Day 74 – I can’t even

Stevie is convinced that he’s got Henry’s next Halloween costume all picked out…

What do you think?

No shit folks, this is just his hair! Now, I will say, it wasn’t quite this crazy when he went to school this morning. Just the usual patch standing straight up near his cowlick. But by the time the day was over, this happened…

I can’t even. Where do I start?

Day 61 – And the best bedhead award goes to

Who else would it be but Henry?

I’m honestly at a loss of how to solve this kid’s crazy hair problems short of shaving him bald. I don’t know if it’s just a wicked cowlick, something about the way I’m cutting his hair, or maybe he’s got some sort of weird electricity running through his little body that makes his hair perpetually stand on end. We’ve tried wetting it, combing it, slicking it down with extra hold mousse but honestly everything we’re tried has only made things worse.

Plus, Henry has decided he likes his crazy hair (he thinks it makes him look like two of his favorite cartoon characters, Hiro from Big Hero 6 and Sora from the Kingdom Hearts video games) so he’s taken to running away from us every time we tell him we want to help him with his hair.

At this point, it doesn’t even really bother as much as it cracks me up. As long as his hair is clean, I don’t really care if it’s sticking up all over the place. I’ve got much bigger battles to fight with this kid. 😉

Day 41 – Small victories

What a difference a haircut makes!

After a month or so of asking, begging, pleading, and insisting that Henry please, please, please, please, pretty please let Mommy cut that hair before it becomes a bonafide mullet…

Oh, who am I kidding? H-man and Stevie have both been sporting psuedo-mullets for a few weeks now.

But finally today, I managed to distract Henry enough with the iPad and offer the right kind of bribe (a strawberry Blow-Pop), and lo an behold he finally agreed to let me cut his shaggy hair.

He doesn’t even look like the same kid!

Now, I just gotta get Stevie’s hair taken care of and all will be right with the world again.

Day 9 – Bedhead be damned

I don’t know what this kid does when he sleeps, but he could win some sort of world record for his bedhead.

And that’s just what was rockin’ in front. He wouldn’t let me get a picture of the back. He also refused to let me try to smooth anything down so, you guessed it, I sent him off to school that way. And somehow that hair was even wilder when he got home.

Listen, as a parent, you learn quickly to pick your battles, especially if you have kids as stubborn as mine. A little weird half-mohawk half-flat-pixie-bangs going on? Not gonna waste my time or energy chasing H-man around the house with a comb and a handful of mousse to try and tame it. I’ll save my efforts for the important things like getting this stubborn kid to poop on the toilet or eat a freakin’ vegetable without it turning into a hostage situation at the dinner table.

Plus, if this keeps up, I’ll eventually be able to make a nice little photo montage to display on the wall or maybe save for a special occasion like high school graduation, or those cute little videos people like to show at wedding receptions. Or, you know, just post it on a blog. 🙂

Happy Hair Twin Day! – Kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Katie (then Luekens) was one of the first people I met at Concordia College when I arrived in August of 1998. During the flurry of Orientation, I walked into the Dean of Students office to have my ID photo taken. With a camera in her hands, Katie ushered me in and asked for my name.

“Lori Luethje,” I said. “It’s spelled L-U-E…”

I know you!” Katie squealed as she jotted my name down on a piece of paper. To this day, she is one of the only people I have ever known who could spell it right on her own.

“Well, I know your mom anyway,” Katie explained. “I love it when she calls. It’s always the exact same thing…” she paused, cleared her throat and softened her voice for the impression. “‘Hello. This is Jayne Luethje from Holdrege, Nebraska…’”

I laughed. The impression was spot on.

Katie snapped my picture mid-laugh and I spent the remainder of my college days carrying an ID with a goofy grinning photo staring back at me. Whenever anyone commented, I blamed Katie.

For the rest of my days as a student, Katie and I remained friends, and even spent two years living together in staff housing after I graduated and started working in Concordia’s Admission Office. I fell in love with her sweet dog Scherzo, and spent several holidays and vacations dog/housesitting while Katie traveled to out West to visit her family.

It’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to Katie like moths to a flame. She’s funny and feisty and full of energy. She’s one of those people who is such a natural performer it’s as if a spotlight follows her wherever she goes. And she still has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. When I lived in New York, I used to count down the days to her performances, and make sure I sat near her in chapel so I could mouth the words to the hymns while I listened to her sing them.

When Katie was diagnosed with breast cancer, the thing I hated most (apart from seeing one of my dearest friends so ill) was not being able to physically be there for her. After all the years we’d spent being friends, hanging out, working together, venting to each other, and being roomies, the thousands of miles between us suddenly seemed to grow. I wanted to be able to drop by her house to see her, to hold her hand, hug her. Instead, I had to keep up with her through texts and photos, and send her all the positive thoughts and prayers I could from halfway across the country.

But I knew Katie is a fighter, and that she would never let a little cancer keep her down.

Earlier this year, Katie and I made a deal. I think it started one day when I made a comment on Facebook about wanting to cut my long hair, and Katie suggested I try her post-chemo hairstyle and we could be hair twins. I told Katie I would love to be her hair twin, and we settled on October 1 as our official Hair Twin Day, as a way to kick of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and celebrate Katie being a survivor.

