Saturday, November 27, 2010

Drive-by Randomness

  • I haven't posted in 2 weeks. It feels like I haven't posted in 2 minutes. That's how fast life moves along when you're working 2 jobs and taking care of kids and trying to "train" for another 5K and maintaining a marriage.
  • Speaking of training...Las Vegas Great Santa Run in 7 days. This was the first race I ever ran, 3 years ago. I can't wait for this race every year. Literally thousands of people wearing Santa suits running around Vegas. Pure awesomeness. TH has promised me something special if I run the whole thing with Jr. in the jogger.
  • Get your minds out of the gutter, I'm pretty sure "something special" involves some kind of early Christmas present.
  • Speaking of presents...I want an e-reader. I'm constantly reading, so there's stacks of new and used books all over my house. I love the idea of having all my literature in one place.But then, it seems weird to curl up with a cup of tea and...a piece of plastic. Any recommendations? I'm leaning towards the Nook.
  • Speaking of Christmas - for the first time EVER I'm pretty much done with shopping, a whole month before the big day. I've still got to think of something for Jr., but I'm sure he could care less. He doesn't even really need presents at 14 months but I feel like he should get a few things so that J will understand that the holiday isn't all about him. Otherwise, everything for Jr. and TH is crossed off my list and securely stashed around the house. I feel so accomplished LOL.
  • I've been working too much. I don't really have a choice right now, but my tiredness is almost palpable. I'm having moments where I really want to be in a different profession because it's draining, especially this time of year when there's always an influx of euthanasias. This is a real thing. I have my theories as to why alot of people choose to put their pets down during the holidays, but it's still weird. I had four ON MONDAY ALONE.
  • On the other hand, over the last couple of weeks I've suddenly taken on all kinds of weird and crazy cases and in some ways I feel like I'm just now becoming a "real" doctor. I told one of my techs, this past week I've felt like the vet version of House - I diagnosed FOUR different diseases that I've never seen before, only read about in vet school. And amazingly I was right all four times. Maybe I do know what I'm doing...
  • But seriously though, I really would like a week off.
  • Jr. is walking and trying to run and amusing himself by walking backwards and intermittently trying to kill himself by trying to jump off the stairs/couch/our bed. But...he doesn't say anything yet that resembles a word. He understands alot, but has yet to say so much as "mama" or "dada." I'm trying to decide if I'm worried. It seems like a stupid thing to worry about, but the other day I watched a video of J at his first birthday and he was saying 2-3 word sentences. Who knows, they're just different I guess.
  • Speaking of J...preschool is proving to be challenging in ways we didn't anticipate. On the one hand, his teacher has had to formulate an "individualized curriculum" for him because he is so far ahead of his classmates on certain things like reading that she's "literally run out of lesson plans for him." (Her words). On the other hand, he's been getting in trouble at least once a week for various antics like not listening to his teachers, using "inappropriate language" (i.e. calling people "poopy heads"), and one incident that will go down in infamy as The Day J Got All the Other Kids Riled Up During Naptime and Led a Revolt Wherein He Was Actually Standing on a Chair Yelling for Them to Get Up and Run From the Inept Student Teachers and Some of the Kids Actually Went So Far as to Try to Run Out of the Classroom Onto the Playground. Yep, he's gifted like that.
  • Oh, to have been a fly on the wall during that incident.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Show Me the Mommy - Hair Edition

Disclaimer: I can't believe I'm doing have no idea how nervous it makes me to show my hair in its real state!!

The other day I was looking through various pictures of myself here, on Facebook, on email, etc. and I realized that I have very few photos of my hair in its "natural" state. Which is funny because I spend more time with my hair natural than straight, mostly due to how time-consuming it is to straighten my hair at home. I don't have a relaxer or any chemical alterations, when I want my hair straight it's just me, my blow dryer, a flatiron, a curling iron, and about 1.5 hours of my precious time. I do go the hairdresser every 3 months or so for a trim and she always blows it out and presses it and it looks fantastic...for a couple of days until I have to wash it and then it's back to the same old, same old. So I thought (why, I don't know) I'd show the little process it takes for me to do my hair. Okay, as I'm writing this it sounds dumber and dumber but I took the pictures so here goes!

Here is an example of how I WISH my hair always looked when it's curly. This photo was taken at Jr.'s first birthday party (I'm on the right). Notice how shiny and springy the curls look, which takes a good bit of effort and alot of product. The other thing I want you to notice about this pic is my twin sister's hair. It's subtle, but do you notice the difference in texture, how her curls aren't quite so tight? My hair used to be that exact same level of curliness...and then I got pregnant with Jr. I don't know what happened, but ever since then the curls have gotten a bit on the unruly side. My hairdresser even commented that my hair is alot harder to tame than it used to be, my blowouts with her take much longer than they did 2 years ago.

