December 31, 2012

The Secret to Happiness: Crow's Feet

I'm not sure who my grandmother thought I was but we used to sit together for great lengths of time. She had Alzheimer's and didn't know who I was the last several years of her life. It didn't bother me. I still loved coming home from school and sitting with her on the couch. She came to stay with us for a few months every year while my aunt, her usual caretaker, went to Europe. 

I begged Grandma to tell me stories and snuck my feet into her lap so she'd absent-mindedly tickle my toes. Sometimes she'd do it for an hour or more....until one of my siblings discovered us and wanted to get in on the action. We took turns having her rub our feet while asking her questions about her college days. Most of the time we hoped she'd say something funny. We were rarely disappointed and laughed all afternoon.

One afternoon, my brother's friend came to the door and Grandma "met" her. Grandma was legally blind and whenever she met someone she would gently explore their hair and face with her hands. On this particular occasion, Grandma suggested to my brother's friend that it was about time for her to visit the beauty salon. Her hair was in need of a good style. Her simple suggestion was made without malice. And that innocence kept us laughing all afternoon.

Another day, Grandma was at my parents' office when one of their friends dropped by on his way home from fishing. He still had on his waders and probably needed a shower. Grandma politely engaged him in conversation while my parents were busy with a customer. When they finished and were able to greet their friend, Grandma announced that a bum was here to see them. So candid. No filter. Much like my children. Ha ha ha.

My favorite part about grandma was how her face lit up when she laughed. Her crow's feet accentuated how good the story was. Smile lines are physical evidence that her life was good. Not just good but full of joy. Those lines take years to form. From that point forward, I decided that I wouldn't be afraid of getting wrinkles. Wrinkles are weary. Crow's feet are worth every laugh it takes to have them appear. 
Earlier this month, we performed a puppet show and went caroling with Graeden's cub scout pack at a nursing home. The audience was a little droopy but a couple of the residents sang along with us. Afterward when we went around and shook hands and greeted the residents I found that I recognized one. I didn't realize he lived there.

His eyes shone and his smile was bright as he eagerly told me he had been a Scout Master for many years. "I know you!" I exclaimed as I called him by name. My brother earned his Eagle scout rank under this Scout Master's guidance. He named two of his children after my cousin and his wife. His wife was my 4th grade teacher. He wrote insurance policies for my father for decades. I know him and have for at least 30 years. But he didn't know me.

Seeing this former Scout Master in the nursing home really got to me. Not because he didn't know me. I'm okay with that. But my heart skips a beat thinking about how I could be just like him one day. Just like Grandma. Maybe it'll be in a few years when I get older. Maybe it'll be next week in a freak accident.

Your life's true colors shine in situations like these. When you don't know who you are anymore, are you happy? Do you smile? Has your life been good? This new year, I have a plan to improve my crow's feet in just 21 days. Tymon's going to do it with me and I invite you to participate, too. More details to come...

December 30, 2012

Bon Voyage Mathilde!

I made Mathilde a stocking for Christmas representing some of the fun we had while she was here. One side is all about Halloween, which I believe is Mathilde's favorite holiday ever. Ha ha ha. (Scary stuff freaks her out.) The other side is a flower made out of the same material that I did my banner out of. The stem is Christmas material...the big toe went a little mutant on me, but since I finished it Christmas morning about 2 am, there was no time to fix it. They don't do stockings in Belgium so it probably doesn't matter what I put on it, it will always remind her of our house.

My Aunt Gay came for Christmas and stayed a couple of nights with us. She worked in France for almost 30 years before coming back to the US to care for my aging grandparents about 20 years ago. She and Mathilde got along well and spoke a little French together. I think they have plans to meet up at some point at my aunt's place on the French Riviera. Speaking of which...I've been dreaming of making that visit since I was a teenager. It's about time we made the trip!