It also gave me a little more time to grow my hair as long as possible for donation.

So, I made an appointment, and had Katie send over a few photos. A few people asked if I was nervous making such a drastic change. Nope. Not one bit. Not for my Katie.

Happy Hair Twin Day Roomie!

The one and only, Katie Luekens Chan Chee lookin’ fabulous as a redhead!
My before picture
My amazing hairstylist (and old high school friend) Desirae (Fowler) Tira
12 inches cut to donate, and a whole lot more on the floor
What’s this?
Bye bye hair! It’s off to be made into a wig that will be donated to one of the American Cancer Society’s wig banks.
I don’t think I know how to make a normal face in a photo, so I’ll just show you my hair
Pretty sure the neighbors thought I was nuts taking self-portraits on the front porch
It may be Breast Cancer Awareness month, but October is not the only time to show your support.
It’s a lot of hair, but it’s the least I can do.

To all my friends and family who have bravely battled cancer–whether breast, brain, throat or thyroid–you are loved. You are courageous and tenacious. You inspire me to be a better person, and to be thankful for every moment I get to spend on this earth.

Keep fighting. Keep fighting. Keep fighting.

Parenting: A Surefire Guarantee Against Boredom

There are a whole lot of people out there who genuinely believe that once you have kids, your life gets “boring”. Obviously, these people have never spent any time with a 2-year-old.

Don’t get me wrong, there are things that definitely become more mundane when you have kids. Date nights consist of lounging on your own couch and praying that the kiddos stay asleep while you try to keep your eyes open long enough to finish the movie you rented from the Red Box at the local Walgreens. And the days of turning a rowdy 5-hour marathon of MarioKart into a margarita-guzzling, loser takes a shot drinking game have morphed into more of a have-a-beer-or-weak-cocktail-and-keep-an-eye-on-the-kids kind of evening.

But boring? No way. Life is anything but boring with kids in the house. In fact, I’m starting to believe that having a kid or two in the house is a surefire guarantee against boredom. I’d tell you about a “typical” day, but that’s damn near impossible. There’s no such thing as typical when kids are involved.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take today for instance…

Today’s craziness started just after breakfast this morning when Cadence decided to start jumping on the giant beanbag like it was a trampoline. We’ve been telling her to knock it off and be careful for weeks, but she doesn’t listen. Some days she even takes to divebombing onto the beanbag from the couch. Well, today her luck finally ran out. She stepped a little too close to the edge, and all of a sudden I watched her flip, head over heels, and fall face first off the back, cracking her face on her potty chair on the way down.

It took all of 1.3 seconds for me to jump out of my chair and pick her up, but of course she’d already begun to wail. She was more frightened than anything, and the tears didn’t last more than 30 seconds, but that was about the same time that her nose began to bleed. Three tissues and a few drops of blood on my shirt later, and all was right with the world again, just in time for Steven to come home for lunch.

After running a few errands and putting Cadence down for a nap, I thought the rest of the day might pass uneventfully.

There I go, thinking again.

Instead of napping, Cadence decided it might be fun to play around in her crib for an hour or two and fight sleep. Oh well, I didn’t mind. I spent the time listening to her chatter and catching up on some work. Finally, when the stench of a stinking diaper began to waft down the stairs, I went to get her up and changed.

The first thing I noticed (besides the acrid smell) was the fact that she appeared to be chewing on a large wad of gum. She complied when I asked her to spit the wad into my hand, and I discovered that it wasn’t gum at all, but a large ball of wet, slimy paper.

Nasty.

Then Cadence turned her head and I realized that it wasn’t just paper, it was the Miss Piggy sticker she’d been carrying around the house the past few days. Apparently, she’d smuggled it into her crib at some point and had spent the last hour carefully peeling the picture off the sticky backing. The picture had been shoved into her mouth and masticated to the point that Miss Piggy was now a slimy, colorless blob. And the sticky back? Well, that was now tangled in a mass of hair just above her right ear.

I stood  for a moment, trying to decide if Miss Cadence could actually rock a girlish mohawk, or if a pixie-style cut might be in order.

It took a few minutes of finagling, but I managed to get most of the paper backing out of her hair. The glue? That was another story.

She let me mess with it for all of five minutes before she got really mad and threatened to declare war. So, I let her go play, figuring Steven and I could tag team her when he got home.

Of course, at that point, I had to break out the camera. I mean, I’d already slacked off getting pictures of the bloody nose and the actual sticker chewing/wearing, so the least I could do was get a few shots of my little messmaker with a big wad of glue in her hair. Cadence refused to actually look at me while I took the pictures, except for the brief moment when she tried to do a Jedi Mind Trick.

“This is not the messy child you’re looking for. There is no glue in her hair.”

I swear, she almost got me. The Force is strong with this one.

So tonight, after a particularly messy dinner of spaghetti and a fudgecicle for dessert (why not, right? She was getting a shower anyway), I rubbed down Cadence’s hair with some olive oil and sent her off to shower. Then, after a thorough washing and combing, she was glue free once again, just in time for bed.

Thank goodness, because this Momma is exhausted.

And you know I better get to sleep because tomorrow is a whole new day full of fun and surprises.

Bring it on. 🙂