Saturday, November 27, 2010


A week after my haircut, I went to class at my local community college. Four or five people noticed, and three of them individually gave me what they must've thought was a compliment: "It makes you look SO MUCH younger!"

Now I've never thought of myself as a person ever in the future needing to look younger. I always imagined I'd never consider dyeing my hair, putting on any kind of magic potion to make the age spots or crows' feet disappear, or heading to any doctor's office for botox or facelifts. I consider myself the anti-girly girl: not tomboyish, not butch, but just the opposite of really putting *that* much effort into looking a certain way. I'd learned it's too much unrewarded effort to invest more than a few minutes a day to beauty than what was necessary to be presentable: in the morning, wash out the eye boogers, brush the teeth, wash the face, slap on some moisturizer (or else I'll desiccate like you won't believe), and fluff out the hair (but never comb it unless it's wet).

This worked for my entire life. Well, I only learned the hair thing a few years ago.

My entire life I'd always been mistaken for an age other than mine, something between my then-current age and 18-21. When I was 12, I was mistaken for older. In college, people asked me what grade I was in. When I was 24, I was mistaken for a college student. Even a month ago, in my 30-somethings, two different people on two different occasions guessed I'm in my late 20s. I rarely wear any makeup, and I dress very plainly, and I act very immature. It's worked for me.

And then suddenly, with one compliment, it changed my whole outlook. I suddenly realized that I don't get carded anymore, and that maybe I should dye my hair to cover up the gray and maybe consider a magic potion or two.

I've officially been inducted into That Club, haven't I? *sigh*

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hairy Adventures

So a few weeks ago I decided to finally cut my hair. After months of weak-mindedly wanting to do it and then changing my mind again, I finally made the leap and got my hair lopped off. Twelve inches of it. For some unknown reason, I had always considered my long hair an integral part of my identity. And I guess that's why I had always hemmed and hawed when it came to actually making a decision to cut off my hair.

Anyways, the final seed was planted when the girls wanted to cut off their long hair. I wasn't particularly attached to their hair, although it was pretty fun to show off their beautiful straight shiny hair. However, combing it and styling it were not so much fun, and the girls hated waking up with it tangled up every morning. So when their friend cut off her hair and and donated it to Locks of Love, we thought hey, that would be a cool idea, and decided that would be something we'd like to do too.

Elizabeth was the first one to do it in March. She loved it, and would probably do it again in a heartbeat. And I think she felt really good about donating her hair. She's growing it longer again now. For another donation? Who knows.

Abigail begged and begged to do it next. She wanted to do it the same day as Elizabeth, but due to a misunderstanding (the stylist thought it was a 12-inch minimum donation, not 10 inches), we ended up having to wait until her hair grew another two inches, in May. She also loves having her hair short. One difference is that Elizabeth wanted to grow out her bangs, but Abigail wanted to keep hers. Her hair is growing again, too, but two months behind Elizabeth.

Then it was my turn. I kept hesitating. I kept making the excuse that my hair is too curly, and it'll just puff out when it's short. I'll look like an old Korean lady with badly permed hair. The matronly look. You know, that look. I badly wanted to avoid the hairstyle I ended up with in sixth grade -- when my mom and aunt thought it'd be a great idea to cut my hair short and give me a perm. Yuck.

I had straight hair with a mind of its own when I was little. It was a decent length (not too short, not too long) when I was about 5 or 6. And then my mom and aunt (same aunt!) thought it'd be a great idea to cut my hair short. I really wanted to keep it longer, but they somehow convinced me that they're just gonna cut it a little bit. Well, every time her scissors went to my hair, they had decided that "it was uneven, and they had to cut the other side." You know, to "even it out."

I think I avoided putting scissors to my hair after that for a long time. By the time I was in fifth grade, my hair was pretty long again. But it was thicker, and getting coarse. I started to hate my hair because it was too hard to comb, but didn't know what to do with it. So again, I submitted myself to my aunt's scissors, and in sixth grade, I ended up with a bob and a perm.

You know how I feel about that.

So for the longest time after that, I largely avoided putting scissors to my hair again.

And I also avoided hair rollers like the plague.

After I got married, on a trip to Korea, I discovered "magic perm." I loved this perm. Basically they put perm solution in your hair and then iron it flat. Some people say they look dorky afterwards because their hair is so flat against the head. But I loved it. My hair looked so sleek, so smooth, so shiny, so not-coarse.

From haircut

I think I went back to get it done once or twice, but then decided I didn't want to shell out the $$$ for it, so I decided to grow it out. That's when the nightmare began. My hair, remember, was naturally coarse and wrinkly. And the permed section was flat. I have no words to describe this phase of my hair where the roots had a mind of their own and the ends hung limp and lifeless.

And then I got pregnant. Too tired to style my hair, too scared of chemicals to do anything to my hair, and not girly enough to really care.