Mathilde went home a few days ago and arrived safely. Next week, she will live with another host family, this time in the Netherlands. In order to get a good job in Belgium, you have to speak French and Dutch (the national languages) as well as English. So she is splitting her first year post-graduation between two host families to perfect her speaking skills. Mathilde has really spent her time with us to the fullest. We did a lot of activities in the summer and fall and the past month and a half she's lived at the school with the basketball team. Well, she didn't really live there. But it sure seemed like it sometimes when we'd pick her up at 9:30 pm after a game. Here is a photo collage from her last night here.

Bon Voyage Mathilde! Until we meet again....
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December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve

We have a Christmas Eve tradition of reading the story of Christ's birth and acting it out. Nana has some great costumes that we use. Tymon and I are usually Mary and Joseph since we usually have a new baby, but this year was different. Neither of my brothers were their with their new babies and since we'd done it last year with Kira, we transferred the reigns to the kids. Kira was much too busy to be a good Baby Jesus (think of Silent Night and "no crying he makes") but Jocelyn and Jett did well as her parents. The Wise Guy Graeden was a bit rambunctious and spilled his frankincense out all over the floor. The Wise Woman Mathilde was much more responsible with her myhrr. Shepherd Boy Elliott loves the little sheep. My father forgot to bring the old family bible to read, so he pulled out his scripture app on his phone to read. Ah, technology.

The best present ever, I received earlier on Christmas Eve. My aunt brought me my grandmother's engagement ring. I am named after her and the more I find out about her, the more I realize how much we have in common. My most vivid memories of my grandmother are from my teenaged years and she had Alzheimer's and didn't "know" who I was. She came to live with us a few months out of the year when my aunt (her caretaker) went on vacations. It was hard to get Grandma to eat her dinner sometimes but it my sister's and my responsibility to take care of her. One evening a friend gave us a box of homemade fudge. We started making dinner and put it on the kitchen table to save for dessert. Well, Grandma was sitting there quietly watching we thought. When dinner was all ready we started to bring it into the dining room and found the lid to the fudge slightly ajar. Turns out that Grandma devoured the entire tin. Like totally inhaled it. Ha ha ha. Wow. She could do the same thing with ice cream. And apparently, when you're in your 90s, it's okay to eat whatever you want.

 My aunt was telling me about some of Grandma's journals and I think it's time I go to her house in California to read up on Grandma. Of all of my ancestors, I feel pulled toward her family line more than any other.

We hope this holiday season finds your family in good health with lots of love and laughter. Merry Christmas!
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December 23, 2012

Brag Fest: We KNOW Santa!

It's Christmas Eve eve.
We've got a fire going on in the fireplace.
The doorbell rings,
And it's Santa!
With candy canes,
And popcorn.
He always makes a special visit to our house.
And we love him.
Thanks Santa!
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December 9, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me

Remember my birthday last year?
I know you don't.
I didn't write about it.
It was terrible.
Last year didn't work out like I wanted.
I didn't think I'd have a happy birthday ever again.
In my whole life.

But this year...
Turned out fantastic.
Starting with a card
"From one of my children."
It was a riddle 
And I guessed the right kid.

Graeden made breakfast.
Scrambled eggs
With hot dogs
And cheese.

Tymon made lunch.
Fruit salad
With whipped cream.

Elliott made dinner.
Crock pot beef,
Baked potatoes,
And salad
With elderberry vinaigrette dressing.
So tasty.
He made the dressing
From scratch.
I just love that boy.

Mathilde made my birthday cake
With Belgian chocolate 
Personally imported
By her parents last month.
It was delicious
And warm when we ate it.
Unfortunately Kira got to it first.
Her snitch marks 
Didn't affect the flavor.
So no need to be upset
With our little Cindy Lou Who.
I just love her piggy tails.

Thank you all for your birthday greetings!
It's nice to be remembered
On such a great day.

November 26, 2012

Busted: One Gum Thief

Ever since the incident 10 days ago,
I've been avoiding cutting off
Jocelyn's curls.
Thinking it's not so bad.
Ha ha.

