Monday, June 13, 2011

4 Dumb Things and 1 Really Dumb Thing

Okay. I am so restless right now. This feels so similar to waiting for a baby to be born. Everything is cleaned and organized, everyone keeps asking you when the big day is, and everyone has advice for you or a story that doesn't help. And yet you still wait. People have made some comments that have not made me feel hopeful about selling this house. One was, "Hey, I sold my house in one day" (never mind that it was at the peak of the market) and another one just made me feel really bad about anyone liking my house--but I can't write it. I have to do something besides stress about the house. Sooo, here are some other things that have been going on or that I've been thinking about.

1. Jared turned 35 on June 3rd. Did I do anything for him? No. We were in Utah looking for a house and trying to list our house here, so we were naturally a little stressed. That was the day that we signed papers to build our new house, so that's a good gift, right? Probably a better gift for me than him though. My mom got him a little cake, so at least he got something. When we got back he found out that he had been awarded a Motorola Xoom during a patent dinner that we missed. It is his new appendage, and I do have to agree that it is pretty sweet. It does everything a phone does with a bigger screen, yet it's more portable than a laptop. He ordered a case for it so there you go, Happy Birthday Honey!

2. The day after we got back was Marissa's third birthday. I'm kind of a total slacker with birthdays this year (fine, and every year), but the great part is, this child is sincerely happy with any small thing you do for her--a good quality to have considering her future in hand-me-downs. She wanted a princess cake which was one of the easiest ones I've ever made. Two round cakes + two kinds of ice cream cones + pink frosting + a princess on top = Marissa's perfect princess cake. She got a Rapunzel doll, a purse from grandma, and a Rapunzel outfit that she got to wear to her friend's princess birthday party the next day. I figured that would suffice as far as parties were concerned.
This picture cracks me up. It really was a fun party. You just wouldn't know it from this shot.Also, for some random three year old facts: she is not potty trained yet, much to her parents' dismay, and she has since resumed sucking her thumb, after a brief hiatus upon the arrival of her new tooth. Her thumb has actually pushed the tooth upward and has taken center stage again in her mouth where, presumably, it belongs.3. Tomorrow Connor turns one! I imagine I will have to whip up some kind of cake-like creation for the big day, as if we haven't had enough, even though he won't remember. I also envision wrapping up the ball I got him last week and calling it good. The last thing we need is more stuff to haul across the country. This child loves balls. Loves them! And he's great at playing fetch (see, who needs a dog?). He is a speed crawler and has recently been taking steps the last few weeks, but he has not taken off on his own yet. I'm sure he'll be walking before too long (i.e. on the long plane ride to Utah--up and down the aisles). He started saying "uh-oh" a couple of months ago, which I will declare as his first word. This month, however, he seems to favor "ga" and will say it for just about everything.He babbles a lot. I usually know exactly where he is because of all the noise he makes. One day last week I realized that I hadn't heard him for a while. I started asking the kids where he was and nobody could find him anywhere in the house. You know, in closets, under beds. We finally looked outside in the screened-in-patio where he had crawled through the cat flap and we found him like this:Poor little tuckered out fourth child.

What else... he's had 7 teeth for months now. We are starting to wonder if he even has that last bottom tooth. He sure knows how to use them, though. He will bite your leg whenever he needs something: a diaper change, food, sleep, a bottle, attention, to be picked up. Luckily I don't see him as the kid who bites other kids in nursery because he just bites adults, although I could be wrong. I just feel like he has no other way of getting our attention sometimes and will probably continue the practice until he can talk.

I love these pictures of him. He can be so photogenic.4. Swimming lessons. I signed the kids up for their annual free swimming lessons. Humph, one more thing to miss. We made it in the perfect window. Marissa had to be three to be in them so her lessons started on her birthday and they end a week before we move. She and Alex are in the same class and Erin is one class over at the same time. I am very impressed at how brave Marissa has been. She did cry a little bit, but hardly at all compared to my other kids at that age. They all love swimming, so it's too bad I don't take them more. Hey, I have four little kids to keep alive and I've never loved swimming that much as it is. But at least they get swimming lessons.

I always try to get pictures of them swimming, but they all look end up looking like little dots in the pool. Here are the after shots.5. My identity. I know this is pretty dumb, but every time I move I feel like I have the chance to reinvent myself. To start over with a clean slate, like Anne of Green Gables, with no mistakes in it... yet. That was definitely the case when I moved to Florida. My life in Utah was pretty music focused. Everyone knew that I played the flute, taught flute lessons, was the choir director, and majored in music. When I moved here, it wasn't that I hid that fact, it was just that I wanted to be something different. And then architecture began. This has really been the majority of my life in Florida. Building models, going to school, pulling all-nighters, and living/breathing design. But now that school is over, and I don't work in architecture, will this even be a part of my new identity? What will my identity be anyway?

