Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Life As A Bald Lady

So I promised an update on what life has been life since losing my hair only 2.5 weeks ago. Gosh, it totally seems longer. I can't believe it has not even been 3 weeks. But as I count on my calendar, it is true. I'm sad in so many ways - one because I have not really had a whole lot of time to enjoy my new do. It is growing like crazy. I guess these vitamins really do work.

Since shaving my hair 3 weeks ago, I have had the opportunity to think, assess, and rethink why I did what I did. Would I do it again? Would I encourage others? Do I regret it? After being at work last night and receiving the news that yet another one of our oncology patients had passed away, my answer was reaffirmed. Yes, i would do it again (in a heartbeat), yes i would encourage others, and no mostly certainly do I not regret it. I have been blessed to be a part of St. Baldricks. I am more than honored to have been a part of the efforts that occurred to raise money for such a worthy cause.

I have learned a lot over the last couple of weeks. I learned that I often times hid behind my hair. I find now that I don't really have any to hide behind, I stand taller, I walk more confidently, and I approach people with a greater sense of pride. Truly, when you are bald, you are in all essence naked. You are exposed and a bit vulnerable. Your imperfections are there - in bright light for all the world to see. I've realized though that I need to make amends with those imperfections. This is who I am - this is who I will be. I can't change how I was made, nor should I want to. You begin to appreciate a new sense of beauty. To those who choose the look or those who are forced into it, there is beauty...

In the past couple of weeks, I have received stares, awkward looks, and a even a few comments. Clearly I am most at ease at work - where people look, act, sound different and it is acceptable. But I have found that simple little acts like going to the gym have increased my insecurity. Well, I should say they did. As the days pass, I am no longer bothered by the stares from others working out on the treadmill, or the comments made at my daughter's gymnastics class. I know my reasoning, I know my heart, and I know my intentions - and really that is all that matters. And that is what I've tried to instill in my children. Miss Mattea is in a "weird" phase. Her hair will fly in 3 different directions if not tamed, she has a large gaping whole between her two front teeth, she is messy in everything she does, and has outrageously bad breath due to potential tonsil problems. But you know what - her heart is amazing. She is the most compassionate and God loving little girl that I know. She is kind, and empathetic, strong yet soft. She is nothing short of spectacular. That is what makes her beautiful. (Don't get me wrong, I thing she is stunning despite her bad breath and gaping hole.)

Am I articulating my point? I kind of feel like I'm rambling?

There is certainly nothing wrong with spending time in front of mirror, combing hair, doing makeup, dressing just right. Nothing at all. In fact, I love looking good. But, what I've realized is you can primp and prime all that your heart's desire but true beauty is not obtained until your heart has been beautified. Your inner strength will radiate far more than any blush you can apply or any lipstick you can dab. It is kind of what your mother always said "It's what is on the inside that counts." I've learned and I continue to learn.

Just yesterday I have chosen to keep my look for awhile longer. Just short of 3 weeks, I chose to re shave my head and live up my look for the summer. Not only am I saving a bunch of money, time, and stress, I'm gaining some valuable lessons. So I'm sticking with it for a bit longer.

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, March 25, 2010


So, not much to this post. It is simply me and my computer. With my husband away, my kids in bed, and absolute silence in the house, I've decided that instead of sitting down with my journal, I'd sit at the computer.
I'm tired, frustrated, angry, bitter,overwhelmed, and did I mention frustrated.

I had a bad day ~ yep, a downright wretched day. Although it was bad, and I want it to be erased, I will praise God and thank him for this day nonetheless.

I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the fact that PMS is rearing its ugly head, or my husband traveled all this week, my kids are exhausted, or perhaps I have been skipping my quiet time with God. Whatever the case is, today sucked!

I seem to have these kinds of weeks every once and awhile - feeling like the weight of the world is on me, feeling like stuff needs to get done and isn't, feeling like my children are heathens and I absolutely can't get a handle on things, and feeling like I'm completely alone in all of it. Yep, feeling a bit broken at the moment.