Her hair has never been cut before.
She was a bald baby.
And it took 4 years to grow what she has.
And once those baby curls come off,
They never come back.

This morning I found gum in her hair.
She's been sneaking it out of Mathilde's room.
And rather than try to get it out,
I cut it off.
And tried to fix it.
Jocelyn doesn't like having "boy" hair in back,
But there weren't too many choices...
It's not perfect,
But it'll work for now.
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November 21, 2012

If You Don't Know Me By Now...

To My Friends At The Skeptical OB,

Wow, you are an incredible force en masse. You clicked over to my blog in droves. My stats spiked soon after Bomb Shell Risa commented about my "incredible immaturity" and posted a link to my blog.

I've read through several posts and links about birth on the Skeptical OB site. I think it's safe to say that very few of our birth philosophies will ever line up. And that's okay. There will always be mothers in each camp and that's the way it should be. It keeps us all on our toes.

It felt strange reading about me from the view of someone who has never met me. Thank you for giving me that opportunity. I also appreciate that you did not fill my blog with negative comments.

Some of you were harsh in your judgments. Others gave me the benefit of the doubt. My initial reaction to the first group was not positive. I wanted to tell you all off. How dare you take a snippet from my life and cast stones! To those who defended me, with gratitude I say, thank you. I realize that I, too, am guilty of making quick judgments without having the full story. I hope I can be a person who sees the good in others.

To address some of your comments:

ArmyChick: We'd probably be friends in real life. I'm a patriot and participated in both of Ron Paul's campaigns for president. While your comment on The Skeptical OB blog was not directly aimed at me, I thought I'd address your concern anyway since it was the first in the thread that led readers to me.

In no way would I put my birthing "experience" above the health of my child. This is the primary reason why I choose to birth drug-free, whether I'm in a hospital, birth center or at home. Pain medications cross the maternal/fetal barrier and my comfort is not worth the adverse risks to my baby or a potentially prolonged labor. Both times I delivered babies in the hospital, every medical intervention offered seemed to be done for convenience of the OB's schedule rather than what was best for me and my baby. Interventions themselves increase the likelihood of a c-section. It's crazy that about one third of all US births are c-sections, to the detriment to both mothers and newborns.
Side effects of common labor interventionsCurrent research suggests that some labor interventions make a c-section more likely. For example, labor induction among first-time mothers when the cervix is not soft and ready to open appears to increase the likelihood of cesarean birth. Continuous electronic fetal monitoring has been associated with greater likelihood of a cesarean. Having an epidural early in labor or without a high-dose boost of synthetic oxytocin ("Pitocin") seems to increase the likelihood of a c-section, and epidural analgesia appears to increase the likelihood of cesareans performed in response to "fetal distress."

BombShellRisa: I don't view myself as "incredibly immature". Then again, I don't know anyone who would ever describe themselves that my children. It appears as though you live in the Seattle area and have experience in both midwifery and hospital birth. I'm interested in knowing why you are so opposed to home birth. Perhaps, you'd like to meet one afternoon for lunch.

You do not have enough of my story to judge my apprehension for hospital birth. I didn't start out birthing at home. I birthed my first child with an OB in a hospital. My experience thus far with hospital politics shows that many doctors make decisions based on covering their own back-sides in a potential lawsuit rather than what's best for a mother and her baby.

There were a few unknowns surrounding my daughter's heart defect. The OB who oversaw the ultrasound knew that something was amiss (and asked us if we wanted to see a genetic counselor to discuss possible termination). As soon as she knew I would not choose abortion, we started working on a birth plan. This OB was not qualified to make a birth plan with me. She did not know how the defect the sonographer found would affect my baby at birth. Later, the pediatric cardiologists confirmed with my husband and I that if there was a problem at the birth, it would be one of breathing difficulty.

Unfortunately, I know first hand what happens when a small child has trouble breathing. It's not complicated. It involves equipment my midwife is trained to use, has experience using and has it readily available at all births, whether at home or at her birth center. It is not unreasonable for me to trust an experienced midwife, a woman I've previously trusted with three other births, to administer oxygen to my newborn if she needs it.