Let's call this the "Before" picture.

It's the way my curls usually look in real life, minus the extra effort and product, after a long day at work. It's not any shorter than in the previous picture, the curls are just tighter. I seem to have no control over that. This is how my hair looks at least 50% of the time. Okay, honesty - since Jr. was born and I stopped straightening my hair as often, I'd guess more like 75%. Not necessarily this style but definitely this texture.

Step 1: De-tangle in preparation for straightening. This is why people with my hair texture absolutely, under no circumstances brush their hair during the day once the style is set (while it's wet). Once my hair dries, if I put a brush to it...instant Diana Ross.

Step 2: Divide and conquer. Sing a few bars of "I rock rough n' tough, with my afro puffs." Wish that I could wear my hair like this to work. Remember that I'm 33. Start straightening.

Halfway through. This is maybe 40 minutes into it. Why does it take so long? In order to get the kinks out I have to flatiron in teeny tiny sections, several times.

I can't believe the bags under my eyes in these photos. Stress is not a good look for me.

The finished product. Do you see why I make the effort? It looks great, right?
The problem is, obviously I can't wet or wash this or it will immediately revert back to its natural state. Therefore I have 5 days, TOPS, before it's so greasy and stringy from not washing that I get grossed out, and back to curly I go. And then usually it's another 2-3 weeks before I have the energy to straighten it again. I've thought about cutting it off, but I actually think it would end up being more work to keep it looking cute at a shorter length, especially while it's curly.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tunnel Vision

When we were kids growing up in Colorado, at least once a year we'd have reason to drive through the Eisenhower Tunnel, which passes under the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. It's the longest mountain tunnel in the world (if I can remember correctly), around 1.75 miles long. If you've ever had cause to drive to/from Denver to one of the major ski resorts, you've likely driven through it. Something about going through the Eisenhower Tunnel was and is always exciting for me. The entrance to it doesn't look like much, and the tunnel itself is pretty boring, but as kids we always looked forward to driving through it, maybe because it literally feels like the entrance to the "real" mountains - often it would be clear and dry on one side, and when we'd come through the other side less than 10 minutes later it would be blizzard-like snow conditions. One game that we played every time we drove through the tunnel was to see who could hold their breath through the whole thing. I'm not sure if anyone ever won or was really able to do it, or how long it even takes to drive the tunnel. I do remember, however, that there was always a point in the game where you started to see light around the bend, where you knew that the end was somewhere down there, but because you couldn't actually see the exit and didn't really know how far away it was, you started to question if you were going to be able to make it this time. Was the end of the tunnel just around the corner, or another mile away? Would you pass out trying to make it, or be the winner?

That's how I feel in my life right now. You guys, I'm struggling. That's the only way I can put it. I don't want to bore everyone with my daily angst, so my posts of late have been what I call "blog lite" or "cheater" posts - heavy on pictures and captions, lite on any real content. It's not that there's any one giant horrific thing that's happened, it's more a cumulative effect of alot of big and small sucky things that once they're added up are starting to drag me down. I really, really want this to be the Best Year Ever...but it's not even close. It's actually turning out to be one of the Worst Years Ever. Yes, we continue to be blessed with health and beautiful children and a roof over our heads and food to eat. I know it could be worse, okay? But mentally and emotionally, I'm feeling kind of spent. Important people have passed away. Other important people have been hospitalized and sick. People around us have been getting divorced left and right. The economy is killing our community and what was a trickle-down effect on TH and I has begun to directly affect us. My career is in a complete shambles right now, to the point where I've been questioning whether I even want to stay in this profession that I spent 10 years of school and over $100,000 training for. But worst of all, I've been feeling...disappointed in people. I don't know if my expectations are too high, but they seem reasonable to me. Honesty. Integrity. Compassion. Caring. Unselfishness. Am I asking for too much? So many people that I expected more from are falling short, and it's starting to change my entire view of what the world is really like, which bothers me.

The family is still together and going strong, which is really the only thing that matters in the end. TH and I are people of faith and we truly believe that this is all happening for a reason. But right now, we're squarely in the tunnel. We can't see the entrance anymore, and we're holding our breath, hoping we can make it. We can see the light starting to seep in around the edges, and we know that we'll be coming out on the other side soon, but we don't know exactly how far it is, if it's just around the bend or another mile away. Will the weather be the same, or will it be a blizzard with zero visibility? I wish I could tell you. All I know is, we are definitely in the real mountains...