Needless to say, at that point, I finally decided I'm not going to fight my hair. I'm not going to make it do something it doesn't want to do, because first of all, I'm too lazy to spend half an hour blow-drying it into submission every morning, because at the end of the week, that's three and a half hours of my life I'm never going to get back. Second of all, I'm too cheap to shell out $$$ for my hair when it's just going to grow out anyway.

So that's when I decided when I get my hair cut I'm going to be honest with myself and the stylist that I'm not going to really style my hair in the morning, and I probably won't get my hair cut more often than once a year, so please please please don't give me a high maintenance haircut. So the stylist cut off the flat parts, and did some razor-cut thing that I never really understood, and I vowed this would be my last bad haircut.

A few years after my girls were born, I realized that my hair looks great when it's wet, but looks horrible when it dries, so I began my quest to find something that'll help there. I found some hair gunk that works well, and discovered that although combing my hair when wet is fine, I should never ever ever comb or brush my hair when it is dry. And I also concluded that long hair means heavy, weighed down hair, that won't puff out into the matronly permed look.

I went and got one last haircut just to clean off the razored edges and thin it out a little, and stayed away from any scissors for about a year and a half.

So until a few weeks ago, that was my routine: after my shower, I'd rub in two squirts of my hair gunk, comb it through, and let it air dry. Simple as that. It'd look fine until I wash it again. As long as I didn't comb or brush it. I think a few times I did blow-dry it straight, just to mix it up. But for the most part, my hair rarely got blow-dried. I loved the length because I could twist it up into a bun and then hold it there with a pencil. How easy was that!

My hair grew until it went down to my waist, and then I realized it was always getting caught in my purse straps, Abigail was always playing with it and pulling ONE strand just enough to make it hurt, and it was starting to look really scraggly. The thinning that had been done a year and a half earlier was now just horrible, and my hair was starting to feel chlorine-damaged, although I was pretty careful to wash my hair as soon as I got out of any pool. I got some deep conditioner but that didn’t help much, so it was time to go and get it cut again.

Well, since the girls had been brave and got their hair cut off and donated it, I couldn’t just chicken out and trim off the ends. I had to get it all cut off. So that’s just what I did. Twelve inches sent it from my waist to my shoulders.

It feels so much thicker and healthier now. And since I’ve got my hair gunk, it doesn’t look all puffy and old-lady-permed. At least that’s what I think.

Monday, July 19, 2010

You say pedal, I say paddle

So on Friday we went to a small lake where they have swimming and you can rent paddle (pedal?) boats.  We had a wonderful time.  Unfortunately I forgot to bring a camera.

We spent an hour swimming in the lake in the morning.  It's amazing how fast the lake fills up with people.  We had a prime parking spot, and when we got to the beach, we were the second or third family there.  An hour and a half later, when we were eating lunch, it would be impossible to swim ten feet in any direction and not bump into a person or three.  And after lunch, when we went to move our car to the boating part of the lake, we saw the parking lot was packed.

So we went to the boating part of the lake, and they have a little mobile trailer that serves as the boat rental office.  It was 94 degrees that day, and inside the mobile trailer it was probably somewhere near 110 degrees.  Thankfully we didn't have to go inside to rent -- they have a window.  But the poor kid who works there!

Anyways, they had available to rent kayaks, what they called paddle boats, row boats, electric boats, and duffy boats.  We rented a paddle boat, piled in, and went around the lake once.  Did it mention it was 94 degrees that day?  Elizabeth and Abigail complained about the heat after about ten minutes on the lake, asking us when are we going to be done, when are we going home, when are we going to stop, and I'm sleepy.

After about fifteen minutes on the lake, we returned to the dock, and went home.

I still don't know if it's called a pedal boat or a paddle boat.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Where did this summer go???

Maybe it's because we took a trip to Southern California the second week of summer vacation.  Maybe it's the solid month of nightly swimming lessons.  Maybe it's because I'm working pretty much five days a week (albeit part time).  But I just realized I'm getting one week off of work (it's my turn at work, per budget issues), followed by one week of VBS, and then it's already August.  Where did this summer go??

I had a "summer bucket list" of stuff I wanted to do, but it seems like although my day-to-day is more relaxed than during the school year (thanks to not having to deal with 8:10am dropoffs and 2:50pm pickups), my schedule is still just as full and unavailable for doing "fun stuff" like camping, visiting water slides and water parks, going pedal boating (which, incidentally, I just realized is NOT called "paddle boating"), mini golfing, Tahoe, amusement parks, and other tourist traps attractions.  Where did this summer go???

I think it's because my husband is still working just as much, and I don't feel comfortable doing these things alone with the girls.  Combine that with the stuff HE wants to do while the weather's good (basically anything that doesn't involve the family -- biking, poker, UFC, half-marathon), and I think that gives a pretty good picture of where our summer has gone.  *sigh*

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Don't you hate it??

