Thursday, June 29, 2006


Spontaneous Haircut - This morning I had this one lock(?) of hair that kept falling into my eyes. I couldn't spray or tease it back. So I CUT IT SHORT. Then I looked at it and was mortified. It looks like I have a normal hairstyle with grown out bangs, except for this crooked short bit right in front!

So I cut more.

It's all right, I guess. No one has said anything, so I don't think you can really notice it, and at least it's out of my eyes.

The OTHER hair related thing that I forgot to put down yesterday - I went and got my eyebrows waxed yesterday at this place I've been going to since I moved to Fairfax. I hadn't gone for a year or two though, eyebrow sleekness not being high on my priority list lately. Anyway, so I laid down on the chair thing and she goes, "Eyebrow and lip?"


I don't think I have a 'stache! UGH. I have to believe that she only said that because she gets more money by terrorizing her customers into thinking they need a lip wax. I wavered for a moment, because what if I have an offensive, caterpillar lip!? But then I said no, just eyebrow. I am willing myself to believe that a little bit of blond hair on the corners of my upper lip is not noticeable and that everyone doesn't think I have a 'stache.

What I'm Reading

We all went to the library the other night. I was watching DD and told DH to get me a good book on CD to listen to. He picked out a campy Nora Roberts romance. My favorite part is on the back it refers to the... "Ruggedly Handsome Landscaper" I've listened to an hour of it so far. It's exactly what I expected. ;)

We're also listening to Tuesdays with Morrie, thanks to a recommendation from L. (I should come up with a nickname.)

She mentioned lying to herself about caffeine. I am so all about that. I am not dieting, but I've tricked myself into losing 3 lbs.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I think genealogy is so neat! I've been trying to get more info on DH's side of the family, but I'm not very good at researching yet so progress is slow (okay, there is no progress, I admit).

Thanks to my religious background, a lot of research has already been done on my own side of the family. After getting bummed out about not finding a lead to DH's roots in one night, I went to a church website where anyone can load up their family info and after a while I spotted a branch on my dad's side that took me back 26 generations! I'd seen my dad looking at it before but it was fun finding it myself and putting it into my free genealogy software. :)

I traced roots back to Castle Cary, in Somerset England. Sounds like my kind of place!

It's too bad there aren't any stories about who these ancestors of mine were, or what their lives were like. Part of the path went through an Archdeacon, and part through a woman whose last name was Knight. It's also really humbling to see how many children died in infancy.

There are so many things that you can wonder about a person even if all you know are some names, dates and places! I wonder who did all of this research?

Here's where I had the best luck searching, but it might not be effective if you don't have (long lost) relatives uploading info.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

MNO - Mom's Night Out

Last week I went to dinner with a bunch of other moms that have kids the same age as DD. We met through a hospital group just after our kids were born, We were all first time moms, we were tired, overwhelmed, confused - we bonded. As we figured things (motherhood) out, we stopped going to group, but started once a week playgroups. And a summer picnic, a Christmas party, a birthday party for the kids, a book club, and dinners out with just the moms now and then.

As I've gotten to know these women over the past couple of years, I've realized how dissimilar our lives are. Some work, some don't. Some have had trouble with their marriages or finances. Most seem to be pretty well off, educated, and have a sense of style. One thing that's been interesting is getting a glimpse into a more prosperous life-style.

It turns out all of the moms still have baby gates up (except me). None of the kids sleep in their parents' rooms (except mine). They don't let their children go anywhere in the house unescorted. They certainly wouldn't let them play alone in a room. I listen to how busy their weekends are with swim lessons, gym classes, sign classes. One of them is having a Latin woman come into their home just to speak spanish to the toddler.

Anyway, so here's the thing. There isn't anything wrong with what they're doing. They are happy, they've got a purpose. They're friendly and nice to me. Their kids still go through the same phases as mine does. I like them.

I guess it's like taking a peek at a life that I'll never have. I want DD to have opportunities, but somehow I think that in the end, she will know just as much if not more about the real world if I let her fall off the bed a couple of times and eat non-organic food. I still don't know if I'll put her in public school, but she knows how to walk up and down the stairs now on her own, and instead of babyproofing the whole house I've taught her to what not to touch and now we're working on obedience.

Notwithstanding, I still come away from my encounters with these moms with a feeling that I should be doing more.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Paper Shredder Update

The paper shredder is back! It used to be in the ottoman, but it's been displaced by a whole bunch of seasons of the X-Files. So now it's just sitting out on the floor next to the ottoman.

It could be there a long time.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Catsup Packet Update

Today they only gave me three catsup packets. That's the least amount I've ever been handed at a McDonalds drive-thru.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sesame Place

We took DD to Sesame Place this weekend. It was so fun!

She's a pretty timid kid at heart, which was fairly obvious when we got to the front of the line for the "bug" ride, and we had to shamefully leave without riding, because she was pitching such a fit. This was partly a mistake on our part, since we forgot she is afraid of bugs, and this looked like a giant bug. ;)

Then we saw a man-sized Grover walking around, so we ran over to let her meet him and get a picture. She freaked out, with much scrambling of arms and legs to get as far from Grover as possible. The same thing happened with Ernie a few minutes later, but we did manage to get a picture.

