Wednesday, July 25, 2012

big red

yesterday someone said to me,

"that color looks good on you.  usually people with red hair can't wear orange, but you pull it off."

i was confused at first.  was she talking to me?  for some reason, i still think of myself as a blonde, although i haven't actually been blonde for a few years.

but i'm not blonde right now.  i am, in fact, a redhead!  (well, not really.  but that was the first time i've ever been called one.)

so now i'm going to post a bunch of pictures of myself.  fair warning.

this is a pretty good representation of my natural hair color.  (it turns blonde when i'm in the sun a lot but at this point i'd been living in utah for at least 2 years.)

this is when i started dyeing my hair dark.

(baby tesla!)

and THIS is my hair now!   (i can tell how excited you are.)

it's faded out from when i did this.

let's just acknowledge that my hair does not look that cute here.  and it's not really red, unless i'm in direct sunlight. 

direct sunlight!  a bit redder.  this is probably what inspired the comment.

and my roots!  three months of growth.


and just for fun, here's me with bangs.

(baby desmond!)

the end.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

sweet and funny

oven is fixed!  celebrated with red velvet cupcakes.

still not a red velvet convert, but these were definitely the best i've ever had.

and for downton abbey fans:

these paper dolls crack me up.

have a good day.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

fake birthday

yesterday, we celebrated all of our birthdays.

of course, it wasn't any of our actual birthdays...or even anyone's half-birthday.

but i decided we needed some festivity, so festivity we would have.

it was legit.  i made a sign.

we took the boys to see ice age 4 (they lasted about 45 minutes), and came home for pizza and presents.    it didn't matter that we were late to the movie, or that we spent most of it chasing the boys up and down the stairs (there was hardly anyone there, so it wasn't a big deal).  or that the pizza took so long to cook (thank you oven) that we just made the boys grilled cheese so they could go to bed.  or that the oven destroyed my cupcakes and rendered them inedible (seriously, i could write an entire post dedicated to the eccentricities of our oven).

we had presents.  and a sign.  and balloons.  and it felt special.

i got the boys each a pair of sunglasses, and a little airplane and dinosaur.  (bless them for being so easy to please right now.)  i got silas a massage at a local spa, and he got me a pizza stone.  (i've been wanting one forever.)

i left the sign up today.  it's cheerful.

birthdays, real or invented, are a definite morale-booster.

(and so, by the way, is anything that glows in the dark.)

thoughts in the dark

"silas, do you think musicians ever get tired of their own music?  or maybe, since they wrote it and it has meaning to them, they don't ever get sick of it..."

"yeah, i'm sure they probably get tired of playing the same thing all the time."

"maybe that's why dave matthews smokes so much weed.  so he can be happy when he sings."


"sure, heather."


i'm pretty brilliant at night.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

the thing is

i was talking to a friend (hereafter referred to as j) this morning at playgroup.  it was 9 am, and no one else would show up for another two hours.  but, of course, i wouldn't miss a chance to get the boys out of the house.  too much home time makes them whiny and argumentative.

we got onto the topic of being a stay-at-home mom.  it's a good gig, you know.  it really is.  i get to wear whatever i want and fill my day however i choose.  i don't answer to anyone, and i'm not on someone else's schedule.  i appreciate these things about my job--its flexibility is one of the reasons i love it.  (also being with the boys.  that's important to me.)  i want you to know this so you don't think i'm complaining or that my life sucks.  because i'm not.  and it doesn't.


but.  it, this mothering thing, is isolating.  you spent the vast majority of your time in the presence of children.  and when you do see other mom friends you talk about your children.  and when your husband gets home he's tired and you're tired and neither of you wants to talk about children anymore.

but...what else is there?

j and i come from similar situations.  oldest child, first to get married (both of us tied the knot a few weeks after turning 19), all that.

and we don't regret it, choosing this life.  however...being the oldest, we both feel that "pressure to perform".   to excel, to be the good example.  we never got in trouble, never snuck out.  never drank or smoked pot or acquired random body piercings.

and then, just after graduating high school, we got married.

and had children.


just like that

childhood was over.

"we kind of just skipped the rebellious stage, you know?"  i said.  "but now i wonder if it isn't a natural part of growing up.  sometimes i miss being single.  not the actual single part, i suppose, because i do love being married, but...i miss the social interaction that you get from work, or school.  the people you see and laugh with everyday, who tease you and share inside jokes with you."

