggles and would probably buy a size 6 or something wonderful like that which I could-never-even-if-I-lost-50-pounds fit into. But at least he thinks of me like that.

The fun thing has been that I have been buying lots of clothes the last six months. It's so much fun to wear new things and have somewhere to go in them! If I'm at home I just want to be comfortable. But when I'm at work I want to be comfortable also, but in a business-type way. I have perfected the art of wearing sneakers with slacks but also heels with jeans. I know, it's been done forever, but I'm just catching on. Remember that post about how fashion-conscious-deficient I am? I still am, but I'm getting better.

I've also been stockpiling shoes as though we were headed for another World War with shoe rations. I had a teacher in Junior High who used to steal her dad's shoe coupons during WWII so she could get more shoes. She figured he didn't need as many shoes. And she was probably right. Men only need a few pair of shoes; brown and black dress shoes, tennis shoes for running/walking/hiking, and maybe a few more for good measure, but not the 25+ that I need in order to match all my outfits for work. And thankfully most men tolerate our passion for shoes.

The downside af all my shoppig for myself is that Olaf's wardrobe hasn't been added to for a while. I just realized he probably needs more shoes, he's wearing out the old ones. He also probably needs more jeans. I've tried to buy him some stylish men jeans, but he just doesn't love them so I'm about to send them to Goodwill where someone who appreciates fashion will buy them. I guess this weekend I will have to take him Jeans and Shoes shopping. At least with my new job I can stop by the mall on my way home from work and pick up some more killer deals for me without fighting the crowds!


I Still Have 10 Toes & Fingers

I know you've been on pins and needles for a while now, wondering if I would make it back from the frozen North to post ever again. At least my sisters were, thank goodness they read this thing I write. Did you know we crazily decided to camp outside on Friday the 13th!?! I had forgotten and things were in store for us! There was some crazed madman running around the mountains taking out people one by one. I'm lucky I barely escaped with my life. I'm the last one left to tell our sad story.

Oh, wait, that was the movie that came out last night, not my camping trip.

Actually, I had a blast! Would you have ever thought I would say that about a snow campout? No, you say, well that's what I thought before I went. I won't be making this a monthly habit or anything crazy like that. But I did have fun.

We got up to camp by 5 on Friday. We hurriedly set up tents so we would have plenty of time to ski. We were lucky because we were staying at a Cub Scouts Summer Day Camp. There were a few porta-potties by the parking lot (they didn't get used by us) and a huge pavilion inside the gates. After pushing all the picnic tables to the edges we were able to set up three tents and still have plenty of space for cots and beds outside. I guess the boys don't need tents. They're much to manly for those sissy things! Actually, they figured since they were under a pavilion and would stay dry and all the animals were sleeping or had vamoosed South for the Winter, they didn't need the protection a tent offers. I on the other hand felt the need for four walls around me in my sleep.

We headed to the cross country ski area and got our skis on and headed out. It was so much fun! And it started snowing big fluffy flakes while we were skiing. It was beautiful! We skiied for a couple hours. Before we headed to camp we used their bathrooms, they were superheated. Then we headed back to camp.

Baby getting ready for skiing. Yes we took all the kids.

Heading our for a night on the town!

Too many people on skis in a small area

They had a blast!

We had Cup o Noodles for dinner. I had no idea they tasted so good when all else was cold. We also had plenty of hot chocolate. One of the men had a rather large cup and was asking the girls how much chocolate to put in. I informed him that much water needed two packets. He mixed it up and started drinking. "This is pretty chocolatey!" I grinned and Olaf replied, "She drinks her hot chocolate with a fork."

After tucking all the girls into bed with two to three sleeping bags we headed to bed. I told all the girls that if they woke in the night and were cold to ask for Olaf's help, I wouldn't know what to do and I probably wouldn't wake up. Then I crawled into my brand-new Valentine's present, a double -5 sleeping bag. I got to sleep next to my own personal heater, Olaf! And I stayed plenty warm that night and slept great (the babbling brook right outside helped drown out everyone's snoring and my teeth grinding so we all slept well), I was pretty surprised.

Me, Ashley, Alyssa, Susan, & Audra.

In the morning I woke to the best sound ever when you're camping in the winter and it's snowing outside: Someone Else Chopping Wood for the Morning Fire. It was a wonderful sound. We got up, packed up, ate up, and headed for home. Once home I noticed the skin under my nose was a little raw and I realized it was from tying my hoodie tighter and tighter last night in an effort to keep the chilly wind out. And my toes were cold by the time we got home and took a few hours to warm up, but I didn't lose any toes.


Hopefully Not My Last Post

If I never post again it is because I am going to my death tonight. I was asked to be the Camp Leader for the 12-18 year old girls at our church. I said "Yes" and then they dropped the bomb. "We're going Snow Camping!" So right now I am bundled up in about five layers with about three more waiting to be donned when we reach our destination. At least it will start out fun. We are going cross-country skiing tonight. Then the torture starts. At some point we will be eating Cup o Noodles for dinner and lot of hot chocolate. Then later on tonight we are sleeping in tents! Olaf bought me an early Valentine's Day gift, a new sleeping bag. It's a -5, so stuck inside another bag I shouldn't freeze too much tonight. I'll be bundled up like a Pioneer girl, hats, socks, lots of clothes, and braids to top it off. So, after the fun, I hopefully won't freeze in my sleep. One good side effect, hopefully, my body will burn LOTS of calories trying to stay warm. Maybe I'll come home five pounds lighter!