And it's not just what I do, but how I look too. I wore glasses my whole life since third grade. I had contacts in eighth grade for a short time, developed an eye ulcer and was told I could never wear contacts again. I always felt like this was my fate in life, that I was the "nerd with glasses", and that maybe people wouldn't like me or something just because I had glasses. Finally, right before I got married and moved to Florida I met with an eye doctor and began wearing disposable contacts (although amazingly, Jared still fell in love with me pre-contacts. I know, it's totally incomprehensible to me too). So this was my new identity in Florida, not the nerd with glasses. I've worn contacts since that time and just recently have been wearing my glasses a lot again because contacts have been bothering me. Now when I wear glasses I don't feel nerdy at all anymore. Maybe it's just because I've grown up and don't care what people think as much, but I no longer feel any self-consciousness about my glasses like I used to. And I feel like I've gotten over a lot of little issues like this over the years, like my stub toe, and my nose,...

...except for one. Okay, I can't believe I'm going to write this because I've always felt so self-conscious about it. If there was one thing I would change about myself, physically, it would be my hairline. That probably sounds so completely stupid. There are likely other things that should come first, I know, but I would still have to say, hands down--hairline. It's really high and looks a little like a middle aged man with a receding hairline when it's pulled back. There, I said it. I've always had bangs in the attempt to hide this deformity, but have secretly longed to be able to grow my bangs out like everyone else. And mine aren't like the good kind of thick, straight, stylish bangs that some people have. They are, in my view, a necessary evil with a weird cowlick and that curl up all funky at the first sign of humidity or water droplet (hence the two reasons I always put my head down when it rains: to keep my bangs dry and to keep my glasses from getting drops on them--see? It's those glasses again).

Believe me, I have tried to make the switch before, thinking it might not really be so bad. The first time was for a few weeks the summer after 8th grade. I even have two pictures documenting the bold move. I don't know, they don't look that bad to me now. But for whatever reason, surely my own self-consciousness, I reverted back to the bangs. To hiding. To feeling safe in my hair. Then there was the one day on my mission. My bangs were getting too long and it had been raining off and on all day, so you could imagine what kind of heyday my hair was having. We stopped at the apartment for something and, after surveying the uncontrollable mayhem in the mirror, I hastily pulled all my hair to the side into a barrette and walked out the door to be a missionary for the rest of the day. If there was ever going to be a good time to make the switch, I thought, it was in another country where nobody knew me. I still remember my companion just staring at me while we were walking and then finally saying, "You just look so... different" (in Spanish of course). For someone as sensitive about my bangs as I was, it was a comment like that that would drive me to take that barrette out and never pull my bangs back again.

(yes, another paragraph and I'm still talking about my hair... stop reading at any time) I had a roommate in college who once told me that some people just can't not have bangs, and I've always believed that I was one of those people (although for the record, I absolutely don't think that she is--I've never seen her with bad hair, you know who you are). It's just like Anne's red hair, her curse (yeah, just watched Anne of Green Gables FYI). Every time I hear people say that they want to cut bangs, I shudder. "No, you can't! You have a good hairline, why would you waste it? You just don't know what it's like!", is always my plea.

So, as I said before, this is my chance to be a new person, to be the lady that doesn't have to have bangs. I've known people with similar hairlines who don't have bangs and nobody thinks anything of it. So if I show up in a new ward without bangs, so what? No one will be the wiser, except all my family and friends from before. There's that. This really could be my chance to get over my insecurity, just like the contacts were. And then if I choose to cut bangs later, what of it? I know nobody really cares, it's just my own dumb self that I need to get over. I really don't know if I could do it... I pulled my hair back in a head band the other night when a friend came over and didn't take it out the whole time, though I felt so exposed and wanted to hide in my bangs again. I honestly don't know what my decision will be, but if you see me with or without... just be gentle. It's a sensitive subject. Thanks.


Lisa said...

Yeesh, I don't check blogs for a week and look what happens. You guys are moving! I hope the house sells quickly and the move goes well. As always, I love reading your blog. BTW, I have always had bangs because of my face shape. I have this clunky square-shaped face with chubby cheeks, no less, and I try to hide behind my bangs too! Maybe we can start a support group??

HeatherWasHere said...

So this "roommate"...maybe, just maybe, she said a lot of really stupid things in her life and the majority of them happened to be between the ages of 18 and 21. You know, right around the time you hung out with her. She probably has a LOT of regrets for other such nonsense she spouted off to you and others. I think what she should have said is that some people like to hide behind their bangs/clothes/attitude/whatever because of self perceived imperfections or flaws. That other people just looking at us, have absolutely no idea we struggle with certain aspects of our appearance because to them, we look just fine. I think she also probably feels terrible for inadvertently feeding an insecurity, both in you and in herself. Can someone go back in time and shut that girl up? And maybe suggest to her that cutting hair is harder than it looks.

HeatherWasHere said...

And FYI, didn't you know that nerdy is cool now? Maybe you should embrace it and go for the big black retro hipster frames. I don't know...

Oh, and I will be in California for the first part of July, like the first two weeks or so. But I will be ready to party when I come home. Or at least sit in the nice cool house while little children play outside, which is basically the same thing. Woowoo!!!! I'm so excited!

HeatherWasHere said...

Wait one more...birthdays? Overrated. Maybe when you're here we can inspire each other to give our kids better birthdays. I'm so pathetic in that department, too.

Emily said...

LOL you crack me up Laura!!