Sterrell: Becoming closely acquainted to the divine within yourself is far more empowering than being externally validated in an unjust and unfair world. I'm all for women's rights...most especially the right to experience her own birthing instincts without an OB or nurse telling her when to push and for how long.

I don't have a creative name, AllieP, SkepticalGuest, DirtyOldTown: Thank you for your love and concern. We could never have anticipated Evan's freak accident. We do not blame ourselves nor do we regret buying the bean bag for that reason. We were granted a peaceful moment in the ER that we return to when we contemplate the eternities.We firmly believe Evan's spirit is alive and with us.

Hmmm...putting children in bubbles ... as tempting as that sometimes sounds ... I've never known a bubble that didn't pop.

Box of Salt: Yes, we do have the bean bag. And if our son got stuck by wedging himself under the mattress on our bed, we'd keep it, too. It's not like a swimming pool that you can build a fence around. This is a normal everyday object and a freak accident.

SkepticalGuest: Thank you once again for forming the words to adequately describe my experience. There are no words to describe the devastation my husband and I felt as we left the ER without our son. We looked over the edge of the parking garage and both of us contemplated jumping.

I am much better educated now about life and death than I was in 2008. Back then, all I knew were movies and stories about people who were knocked unconscious or who lived in comas for weeks or months on end. Unconscious or "just" being in a coma did not equate to life threatening. It does now.

Therese: See above. Getting emergency medical care to Evan sooner may or may not have saved his life. He had been without or with very little oxygen for an unspecified period of time. It took my husband a couple of minutes to find him, once he realized he was missing. While I'd rather have a brain-damaged boy than a dead one and I wonder what would have happened if we'd made different choices there is nothing we can do to change the outcome of that day.

TheAdequateMother: Our son was on a mattress on the floor in a mostly empty room. The thing about freak accidents is that you can't predict them...or you could but you'd go crazy trying to do so.

PeggySue, Disgusted, AuntBea, Lena, Wren, Disgusted, BeatlesFan: May you never experience CPS in the same manner that we did.

It took me quite some time to figure out what MDC meant. I've never heard of the site nor visited it before last night. Thanks for the recommendation (ha ha).

We had an incident a couple of months ago where our pre-school aged daughter sneaked out of the house when she was supposed to be in bed. We were gone and the babysitter didn't realize she had left as the entire house was it should be at midnight. One of our neighbors called the police. They knew where she lived and could have brought her home but for whatever reason chose not to. We came home and another neighbor flagged us down and told us our daughter was at another neighbor's house crying. What?! I went over and brought her home. She had left the house to see if she could find us and woke up several neighbors with her crying/calling for us. We had a visit that night from the police. No fuss. Just checking in. CPS came by a day or two later. We weren't home. They left a card. I called back. End of story.

The CPS story with Kira was totally different. Within a few hours of the doctor reporting the broken bone we had two sheriff's deputies and a social worker at our door ready to take our children away from us. They couldn't agree on whether or not to just take Kira or all of them. We never refused to talk to them or to participate fully in their investigation. We only declined submitting our daughter to a test, which drastically increases the chances of childhood cancer. Other than that, we were repeatedly threatened by 3 different individuals within CPS, on the phone and at our home that if we did not do whatever they wanted us to do then they would take our baby away.

Because they realized they'd made a mistake by never investigating Evan's death (the police report shows the CPS lady's name and the date/time of the call), they decided to lump it in with Kira. Then the child protective doctor at Seattle Children's accused us of abusing Evan.

No one would or could help us....lumping in Evan's death could potentially reopen the police case and we could be charged for his death. It was a nightmare that most families will never experience. Unfortunately, the stress it caused me directly affected my confidence as a mother, my milk supply and Kira's the very child their false accusations and deliberate use of misleading information ended up being detrimental to the child they were trying to save.

