It Will Change Your Life, Or At Least Your Roots

If you are plagued with fine, straight hair that is naturally prone to flatness, you should read on. If you have bouncy, fluffy hair, you should stop reading, but only after you have gotten on your knees to thank the Lord for His bounty to you.

I fall in the first camp–my hair naturally has about as much bounce and volume as a twelve-ton rock. Eight years ago, I started having my hair cut by Sarah. She is brilliant and funny and talented and she has almost made all the flatness manageable, primarily by giving me eight years' worth of instruction of the proper root-teasing technique, which I have taken to heart with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.

(Seriously. I can tease some roots. When I finish with them each morning, you could just about land a helicopter on them. But then I walk out the door to be greeted by Oklahoma humidity, and the flatness comes back, as it does for all of us who are thus afflicted.)

At my last appointment, Sarah told me about this stuff:

Hair

It's called Powder Play, by Big Sexy Hair.

I never buy salon products a) because I am cheap and b) when I have tried them, I couldn't tell a difference. But Sarah was insistent that this stuff was worth every penny–"life-changing" was the word, I believe. I tend to roll my eyes at products with names like "Big Sexy Hair", but on second thought, I realize we cannot afford the luxury of subtlety in our quest for root volume. So I gave it a go.

Well.

This strange little substance, which is very similar in consistency with baby powder, is a miracle drug. You sprinkle it in very small amounts directly onto your roots and then work it in with your fingers. It feels very strange, but let me just tell you that your roots will stand at attention like the President has walked in the room. And–here's the kicker–it will STAY fluffy. Even if you don't wash it the next day.

(If you did not gasp at that last statement, then you clearly have never suffered from questionable root volume and do not understand the plight of those of us who do, so please just turn away.)

I will confess I am a little curious about the ingredients of a product that will cause such impressive stand-up-ishness. My mom (who uses the stuff too–our flat hair is genetic but NOT ANYMORE) and I have wondered what, precisely, we are massaging directly into our beleaguered scalps. We have decided to live in happy, volume-filled ignorance.

(And, by the way, the Big Sexy Hair people are not in any way compensating me for this post, mostly because there has never been a less qualified spokeswoman for a product called "Big Sexy", unless they have a division I don't know about called "Medium-Sized Housewife-ish".)

Well, Hello There

I've gotten several kind e-mails from people who have wondered when I'm coming back to regular blogging (as opposed to blogging only about That Show Which Is Dead To Me And Shall Not Be Named). It never fails to astound me that anyone would notice I've been gone–thanks for your encouragement. (I include my dad, who called me to say, "When in the heck are you going to stop posting about that show because I'm sick to death of reading the headlines."  Thanks for beating around the bush, Dad.)

Actually, I never specifically set out to take a giant blogging break, it just kind of happened that way. Would you like to hear the very interesting and compelling reason I've been away?

*crickets chirping*

Yes, well, there isn't one.

But in the interest of seeing if these old blogging gears have any juice left, I'll give you an update on what I've been doing in my extended absence.

1. The plates, they are a-spinnin'.

Remember how I told you it gets easier when your kids get older? Yes, well,
it does, but it also ushers in a brand new version of chaos. All of
these people! With plans! But no car of their own
yet! And so I drive them! And not only drive them, but
occasionally provide Spur-Of-The-Moment Bits Of Eternal Motherly Wisdom
between the McDonald's drive-through window and the soccer field! And
still have enough mental energy when we get home to help with the
pre-algebra! (And by "help with the pre-algebra", I mean "lean over and
say, 'hey Babe, can you help him with his pre-algebra?'" Still, it's
effort.)

In short, life is busy.

Ann Kroeker kindly sent me a copy of her book Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions For Frenzied Families. It is brilliantly wise, and it has completely rocked my perspective. I would really like to figure out some ways to implement these principles in our family, just as soon as I slow down long enough to, um, slow down.

2. The bathroom. Oh, the BATHROOM.

Hubs and I started remodeling our bathroom in early February. It's now early June, and we're still at it. And that's all I have to say about that. (But I will post pictures, eventually, if they have internet access at the looney bin.)