I woke up the this morning after getting less sleep than I had wanted because I had to answer the call of "cuddle with me" at 3 am and "i want my daddy" around 4 or 5 am (can't remember and frankly it doesn't matter.) Of course, this morning we had to be out of the house by 9am(well 8:40 if i wanted to get that badly needed cup of coffee from Starbucks) to get to gymnastics class. Paloma was grumpier than all get out and was in tears within the first 10 min. of being up. She threw tantrum after tantrum - one involving the leotard she was to wear. She was so mad that she actually peed in it so she didn't have to wear it. Now I'm not going to fight over what leotard she is going to wear - in fact, she picked it out. But, I refuse to let her go in the pajamas she wore all night. I must put my foot down somewhere.

Then, tantrum sparks tantrum and it wasn't long before Mattea was mouthing off and acting downright disrespectful. That is just one behavior that gets my goat and is not tolerated at our house. SO, rather than taking a moment to pray and ask God for guidance in dealing with my two children before 9 am, I simply lost my cool, hollered a bit, slammed around a few dishes, and well, became frustrated. Still, we are no where near leaving.

The behavior continued -tantrums at gymnastics, poor listening at the gym, back talk and sassiness at home. When I finally got them down to bed, I called David and almost cried. I felt and still feel horrible for my behavior and my actions. I felt in retrospect that I could have handled things differently but at the time I was simply doing what I needed to to survive. Lord help me regain composure should have been my prayer but in fact "children start listening" were the words resonating from my tongue.

Ugh - I hate these feelings. These feelings of should of, could of, would of - didn't! My morning devotion about a week back involved a passage about following God and having a Godly day instead of following Satan and having a "fleshy" day. At the time I remember having an AHA moment ~ almost like a "yep, I finally got it" kind of moment. Lesson, I didn't get it because today Satan won. I had a fleshy day. I reacted in fleshy ways with fleshy words and fleshy feelings. Sadly enough when I put my kids to bed they both said "I love you" and I believe they meant it. And sadly enough, I know that tomorrow I will be given a brand new slate and I'll be forgiven. Sadly enough, I know my kids will wake up with little recollection of today's events (because the great thing about children is they have a short memory - sometimes) but why or why do I have to have these kinds of days to remind myself of the kind of days I want to have?

Lord, why must I be tested like this - because at the end of the night I feel terrible. I guess it takes these kinds of lessons to remind me that I am not in control, nor will I ever be in control. And the more I think that I'm in control, the more that I'm knocked down to my knees. Perhaps if God would have been invited into my home today, I'd be looking back at this day with a different perspective. Just a thought.....

The Joys of Having a Big Sister

So David went in and checked on the girls the other morning during playtime. It seemed as though they were playing fine until we get hearing these muffled pleas for help from Paloma. After a little investigation, this is what he found...

Mattea had stuffed Paloma in the dryer and shut the door. Paloma thought it was funny for about the first 5 seconds and then realized she couldn't get out.

Needless to say, Mattea got a pretty stiff scolding from her daddy. Ugh, what is next?

Oh Happy Day

Dear Heather ______:


Our records show that this account was paid in full as of 03-03-2010.

We appreciate having been able to serve you and hope that your educational experience has been a good one.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about this student loan account.

Borrower Services Department


Hark the Herold Angels Sing ~ I love getting this kind of letter in the mail. My relationship with Great Lakes has been severed (although they are kind of like an old boyfriend - they are still a part of our lives until David gets his loan paid off.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

And there is nothing sexier than a man and his rototiller.

Thanks for your hard work on the garden honey - now it is time to plant the cold weather veggies.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Little Secret

I have a secret ~ I'd love to share it with you. Promise you won't tell anyone? Pinkie swear you won't judge me? Ok here goes...

I now use my bathtub as my babysitter. You heard me. I used my bathtub as my babysitter. I had heard a few other moms mention that they too put their kids in their several times a day to play, get messy, or simply to mellow them out. Well, this weekend I tried it.

It worked like a charm. I needed to shower and get ready and rather than have them veg in front of the TV, I decided to find a few of their "water safe" dolls, horses, barbies, etc and toss them into the tub for a bath. The girls put their shorts one which later wound up being bathing suits, but who cares. I was able to shower, get dressed, get my hair ready - ha, and do my makeup without interruptions. I bet they were in their playing for at least 45 min.
Now they want to do it everyday - and you know what, so far, I haven't had a problem with it. Yahoo for good ideas!!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Do You Think She Needs Counseling?