Since this experience, I never look at families like they are rotten if a child was taken from them, even if they are. It saddens me that the death and abuse rates of children are higher in foster homes than in their families. There are definitely politics involved in CPS and foster care. Those who abuse and break the law should be arrested and stand trial. If convicted, their children should be placed with other family members or in foster care.

Anj Fabian: My 28 hour labor had less to do with the size of my baby or my level of pain and more with being in the hospital and with a midwife whose birthing philosophy was so different from my own. My baby was not hard to push out. The most hellish part of the experience was the anticipation and the unknown.

Thank you Skeptical OB readers for enlightening me with your presence. I was unaware that there were those that feel so strongly against midwives and birth center/home births. Maybe you have other questions or want to continue the conversation. Feel free to leave your comments here or message me.

Kind Regards,
Bridget Johns

November 16, 2012

Beauty School Drop Out

Sweet Jocelyn.
So pleased with yourself...
And yet,
The Beauty School called.
You've been expelled.
They want their scissors back!

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November 12, 2012

Picking Cotton

A memory to enjoy at some point in the future...

Hey JC,
Remember that one time 
You, me and Don
Were driving from Savannah to Atlanta 
Seeing field after field of cotton? 
That was so cool. 
We'd never seen that before.

I needed a picture.
You pulled over.
Couldn't get close enough.
Scaled the fence.
The one with rusty barbed wire.
And prayed it didn't rip our pants.

We took a couple cotton souvenirs.
To show the kids.
Because it's something we hear about.
But have never seen.

Those were good times, Bro. 
Good times.

November 4, 2012

The Natural Life: No Shampoo + Homemade Deodorant

I've done it. No shampoo the entire month of October. My hair is clean thanks to baking soda in the shower. And tangle-free thanks to cutting most of my hair off...oh and rinsing with a touch of vinegar.

35 days with no shampoo...I washed this head of hair yesterday.
I feel a sense of freedom with this change. I don't have to support the shampoo industry any longer. Don't get me wrong. I like the smell of shampoo and working up a good lather. Both of which are not available when simply using baking soda and water. But I don't like the unnecessary chemicals pretty much every brand puts in their products. Who knows, maybe I'll make my own pure shampoo. That lathers. With my essential oils.

Oils? Yes. Oils. I've been into essential oils since this past spring. And I like them. A lot. Not just for personal care products, but for health, too. I put wild orange, cinnamon, eucalyptus, clove and rosemary in my family's morning smoothie. It's good for fighting off colds and sore throats and whatever else is going around. I put a combo of wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, blue tansy, blue chamomile, helichrysum and osmanthus on Mathilde's sprained ankle 3 weeks ago along with an ice pack and within a couple of hours the swelling and inflammation had gone down enough that she could walk instead of crawl to the bathroom.

I added 10-15 drops of frankincense essential oil to my homemade deodorant (click for recipe). Homemade deodorant? Yes. I know. Slowly but surely, each year my life becomes more natural.

My results after three months of using homemade deodorant? They're good. The first few weeks I couldn't tell if I was less or more stinky. While not really negative, it wasn't really positive, either. BUT in Abu Dhabi, I sweated a bit more than I usually do in Seattle. And the deodorant worked well. Phew! And here I am six weeks later still using and loving it.

What do I love most? Well, it's effective and I can touch it without getting my hand gross. The ingredients are much the same as a lotion with the addition of baking soda and corn starch so it's not a problem if it gets on your hand or clothes or whatever. I also rub a little on a little bump about the size of a pea I have near my shoulder. The bump appeared a few years ago. I was concerned about it but the doctor said not to. Okay. But it wasn't going away...until now. It's smaller. The only change is my deodorant. With frankincense. Beautiful frankincense.
Frankincense oil is linked to the psyche, which in Greek also means "breathing". It deepens and revitalizes the breath and adds to these effects its excellent immunostimulant properties. In skin care, frankincense oil reveals its balsamic nature through its miraculous wound healing properties. Astringent and anti-inflammatory, it is traditionally used to treat scar tissue and skin ulcers, and nourishes dry and prematurely aging skin. Its anti-depressant, euphoric qualities are used in psycho-aromatherapy to treat anxiety & nervous tension.
I have no idea what brought on my bump and why it's stayed for so long. I just really like that it's now a quarter of the size it used to be. I had one on my ankle, too. The color of the bump is still there but the bump under it is gone.

