Angie and Cal dropped Claire (almost four months old now) off last night for a couple hours while they went biking at Lebanon Hills. They did this a few weeks ago and Rob did most of the care that day, so this time it was my turn.
At first Claire was fine, especially since Mommy and Daddy were still there. Then once they left she was inconsolable.
When I put her down in her playpen she cried like the world had left her alone to fend for herself. She shook her little fists and and did the deep-heave cry. When I picked her up and she squirmed so much that she ended up sitting with her face leaning against my forearm and her butt sticking out. This looked uncomfortable, and for me it was awkward but if I tried moving her she screamed to make sure that even the neighbors knew she didn't like it.
Plan B. I sat her facing forward on my left hip, turned some music on in the kitchen and danced and sang. She seemed fine with this, but eventually that left side of my body was getting hot and tired. I thought, if she's fine with this side, why not just switch to the right side. 'No! NO NO NO!' she seemed to say. Alright, back to the left hip. After a while she started whining which turned to more of a cooing sound and I took this as an invitation to sit down (finally!). I snuggled into the chair and propped her up on my knees and we played a game of tickle, and I made funny noises while kissing her and we played peekaboo with her dress. She loved it! Smiles and giggles ensued.
Soon after all of my progress she became crabby again, so I gave her a bottle and it did the trick. Mommy and Daddy were home soon after.
One notable quote of the evening was when Cal was asked if he's been practicing his guitar lately, he quipped, "uh, no, it's been about three and half months since the last time I did that."
Ok first I must address the issue of my last post. I realize I may have overreacted about my recent hair cut. The stylist did do a good job, she just styled it all wrong that night. And it is shorter than I usually wear, so that was a shock as well. Generally, the new cut has received rave reviews, and the photos of me that Rob's mom sent me from this weekend made me realize that it does, in fact, look good.
I've been working in a small garden space by our playset and attempting to restore it to its former glory. In that corner were two Bleeding Heart plants trying not to die as they toppled over each other onto a couple of sickly hostas. I loved the Bleeding Hearts but thanks to Dallas and our rampant bunny population, the roots had been dug up and nearly destroyed. I couldn't salvage either of them. The hosta plants had yellowing leaves and I don't even think they were going to bloom anything other than ugliness, so I pulled them right out and didn't feel a twinge of guilt. After uprooting most of the things in that garden, what was left was a single evergreen shrub of some sort. I didn't dig it up because a) it has a tree-like root system that I didn't want to mess with, and b) I kind of felt sorry for it. It has a perfectly pruned round head resting atop a tall skinny trunk. I guess it's kind of cute.
My next step was to find plants that prefer shade since the house and the fence don't let much sunlight into that corner. Rob thought I should get a few more bushes or shrubs but that's all we have around here! Bush, shrub, bush shrub, the same as everyone else on my street. I'm so sick of them! And the hostas too! I wanted something different. I found a few cheap perennials that I can't even remember the names of except the one called a Bell Flower. I figured if they die, I only paid $7 for them. My really exciting purchase was of the two hydrangea bushes. They're so pretty!
I planted everything last night and covered the ground with a layer of mulch. It's a small garden, and while it's not as amazing as some, it's still mine and I love it!
Ok, I'm just going to come right out and say it: I've got a backwards mullet. The party's in the front, ya'll!!
A stylist too convincing. A need for change that transcended all logic. The end result, a haircut gone wrong.
Here's how it all went down...
I had some money left on a salon gift card that Rob gave me for Valentine's Day, and I was hurtin' for a new 'do, so I made an appointment to make it happen.
So there I was relaxing in the salon waiting for the stylist to seat me in her chair of possibilities, thinking, "I'm just going to let her do whatever she wants because she is the artiste and I am her blank canvas of hair!" I had complete trust in her. After she introduced herself and explained a few options we could try, I was convinced that she knew what was best for me.
Every suggestion she threw at me I agreed with.
"Chin length?" Sure.
"Length in front to accentuate your cheek bones?" Yes.
"Lengthy bangs???" I beg you to tell me why not!
And away she went. It wasn't until she cut the bangs that I thought there might be a problem, but I was convinced she would style it just right. After a quick blow dry and few more snips I realized the bangs were ALL WRONG, and the way the hair in front fell around my face didn't seem quite right. My exact thoughts were, and I quote: 'Oh no. Oh No! OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!' The stylist fussed, and then fussed a bit more and was about to send me on my way when she nervously asked, "is there anything you'd like me to change quickly before you go...?" I know that she was secretly in her head completing her statement, '...like the way your bangs make you look like you should be driving a minivan full of 8 year old soccer players?' I ignorantly said, "No it's fine! I love it!" though secretly I was having a small cow. As I walked up to the front desk to pay I was thinking PLEASE NO ONE LOOK AT ME OR MY SUPERMOM HAIR.
When I got home I tried playing with it a little bit, but I still can't shake the images my hair conjures up. Think Victoria Beckham meets Helen Hunt and a soccer mom, and they make a baby called lazy backwards mullet.