I had my conference with Mattea's preschool teacher this past Wednesday. We sat down and reviewed her testing scores, her strengths and weaknesses, and of course kindergarten prep. I chuckled to myself as we breezed through all of the academic "stuff." Mattea scored well and her teacher had no doubts she'll be successful in kindergarten. And then......

we addressed this:

When asked to draw a picture of herself, Mattea drew this. What the heck is this I asked? Her sweet 70 year old teacher said she was a bit thrown by the fact that Mattea had totally forgotten to include a body or arms to her self portrait but made sure to put eyelashes on her person. She checked the "lacking detail" box on her assessment but then did mention to me that she hasn't had many students (if any) include eye lashes in their self portrait. I'd say that is good detail huh?


Chronicles Of A Bald Woman - Coming Soon...

I am so looking forward to the day that I can sit down and have a few minutes of uninterrupted time to sit and blog about my thoughts and idea after living as a bald lady for 1 week. It has been an interesting week to say the least. I have had good experiences and bad experiences - but life changing ones nonetheless. So please be patient and stop back soon to read about how my life has changed since losing my hair....

PS ~ this photo was taken by my 3 year old. Not bad huh?

Our New Play Place

Before I begin, I must apologize for the quality of pictures. Apparently my lens needs cleaning. I'm seeing ridiculously dirty spots all over my photos - sigh. Add to list of things to do next week....

But, dirty lenses or not, the girls and I headed over to one of the indoor gyms in town to meet some friends for a play date last week. After hearing other moms rave about, we decided it was our turn to weigh in.

The consensus - super fantastic! For a low cost, the girls were able to have access to all of their favorite gymnastics equipment (bars, trampoline, rings, etc) and some very fun inflatable toys. Yahoo!

Although their were some injuries to be had that day, we were super impressed by the facility. We will definitely be heading back soon. The girls love their gymnastic class on Thurs, but I think they did like this as well since there was no structure and they were free to play and do whatever their little hearts desire. And thanks friends for joining us and spending the morning with us. Good conversation always tops off the play date....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mattea Moments

Outside gardening this afternoon, Mattea says to me
"Mom, I still like you even when your bald."

Me: "Thanks Mattea. You know what? I still like you too!"

Mattea: "Mom, I'm so glad you shaved your head for all those kids - you know the kids with cancer."

Me: "That is why we did it isn't it Mattea?"

Lesson - they listen. Our kids listen. Even when we think they aren't listening - they are listening. When I tell them a story - they listen. When I scold them for doing something inappropriate - they listen (they may act like the don't.) When I inform them of a big life decision and my reasons behind doing it - THEY LISTEN.

I love you little M. I love your heart and I love your soul. You are a special little girl. Thanks for still liking me!

Wordless Wednesday - Part 2 (Kind of)

(Yep - that's a baby in her tummy. Or at least Mattea is convinced there is a baby in her tummy. She ate her entire meal and spent her entire morning with a doll stuck up her shirt. Hmmmmmm ~ thoughts?)

Wordless Wednesday - Part 1

Look What's Springing Up

We were so excited to get out seeds started for this year's garden plant. This is the first year we did see starters and from the way it looks, everything is going great so far.

We are anxious for summer and all that comes with it. The garden is a huge source of "entertainment" for us. It keeps us busy. We are hoping this year's crop proves to be the best year. We'll see....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

St. Baldricks ~2010

What an amazing day.

I woke up this morning ready to go - excited at the prospect of losing my hair for a great cause. I wasn't nervous - in fact I was too busy to be nervous. Gathering the children, bathing the children, dressing the children, feeding the children....then it was get mom ready and head downtown for the St. Baldricks "shaving event." I wasn't nervous until...well, I walked in and that is when it hit me! That is when I truly came to terms with what I was doing. Wow. Words can't even begin to express the emotions I felt today.