Unless you've been to my house and I've combined some oil concoction for whatever ill you're suffering, you haven't heard me touting the benefits of essential oils. I wasn't sure if I liked them. Or if I liked the idea of them and natural healing. I can now be safely put in the camp of Essential Oil Junkies. 

October 31, 2012

Me And My Cookie

Watch out. The Gang is out tonight.
I'm pretty sure everyone in this house loves Halloween.
Especially Mathilde.
She's so excited to get to try every American candy ever made.
Ha ha.
I'll mention her probable stomach ache tomorrow.

We went out in our neighborhood.
Then Cookie and I came home. 
Followed by the Gang.

Cookie and I raided the first round of the Gang's winnings.
And got pretty sticky.

Cookie nursed.
Cookie went to bed. 

And I wait for the Gang to return.
So I can get my favorites out of their treat bags.
And let them gorge on fake chocolate (read Tootsie Rolls).

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October 29, 2012


My baby boy is nine.

What do you get a nine year old boy for his birthday?

We got him a bike.
And a nerf gun.
Nana and Bapa gave him $9 in half dollars.
And a digital camera.
Grandma Coleen gave him a watch. 

And all of his friends at his party gave him nerf guns.
Pretty funny.

But that made the nerf gun fight that much better.

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October 27, 2012

Haunted Basement

Our first Halloween party was a hit.
It took a bit to get people to eat our treats...
Especially the rats.

And there were a few scares in the haunted basement.
Mostly when Mathilde and her zombie friend Allison
Reached out and touched someone.
It was perfect.
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October 26, 2012

Tough Mudder Training - Two Weeks In

I went to bed at midnight. Usually we train at 6:30 am, but since there isn't school today and Tymon's working from home, I changed the alarm to 7:30. Sweet Elliott crawled into bed with me this morning. Usually, I fall back to sleep when he sneaks in but when I snuggled him, noticed Tymon checking the time. So I checked, too. It was 6:37 am and he's wondering when that alarm would ring. Ugh. No sleeping in for us. It's like our bodies are all ready into the groove of getting up and moving. We tried to ignore the clock and sleep another hour. Nope. Didn't work. We were up three minutes later.

We're getting stronger. We started out being totally wiped out and stopping after one of the three circuits in our regimen. Each day we add one more exercise and just today finished all three circuits. Yay! Now we just need to do each of the exercises better.

Right now, I can jog 3/4 mile before getting my first side-ache. Two weeks ago, I was getting them in less than 2 minutes. I do 20 modified push-ups in a minute and 15 burpees.

I'm happy to see progress already and a little bit worried that I'm so weak right now. We've got 6 months before the Tough Mudder...and aside from today's internal clock wake up, my hardest struggle has just been getting out of bed.

Yesterday, I was exhausted when the alarm went off and didn't move. Tymon rolled over and asked me to motivate him to get out of bed. He just wasn't feeling it. Ha ha. Neither was I. I suggested we sleep longer and do a jog later that night.

Apparently, that was exactly the motivation he was looking for. He jumped out of bed saying, "let's do this." Wow. I easily could have slept longer. But somehow, if you let yourself slide once, you'll do it again. We can't waste away our training opportunities. We'll only suffer in the long run.

October 24, 2012

Just The Right Size

This past week Kira gave me her shoes.
She wanted to go somewhere.
We weren't doing anything.
But all the same, she was ready in case we did.

Another little boy used to do that.
He knew whenever we were going anywhere.
Found his shoes in the closet.
And waited patiently on the bottom step.
For us to help him get them on.