"i know," she said.  "my husband has these friends from work, and they go out to lunch every day and text each other all the time.  i miss that, you know?"

i do.

i do know.

"but we can't really do that," i mused.  "i mean, the only people i see every day are the grocery store clerks.  and when i do hang out with other mom friends, we all have our kids.  it's not so much bonding as it is refereeing."

she laughed.  we'd been alternately refereeing our four boys during our entire conversation.

"i think i'm boring now," i confessed quietly.  "all i do is babies, cook, clean, watch tv, read.  so when someone doesn't want to talk about kids...i don't know what to say."

"yeah," she agreed.  "i think i know what you mean."


thanks for reading, loves.

i'd like to start posting more of my actual, you know, thoughts and feelings.  ;)  writing is an outlet for me.  i'm always afraid when i post something a little more personal, that someone's going to take it the wrong way or get offended or think that i'm complaining or depressed or that i don't love my kids or my husband.

(for the record, everything's good in this here 'hood.)

but my favorite blogs are the ones that read more like diaries.  the ones that are real, and give me a glimpse into someone else's head so i don't feel so alone, thinking and feeling the way i do.  i do want my blog to be a positive place, but i also want the freedom to just write sometimes without worrying what everyone's going to think.

i hope that's okay with you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


silas and i have almost nothing in common.  after 4 years and some months of marriage, that's been pretty firmly established.

what's funny is that when we were dating, we were all, "OMG!  we totes like ALL the same things!  we're, like, meant for each other!"

...except neither of us talks like a 14 year-old valley girl.

but, for reals now, i think i could count on one hand the things we have in common.

1.  we have the same children.

2., like running.  although i like it in a "run a few times a week" kind of way and he likes it in a "i'm planning on dominating in a 100-mile race one day" kind of way.

so there's that.

3.  we like masterchef!  i knew there was something else.  woe unto us when the season ends.  (but then psych starts, so we're still good.)

4.  ...

i'm seriously drawing a blank here.  let me get back to you.

oh yeah.  very occasionally, we'll like the same song.  like that one night we played "walking with a ghost" 12 times in a row.

one thing we do not have in common is our sense of humor.  basically, silas thinks i don't have one.  i tell him that my sense of humor is just more refined than his.

last week, i was telling him about a movie i saw.

(i'll let you figure out which one is me.)

"and then, of course, he gets a soccer ball to the...well, balls, and the whole theater of 9 year-old boys cracks up.  and there were burping and farting jokes..."

"why is that not funny?  a soccer ball to the nuts is hilarious!"

"it's just not!  i've seen that a million times before, i knew it was coming.  the biggest element of humor is that it has to be unexpected!"

"no, it doesn't.  what about on funniest home videos?  when the kid and the dad are playing baseball..."

"yeah, and you know he's going to get whacked in the crotch or on the head.  i don't think america's funniest home videos is FUNNY."


"what is wrong with you?"

i'm thinking back to the time we watched dumb and dumber together.  i think that was the first time silas began to have serious doubts about our relationship.

just kidding.

but really, now.

what do you think?  do you agree with my belief that true humor involves the unexpected?  

or does my inability to laugh at fart jokes mean i'm dead inside?

note: all of the (completely unrelated) pictures in this post are at least 4 years old.  silas stopped shaving shortly after we got married.

but then again, so did i.

Monday, July 16, 2012

winging it

parenting is hard.

and i think it gets harder with each year.

but let me explain.  

i think of parenting as having two (main) aspects: caretaking and guiding.

caretaking is the more physically demanding bit.  with the exception of children who have special needs, the younger your children are, the more caretaking you have to do.



think of a newborn, a tiny baby that requires everything of you.   you're not concerned with teaching her the moral implications of sharing; you're just trying to make sure she eats and sleeps enough.  and, oh yeah, you have to bathe her, change her clothes (and diapers), get her in and out of her crib and carseat, and carry her everywhere.

the level of caretaking required begins to decrease as your child gets older, and really starts to taper off once your child is preschool age.  once your child can put on and take off his own shoes and clothes, bathe himself, feed himself, get in and out of his carseat by himself (preferably not when you're crusing down the freeway at 75 mph...),  and walk next to the cart without taking off down the aisle to wreak havoc on all of the carefully stacked cans of beans...the physical demands on you begin to decrease.



but there's a catch.  now you've got to be in full-on guiding mode.