I gathered on stage with fellow coworkers and listened as all the barbers turned on the razors. And then, it started. First, the sides, then the back, then underneath, and finally the top. And then it was done. The tattooed, multiple piercing man handed me over my ponytail. Both in shock and in awe, I sat for a moment wondering "what the heck did I just do." Then...I glanced down into the audience and saw a few of the "regular" kids from the hospital - who sat their watching (them too with their bald heads) and I was immediately reminded of what I got myself into. It was all for them. Those who are diagnosed, those who have lost the battle, and unfortunately those who have yet to be diagnosed. The statistics are astonishing and appalling. Nobody should be handed this kind of diagnosis - let alone a child. The word cancer should never appear in a child's vocabulary, but unfortunately it does. Today, we hoped to change that.

As a group, we raised well over $50,000. I am so proud of this town and all that contributed to this effort. The outpouring was amazing. Thank you, thank you to all the support both emotionally and financially. May we continue to keep the ball rolling, letting the enthusiasm and momentum build, not fall. May we continue to be passionate and on fire for a cause that is so devastating rather than let it be forgotten now that the "event" is over. What a day! It was both exhilarating and heart wrenching all at the same time.

Enjoy the photos, I hope to have more in the upcoming days. Dave did a fabulous job of capturing the video, he just forgot about the camera in his pocket. Or perhaps he was too busy with the crying 3 year old screaming, "I want my mommy's hair back, where is my mommy's pony?" There have been some interesting conversations around our house this evening to say the least.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Date Night

Mattea finally received the date night she was promised back in February. I told both girls that for their birthday I would take them to Build A Bear and then out of for some much needed alone time with mom. Since Mattea is in school, it was easy to work Paloma's date in. But with Dave traveling, and Paloma constantly attached to me, Mattea was finding it a bit harder to get hers scheduled.

But last week it finally happened. Dave came home from work a bit early so Mattea and I could head off to the mall for fun times. We started our date night delivering some food for a friend of mine who has now been put on bed rest. Mattea was excited to visit Tracy and drew her about 15 pictures of her and her twin baby girls. She was such a helper. After that we headed down to Build A Bear where Mattea took some time picking out just the right animal. After much contemplation, she chose the puppy ~ whom she named Flower.

She was and still is so excited about this animal. She has yet to put it down. It was really sweet to watch. Whereas Paloma has already tossed her animal aside not playing much with it at all, Mattea covets her animal and is excited to show just about anyone about her "special dog I made with mommy."

Well, making Build A Bears certainly stirs up quite an appetite - so we headed off to the Cheesecake Factory for some dinner. I opened the door for Mattea and her jaw dropped to the floor. She said to me "wow mom, this is fancy." She was in wonder about how nice and fancy the inside of the restaurant was. We even had to visit the bathrooms 3 times because the sinks were so nice. We cuddled in a booth, talked about school, shared some food and then move on to - dessert!

We had a blast digging into our ginormous piece of cheesecake ~ which neither or us really had room for but somehow managed to eat anyway. Mattea was so sweet and thanked me for the "special night." Note to self - must do date nights more often. I no longer can procrastinate and make excuses for not making very special one on one time with my babies. Her face was magical over the next few days as she made sure to tell just about everyone (including teachers, gymnastics coach, friends) about her new friend Flower and how her mommy took her to the "cheese place."

Wonderful set of memories Mattea - thank you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Final Countdown

Hi Blog Readers. This is it. We are 10 away from the big St. Baldricks event. The pressure is on for all of us to meet our financial goals (acutally it isn't but the friendly competition definitely keeps us motivated for the ultimate goal ~ money to be used toward cancer research.) With that being said, I checked the website tonight and to my dismay I have been bumped from the top donor position - booh! But that is great because some serious money has rolled in for the organization. So lets keep the ball rolling. 10 days to get your donation in. We are all excited to be a part of such a wonderful event.
I got asked today, "so are you going to chicken out?" Ummm, no. Do the children diagnosed with cancer get that option? Ummmm, no. And neither will I. See you on Sat. March 13th.

Wordless Wednesday

Paloma's Plug

While playing dress up this morning:

"Princesses always keep their panties on"