We tried to bury his shoes with him.
We couldn't find one.
But tore the house and cars apart looking.
It was not to be found.
Not even when we moved and cleared out the entire house.

I broke down.
We can't put one shoe in the casket. 
Shoes come in pairs.
Where's that damn shoe?

My baby.
Older today than our sweet Evan.

I'm grateful
Each day we have her.
I worry that she'll be taken from us early.
I pray
That I'm wrong.
That I can hold her forever.
That she'll grow up.
And run around with her siblings.

Memories of Evan frequently come 
When the girls are little.
Doing what Evan did.
Climbing on the table.
Turning off my computer.
Pouting when needing a hug.
Wiggling during diaper changes.

Those memories will fade.
Like they did when Jocelyn passed him.
It'll be the same as Kira grows.
But for now
She's just the right size.

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October 15, 2012

Tough Mudder

The Tough Mudder Challenge. Ever heard of it? I hadn't until Tymon told me that one of his co-workers invited him to do it. I looked it up and was immediately drawn to the name. Tough Mother. Yeah. That's me.

I begged Tymon to invite me. Sometimes, I just need to prove to myself that I can do hard things. And this is one of those situations.

We started training this morning. I'd like to say how easy it was. Ha ha. We only got through one of three circuits. I got a side ache during the first 30 seconds of our one minute run. And added another one to the other side 10 seconds later. My jumping jacks turned into jogging in place with my hands in the air. I did 15 push ups modified with my knees on the ground in one minute. Hopefully by next month it'll be 15 real ones. This is going to take a lot of effort. If you'd like to put your body through hell and feel good about it later, come join us. Tough Mudder, Seattle, May 4, 2013.

I'm pretty much hoping not to die.

Mickey Hands To The Rescue

Two months ago, my parents gave Jocelyn a balloon.
She brought it home and immediately let it go.
Under our ceiling fan.
When it was on.
And the balloon went for a ride.
Round and round.
It was so fun.

Until I saw it.

The main problem is that we don't have a ladder
that reaches our vaulted ceilings...
But we do have a ladder.
And crutches
(temporarily due to Mathilde's sprained ankle 10 days ago).
And Mickey Hands.
Wrapped in packing tape.
And a jimmy-rigged rope to operate said sticky fingers.
Oh yeah.
Tymon got that stupid balloon down.
Three cheers for MacGuyver!
And I thought Mickey Hands were just a toy.

What a relief not to have to look at that anymore.

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October 8, 2012

Rat's Nest

There's been a rat's nest at the nape of my neck for several weeks. It comes a few hours after brushing my hair in the morning and gets worse by mid-afternoon. I usually manage my tangles by using a heavy dose of conditioner on my hair after washing it...but it hasn't been working as well in I haven't liked the last three bottles of conditioner that I've bought.  

As noted here, I changed my hair care routine last week. No more bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Just baking soda and apple cider vinegar. The vinegar actually does a pretty good job with the tangles...but did nothing to prevent the rat's nest. So I braided my hair after my shower this morning and cut it off.

I have plans to donate 3 of my 4 braids to Locks of Love. My remaining one, I'm thinking of making into something for Kira. She loves my hair. Stroking it while in my arms. Twisting her little arm up in it. Brushing it on her face. She will miss it the most.

And what strikes me most about this haircut is how similar I now look to my sister...we haven't looked this much alike since we were 14 and 15, bought matching outfits and pretended to be twins.

Ahhh...the good ol' days.


October 4, 2012

Driving In The Hatta Desert

Driving in the Hatta Desert was AWESOME. Seriously, my most favorite driving class ever. And because it's about driving, I've posted it under my defensive driving habits blog.

But while you're here, answer the following: What do ripples in the sand indicate to the desert driver?

October 1, 2012

Something Different - Day One

Today I started doing something different with my hair. I don't want to say what it is, yet. Unless you can guess  right. Then I'll tell for sure. Of course, I'll tell you in two weeks regardless. This had better work ...

Update: November 4, 2012
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