in some ways, caretaking is easier.  even though it can be draining, for the most part, it's straightforward.  (not to say that having a newborn is a cake walk though...ask me how many more babies i want to have.)   ;)


for me, at least, guiding is really tricky.  i believe this is in part because you won't really see the results of your efforts for several years, maybe even decades down the road--when your child is out in the world, making decisions for and by himself.


you know your end goal.  you know you want to raise an independent, responsible, dependable, punctual, compassionate, thoughtful, honest young person who is financially savvy, understands the value of hard work, plays nice, shares well with others, and tries every food at least once.


but the how of that equation, the way you plan to get your intended result (i.e. a model citizen and perfect human being ;) ) is completely up to you.

and the how can be confusing.  because in the mini battles you fight every day, you're both winning and losing ground--and it's hard to see if you're even making progress at all.

maybe you think i'm making this into a big deal.  "come on, heather," you say.  "you're over-thinking this."

maybe it's that easy for everyone else.  but i feel like i'm constantly second-guessing myself.

some days the boys listen really well, and i feel good.  look at me, parenting them!  did you see tesla share that truck today?  i'm a freakin' genius.*

and then some days (a lot of days), i feel like a completely ineffective parent.


there are those rare shining, golden moments, that let you see that some of your near-constant training is sinking in.  when the boys say, "please" or "thank you" without being asked.  when they listen to me the first time.  when they hug each other or gently pet a baby's hair.  when they say "bless you" and ask if i'm okay when i sneeze.  when they point to the ipad, say "mommy's!", and actually don't pick it up.


i treasure those moments.  they give me hope.  because honestly, no matter how many parenting books/articles i've read, no matter how many brainstorming discussions i've had, no matter how much i care and think and plan...i have no idea what i'm doing.

are we all just winging it?


*"i'm a freakin' genius" is my phrase of choice.  i bust it out anytime i'm right about something, or when i just feel particularly awesome.

so basically i say it about 50 times a day.  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

flying solo

silas and the pup left for the weekend to hike some mountains and catch some fish.

last night i watched a chick flick (with DAVID TENNANT in it, how could i not?) and ate mint chocolate chip ice cream.  then i had another bowl of mint chip, this time with a warm, freshly baked cookie on top.

i took a shower.  and later a bath.  i shaved my legs (!!).

(i am a lazy shaver.  as in, i do it once every week or two.)

i fell asleep around 11, gleefully stretched out over the whole bed.  i almost texted silas to ask why he didn't leave me his pillow.  

i prefer two pillows.  just so you know.

this morning was slow.

slow in a good way, though.

i didn't roll out of bed till around 8, and took my sweet time getting ready.  i made the boys pancakes, and we didn't finish up breakfast until around 9:30.

i had some visitors, a nice lunch.  there wasn't an excessive amount of screaming.  the boys went down for naps without freaking out (tesla) or hitting me (desmond).  no one threw books at me.  i know the current whereabouts of 3 out of 4 sippy cups.

days like this make it possible to make it through the others.  :)

i hope you're having a nice weekend.  make it a relaxing one.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

what you've missed

you know how i set a goal to read 50 books in 2012?  NAILED IT.  finished my 50th last month, only halfway through the year.

(we're going to overlook the glaringly obvious lack of whatever in my life that allows me to read such a ridiculous amount and just skip right to the "congratulations, you're awesome!" bit.)

white collar marathons.  

neal caffrey.  i rest my case.  

silas refuses to watch it with me.  but it is the best. (ps, season 4 just started!!  i'm waiting for the perfect moment to settle down with a bowl of brownie batter celery sticks and enjoy episode 1.)

ps again--i was absolutely convinced for the entirety of seasons 1 and 2 and most of season 3 that kate was still alive.  i haven't completely banished the thought.

cheesy dip-stuffed bread bowl.  it seems to be impossible for silas and me to watch an episode of masterchef without delicious snacks at hand.

food coloring and shaving cream.

sirius is in LOVE with silas.  and only silas.

bread stuffed with butter and cheese and slathered with more butter.

delicious brownies from katie imhoff's recipe.  

chocolate cupcakes.  stuffed with cookie dough.  topped with a fluffy cookie dough frosting.  this was a win.  (but, as i told silas, definitely not for lightweights.)  ;)

i've been watching dc cupcake while i pit bowls of cherries (my hands look ridiculous after all the cherries and beets i chopped yesterday) and dreaming of the bakery i will open some day.  

it's going to be delicious.