I may be exaggerating. It's certainly not like the haircut my friend Jane* got a few years ago. She didn't even make it through the entire appointment before having a complete meltdown in front of the whole salon. It was for that cut I had coined the term backwards mullet. She probably still hates me for that.
Brad and Brandy's four-year-old could probably have done a better job, but in a few weeks my Helen Hunt/supermom bangs will grow out enough to lie flat against my face in a stringy exhausted mess, the Victoria Beckham "style" in the back will side more with my hair's natural kink than with hollywood, and the rest will be habitually tucked behind my ears so that there is no evidence of the party in the front.
*Some names have been changed
My brother Tim proposed to his girlfriend Lisa on Friday night! To prepare for it, he took the day off work and set up a picnic to surprise her when she came home from work. After telling her the picnic basket was hers to keep, he said, "there's something else in there for you" which prompted a flurry of squeals from Lisa. She found the ring in the basket and put it on, still squealing, and finally said, "well aren't you going to ask?" There really wasn't a need to because I think Tim had already received the answer, but he did anyway and she said yes.
They stopped by today so we could give them an engagement present, and so we could see the ring. It is beautiful, Tim did a very good job! The wedding date has already been set for April of 2009. Hearing Lisa talk about planning, and all of the exciting ideas and thoughts going through her mind right now reminds me of the feelings I had when Rob and I got engaged. I'm absolutely thrilled for Tim who found a lovely woman to marry, and I'm very excited to have her as a sister-in-law!
I had an unexpected and lovely chat with my cousin Kyle today. Growing up with him, I've known that he's always marched to the beat of his own drummer. While most of my younger relatives are athletes, Kyle has always sided more on the artistic side. He even painted his grandpa Charlie so well that there's no mistaking who the painting is of.
I haven't seen Kyle since Easter, and aside from holidays I don't get to see him much. But today he surprised me by sending me a message. He moved to New Orleans and loves it. He works at an art gallery (he even gets to post his own art), is subleasing a home near the French Quarter, is enthralled with the history and architecture of the area, and spends his evenings socializing with neighbors and their families on their front porches. It sounds amazing, and I'm happy for him.
Last night a few of us were looking for something to do so we decided to have people over for a barbeque. Despite our lack of patio furniture, everyone seemed comfortable enough in camp chairs on the deck. Chad and Leah came, as did Joe, Meredith brought over some firecrackers she bought at the gas station, and Brad and Brandy brought their kids.
Rob got out a few toys from his tractor collection and Kieran went to work in the yard with them while Katie enjoyed the playset. She and I had some interesting conversations while I was pushing her on the swing. She tends to ramble and jump from one topic to the next without a clear segue, but one conversation came from someplace within her that was clearly thought out. After a recent BBQ in River Falls, Rob had apparently left a huge impression on Katie, so much so that she told all of her friends at daycare about him. So naturally, since we were at "silly Rob's house", our conversation turned to him again, and it went something like this...
Katie: Silly Rob has a nice house.
Me: I live here too.
Katie: ... Why?
Me: Because I'm married to Rob, just like your mom and dad are married to each other.
Katie: Rob is silly. Why did you marry Silly Rob?
Me: Someday you'll meet a silly man and you'll know why I married Rob.
Katie: I want to marry Rob.
Me: Do you think we should we tell him that?
Katie: (pause) Yeah. After you push me on the swing for a little bit and then I go across the monkey bars and then you push me in the swing some more, then you can go tell Rob.
Keeping her word, after a few more pushes on the swing, a trip across the monkey bars, and more swinging she solemnly told me to tell Silly Rob her desire to marry him. Naturally, Rob was flattered.
In case I haven't made it perfectly clear: I LOVE WATCHING BIRDS. This morning a couple sparrows were showering in a neighbor's sprinkler. And another neighbor's pine tree is a birdie apartment. This morning's agenda was nesting.
A pair of birds found an old rag on our deck with irresistible shreds of terry-cloth strings. The male watched as his female companion desperately tried to free a few pieces of the string to no avail. She tried so hard that she left a little poopy on the deck. After their unsuccessful attempt I took pity on them and ripped a few strips off, and placed some grass clippings there as well. Sure enough, they returned and left with a beak full of bits from the rag. Realizing this wasn't enough they came back again, and with no more unattached strings to bring home, momma bird was again trying to tug them free. This is when the male bird came in to see what he could do. He put one piece of dead grass in his beak and hopped around all proud of himself showing his partner, "look honey! Look what I got!" She largely ignored him even though he made every attempt to hop in front of her like, "Don't you see?? I HAVE A PIECE OF GRASS IN MY MOUTH! Let's go!" It was as if all her previous trips back to the nest with mouthfuls of string that probably weighed more than she did, feathers and all, did not make him realize she was in it for more than one measly piece of dead grass.
This went on for about an hour, and they didn't seem to mind me sitting there with my camera. I uploaded some photos of their quest to build the perfect nest here: http://robandemily.com/index.php?q=gallery&g2_itemId=9551