Don't you hate it when you think of something to write about, but by the time you get to the computer, you completely forget what it was?  And you KNOW that it was something that you had been wanting to write about for a long time?

I'm sure it'll come to me...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Flat Stanley in Southen California

The plan:
leave Friday to go to M&M's house in southern California, hang out for a couple of days.
On Sunday, go to Anaheim with M&M&family to meet S&G&family, and check into a hotel near Disneyland.
Visit The Mouse on Monday.
Tuesday return home.

Kids were hard at work playing.

Flat Stanley was hanging out in the lobby at our hotel near Disneyland.

Flat Stanley rode the bus with us to Disneyland.

Family photo with Mickey.

Shooting the targets on the Buzz Lightyear ride.

Looking for the targets on the Buzz Lightyear ride.

Three kids in 3-D.

Can't forget Abigail's monster smile.

Silly smiles from the six oldest kids.

Flat Stanley's photo op with Mickey.

We got back to our hotel to find the girls' dolls had a great time playing on our beds.  Flat Stanley wanted to join in on the fun.

Introducing Bob

Both girls had their hair chopped off over the past couple of months.  They have a friend who had beautiful, thick, long, black hair, and she cut it off and donated it to Locks of Love.  I thought that was a wonderful idea and mentioned it to Elizabeth and Abigail.  It took a while for them to warm up to the idea, but by the time their hair got long enough, they were more than ready.  Elizabeth kept asking when she will get to cut her hair short "just like Z."  Abigail wanted her hair cut too, but since her last haircut was more recent, we had to wait a couple more months for it to get long enough for the minimum donation length (10 inches).  Those last two months of waiting were an exercise in patience.  By the end of the wait, Abigail was asking me every day "can I get my hair cut today?"

They are so happy with their short bobs.  I also love how it's so much easier to comb, although a part of me is secretly trying to figure out how long it'll take to grow it out again, in order to donate again.  I mean, why not?  It grows for free on their heads, and if it helps somebody out, why not!

Now I want to cut off my hair and donate it too, but I'm so afraid of what short hair will do to me.  It's curly, and who knows what'll happen when the weight of the length goes away -- will my hair go flying out in all different directions?  If only I knew for sure that it'll be okay.

Hopefully the end of a half-year hiatus

It's amazing how life can get in the way of writing about life.  Over the past ten months I had decided to take up some classes at the local community college, and although I got good grades (straight As!), managed to work part time at preschool and church (12 hours), had dinner on the table almost every night, and packed lunch for my family, I just couldn't manage blogging on top of it all.  Well, now that school is done, I can now stop, take a deep breath, a good look around, and start writing about it again.  Hopefully regularly.

Some updates:

Abigail is now beginning her last year of preschool.  She's excited about being a Dinosaur -- a pre-K.

Elizabeth's last day of first grade was on June 10.  She got sent home with summer vacation homework, a Flat Stanley that she needs to take around on her summer vacation adventures.  She'll be going with me and Abigail to preschool.

We just got back from a five-day road trip to Southern California to see some friends -- details later.  We've got plans for swimming lessons and art classes too, but unfortunately dance just can't fit into our schedule this year.  I have a feeling I'll be keeping a Flat Stanley journal as well.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Oh, and happy bloggiversary to me too

I've been a blogger for one year and one day.  Let's see what this next year brings.  (Does this count as Post Number Two for January 2010?)

A belated happy new year and merry Christmas and happy Thanksgiving while we're at it, too

I've been a horrible blogger.  I have been trying to keep up about 4 blog posts per month, and completely missed December.  I can explain myself!  I was taking two classes and had two big projects plus two finals, all converging in December.  And right before that was Thanksgiving, which I had taken upon myself to cook up pretty much the entire meal, mostly from scratch, for my family, my parents, and my sister's family.  And as soon as finals was over, we had to scramble to get the house decorated for Christmas and cleaned and ready for my in-laws' annual visit.  And today is my dad's birthday too, so we spent the weekend at my parents' place and helped throw him a little birthday dinner party.  So yeah, I've been a little busy.  Sorry.  I hope you will forgive me.

If it helps, here are a few pictures as a peace offering...

Me and Abi hanging out at our favorite frozen yogurt place.  (The rest of the family is on the other side of the table.)

Eliz's first school assembly performance

Cornerstone Fellowship's annual Women's Christmas Dinner with Point of Grace performing

SNOW!! I had to take a picture because this is a rare occasion -- I heard the last time it snowed here was in 1977 or something like that.

The girls took pictures with Santa. He comes to a mom-and-pop shop here in town during December, and the same Santa has been coming for years. No charge for pictures; bring your own camera!

Eliz's first school award; an AR bronze medal for accumulating 25 points. She was one of three in her classroom to receive this.

Christmas morning at our house with the in-laws

Christmas day trip to Mt. Diablo

Hula hooping -- Eliz is showing off how she can even jump while keeping the hula hoop spinning.  Lil stinker makes it look easy.