(compliments Cox News)

If only we lived in the Dallas area around January 28. We could have driven Baby by these hacked road signs. He would have been paranoid. He has a righteous fear of the undead. He's learned how to kill zombies and reminds us of it regularly. About half the time when saying bedtime prayer he asks God to help him not think about zombies as he goes to sleep. And occasionally in the afternoon I'll hear him muttering, "Can't think about zombies tonight." You'd think we let him play games with zombies in them, but we don't. I don't let him play anything but E-rated games and they don't include zombies because they are obviously too scary for young children. Olaf got himself Resident Evil for Christmas and he's not allowed to play it while the children are awake, orders from Baby! So, if only we had lived in the Dallas area on January 28th, I would have gone to work late just to drive Baby by these signs. His reaction would have been priceless, even though it would have been cruel on my part. I wouldn't have been able to help myself.

found here: http://www.woostercollective.com/3227983127_7f3f0546f8.jpg


New Job

I got a new job! I'm so excited it's ridiculous. You'd think I'd just been asked out on a date with the guy I've had a crush on all my high school years. I'll be working for Orem City. I drive right by it on my way to work every day, so I'll be about 1 1/2 miles closer to home. Not much when you realize I'm already 20 miles away. But in 13 work days I'll have saved the amount of one trip to my old job. But the reason I'm so excited is because it is a real accounting job but it's only part-time, five hours a day! I'll get to go home so much earlier and be with the kids and cook dinner and bake cookies and clean house and go on walks and. . . The list could go on forever. I'm just super excited!


Nutrition That's the Envy of the FDA

Here I sit at home today. Yes, it's Friday afternoon! And they let me out of the zoo early! Actually Baby called and said he was sick. He was hacking up a lung this morning and I gave him some medicine and sent him to school with the warning that "If you come home you don't get to play wii or play with friends. You have to stay down and watch movies and no playing, not even computer." He at least made it through lunch. He called after lunch, after someone had fed him something sorta delicious. Actually, I just looked at the menu and it was Grilled Cheese for lunch today. So I know he called before lunch because those sandwiches are hideous! They no longer make anything at the school. All the lunch ladies do is count how many kids are coming, how many want lunch and how many want the options, and microwave away! When they get the grilled cheese it hasn't been touched by any human hands. It went from machine to machine to machine into plastic baggie at the factory. Then it was packed into a box and shipped to the schools where the lunch ladies count out the right amount for the day and zap them. Then the kids get a slab of white bread and plasticky oozy orangish-yellow stuff coming out the sides. Who really wants to eat that!?! It's enough to give a kid nightmares and stomach aches when it comes to thinking about school lunch. But I'm much too lazy to prepare a lunch. I hardly get out the door on time to get to work in the morning. And the night before? Out of the question! I just cleaned up dinner (if we ate at home, if not then it's way too late at night to make anything) and I'm not making more food. Therefore, my kids have to suffer through the torture of school lunch. But here I am, spending the glorious afternoon at home! And did I accomplish anything? Yes! I watched a movie with Baby.


Houston We Have a Problem

Friday afternoon at approximately 3:30 I got a text from Middle Child.

"The picture you will receive is of a broken window." because he knows pictures take much longer to send and receive than a regular text.

What? I texted back, "Which window?"

"The one by the front door." Not the Front Window or the Big Window (because it is a huge window) or anything like that.

So then I got worried and decided to call because texting is pointless for some issues.

Me: "Which window is broken?"

MC: "The one by the front window."

Me: "How did it break?"

MC: "I opened it to talk to Baby and then I closed it and when I turned around I heard something fall and hit the ground. Then I turned back around and it was on the floor."

Me: incredulously "The window just broke like that?"

MC: "Yeah."

Me: trying to breathe slowly "So, is the glass broken or did the window just fall out?" We have slider windows which can be pulled out to wash.

MC: "The lock fell off."

Me: "The lock fell off?"

MC: "Yes."

Me: "So is the window broken?"

MC: "Yes."

Me: "But is the glass broken?"

MC: "No."

Me: "So the window isn't broken."

MC: "Yes, the window's broken."

Me: "The glass is broken?"

MC: "No."

Me: "So is just the lock broken?"

MC: "Yes, but the window's broken."

Me: "But you said the glass isn't broken."

MC: "No, the glass isn't broken."

Me: "So did the window fall out but the glass didn't break?" Trying to get my brain around exactly how the window is broken.

MC: "No, the window didn't fall out."

Me: "Is the window still in the right place?"

MC: "Yes."

Me: "So, is just the lock broken?"

MC: "Yes, the lock's broken."

Me: "So, the window isn't broken, just the lock is broken."

MC: "Yeah, that's it."

Come in Houston! We have confirmation! I don't know if all preteens are this difficult to talk to but it was like pulling teeth to find out exactly what happened. This kid could be Laurel and Hardy all by himself sometimes.

About five minutes after our conversation ended the picture finally came through. And sure enough, if I had seen that first, there would have been no question about the condition of the window.

While I was ecstatic the window wasn't broken and letting in mass amounts of 24 degree air, I was kind of disappointed I didn't have a good excuse to go home early.