There are a few shows in the park, with the life-size characters. We went to a couple of them, and DD stared so seriously at them the whole time. At one point in one of the shows all of the characters ran off-stage for a second, and DD looked worried and said, "Where did they go?!" So I *think* she enjoyed the shows, but it was hard to read on her face.

So here's what she really liked - the swimming pools and water stuff. There were a ton of places where the ground sloped directly into a wading pool, and there would be little fountains with squirty water. We spent a lot of time playing in those types of areas with her. Only one place had a toddler sized slide with water running down it. We hit that one first, and were glad, because it looked pretty crowded later that afternoon.

She went on a couple of rides with us where you go on an inner tube down a water slide. I think those are so scary! You're up so high, and it seems like if you aren't sitting balanced in the boat it might flip out of the ride. Or like what if you fell out, would a single person fly out? yikes. DD thought they were pretty scary too. ;)

It was a fantastic day and I would totally go again. Hopefully I can find a swimming place somewhere around here with kiddie wading pool so we can let her do more stuff like that without the drive.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Book List - April&May 14/10

As promised, I'm posting my belated book list. In tracking my books, it's become totally obvious to me that I find something I like to read and obsess about it until I've read them all. I had no idea. I mean, I knew that I preferred certain authors, but this is ridiculous. You'll see what I mean once you get to May...

April 5/5
She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
Sackett – Louis L'Amour
Trail to Peach Meadow Canyon - Louis L'Amour
The Happiest Toddler on the Block – Harvey Karp
Sackett's Land – Louis L'Amour

She's Come Undone was SUCH a downer. Nothing went right for the main character. Just when I would think it couldn't get any worse, it would. And it would be A LOT worse. My biggest pet peeve about it though was the review which said, "[This book] whisks you on a wild journey through life with an unforgettable heroine, both heartbreaking and comical. In [this] remarkable coming-of-age odyssey, a lonely girl satisfies her cravings for love and happiness with her own unsettling solutions. ... [Author] paints such a realistic picture of a young woman's inner world that you'll have trouble convincing yourself he never was a teenaged girl." Sounds pretty good, huh? Let me tell you, it was never comical, her cravings for love and happiness were not satisfied, and this is not remotely a realistic picture of the lives of young women. Don't read this book.

I decided to start reading the Sackett books because I was so appalled at the language and content of She's Come Undone that DD (dear daughter) was being exposed to as I listened in the car. Now and then she would repeat a word she recognized like Snake or Food. I read the Sacketts when I was younger and loved them. They're very good for what they're trying to be - basically the story of the U.S.'s beginnings as told by 3 families. As a child I liked the history. As an adult I enjoy the author's storytelling and colorful language. It's like listening to an old cowboy tell a story. Also, the reader they got to do the recordings is great.

The Happiest Toddler on the Block is a child-rearing book. It was interesting and we've had pretty good success trying some of his strategies. I especially like "the fast food" theory, which is to repeat back to the child what he has said. That's not a new concept in communication, but it was new to me to do it with an angry toddler. Instead of trying to distract her with something when she's mad, I repeat her feelings back to her in similar tones to what she's using and let her know that I heard what she wants and show her by mirroring her emotions that I know she's upset. Imagine how you'd feel if you asked your boss for a raise and he responded by ignoring your question and offering you a new office chair. We've been able to derail a lot of her tantrums early by doing this.

May - 9/5
To The Far Blue Mountains – Louis L'Amour
The Daybreakers – Louis L'Amour
Living Dead in Dallas – Charlaine Harris
Club Dead – Charlaine Harris
Dead to the World – Charlaine Harris
Dead as a Doornail – Charlaine Harris
Real Murders – Charlaine Harris
A Bone to Pick – Charlaine Harris
The Julius House – Charlaine Harris

My secret is out. I'm a Charlaine Harris junkie. In addition to these, so far in June I've read 6 more in 9 days. She's basically got 3 mystery series, all set in the South with female leads with a wry sense of humor and a knack for finding dead bodies and solving whodunits. I realized finally that I'm not reading them so much for the mysteries as I am for the characters. It's like with Monk, the TV show. You partly watch it for the mystery but mostly because it's fun to see how he reacts to the situations he's forced into by his various cases. I enjoyed these so much that it inspired me to write my own mystery series. I've already got some ideas, so we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Help Me.....

It's 2am and I can't stop watching TLC.

(It doesn't matter how much I watch it, I still have a closet full of what not to wear.)

Long Time No See

I love our new house. Even now that we've been doing the commute for 2 months, I would still rather live here than in a tiny condo close to work.

I can't decide what I want to do with the garden. There are only 2 spots that get enough sun to grow vegetables. One's up by the street, so that's out. The other is in the backyard and it would take away one of the only flat play areas in the back. All of my plants in pots are doing great though. Having a hose to water them helps so much. I've got a lot of tomato plants, 3 green peppers, broccoli, spinach, herbs and squash.

I forgot to update my book list, and I don't think I remember them all, but I know I'm keeping up with the numbers. Thank you Charlaine Harris for writing short books! :) I'll try to do a list soon.

DH and I finally found the right way to deal with our daughter's hitting problem. We set up the playpen in the nursery and she goes in there for time-out. It really works. Time out in a chair or corner wasn't working. After a few minutes it turned into a time-out issue instead of being a punishment for hitting. We've been using it for some of her other temper issues and it's making a big difference.