3. Over thinking things. (It's what I do best.)

Quite honestly, for reasons I haven't yet fully pegged, I have grown a little ambivalent about blogging over the last year. Some of it is good old-fashioned burn-out from the flurry of book writing last year. Some of it is a growing awareness that as my kids' ages go up, so does their need for privacy, and it's tricky to write a parenting blog without talking too much about parenting, you know? And still more of it is a sense that maybe–just maybe--I've said most of what I wanted to say here. It's tempting to fill up this spot just because it's here, but I don't want to say something just to hear myself talk.

("You don't?" says Hubs. "STOP IT," says I.)

So to those of you who have stopped by and wondered where I am–first of all, thank you. I'm still here, laying low while I do too much driving and introspecting. I'll still be popping in here and there, if you can be patient with a creaky old blogger who may not write nearly as often as she used to.

So that's that.

How have you been?

Works For Me: Easy Growth Chart

I’m hosting WMFW once more while Kristen is in Kenya. (I hope you’re following her amazing posts. You absolutely MUST read this one–be sure to watch the video at the end.)

I’m actually dusting off a very old WFMW of my own to share this week, because it’s especially relevant in my house even as we speak. At this very moment, my oldest son (almost 13) is officially as tall as I am. I have absolutely no idea how it happened; hence, this tip...

* * * * * * * *

When I was a girl, my parents regularly charted my growth by marking
my height on my closet door facing.  It’s a lovely idea, of course,
with one big hitch–when my parents moved out of my childhood home a
few years ago, my mom was devastated to leave those measurements
behind.  That prompted me to come up with a more permanent solution for
our family.

Growthchart2I
bought a long piece of lightweight lumber at Home Depot (about 2 inches
wide, and six feet tall–it looks and feels like a very tall
yardstick), and divided it into three long columns on the front, using
a Sharpie marker.  Each boy has his own column, and we mark his height
that way.  When Corrie entered the picture, we began marking her height
on the back (you could easily mark up to six or eight kids on one stick
this way).  It’s portable, stored away in a closet and pulled out every
few months.  Best of all, I will be able to keep it always, mounting it
to the wall in my nursing home someday, when I am old and gray and need
to be reminded of the fast-growing little monkeys that lived in my
house all these years.

Here’s a full-length shot of our growth chart (the mystery stains on
the carpet are included simply for your viewing pleasure).  You can see
where the boys’ names are written at the bottom of each column:

Growthchart1_2

This has been such a fun thing to have–very cheap, and a real treasure.

Have a WFMW tip you’d like to share? Please enter your link below (if you’re a newbie, you can read the WFMW guidelines here). Please note that this list will be closed to new links after a few days, to ward off spammers. 

http://www.mcklinky.com/linky_include_basic.asp?id=20227

These Small Hours

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders,
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours,
These small hours still remain.

–Rob Thomas, "These Small Hours"

The five-year-old curled up in her bed, her hair still a little damp from her shower a few minutes before, her mind racing through her options for the best way to delay bedtime.

"What if there's a fire? I don't like to jump out of windows," she told me.

"If there's a fire, I'll come for you," I said.

"But what if I get lost in the deep, deep forest?" she asked.

"You won't ever be in the deep, deep forest," I told her. She shot me a look that made it clear this answer was far too practical to satisfy her need for drama.

I amended my response. "If you get lost in the deep, deep forest, I'll come and find you," I said, and she nodded, satisfied. Her heavy eyelids started to droop. The 11-year-old wandered in, carrying his guitar.

"Could I play her a lullaby?" he asked quietly. I nodded, and he sat down and strummed "Jesus Loves Me" while his little sister held tightly to my hand.

Then the 8-year-old wandered in, playing his drum, because we all know that "Jesus Loves Me" is much more effective as a lullaby with a loud and driving drum beat.

The 12-year-old heard the ruckus and popped in, playing along on his harmonica. This would've been significantly more impressive if he actually knew how to play a harmonica. His playing messed up the 11-year-old, who stopped right at the "little ones to Him belong part" to whack his brother. The five-year-old was so excited by this exchange that she jumped to her feet and began to sing/shriek along while jumping up and down on her bed. The two big boys stopped their fighting, suddenly distracted by the fact that "Jesus" sounds a lot like "Cheez-Its".

The five-year-old continued to jump. The 8-year-old continued to pound. The older ones continued to shriek their hymn to the little orange crackers.

I laughed, and I wondered exactly where I lost my sweet moment.

I laughed harder, and I realized I didn't lose it at all.