Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Last summer we let LMH get her ears pierced. Nine years old seemed a little young to me, but she really wanted to and her father thought it would be fine. So I agreed. We all went as a family for the big event. She was brave. Her sisters were awed.

Fastforward to last month. Timid Daughter had been gleefully wearing the clip-on earrings she received for Christmas every time she could:not to the playground where they could get lost, not to school, not to church... And so she'd stare at her sister's ears and wistfully say, "I wish I could get my ears pierced". But she knew the rule: not until she was nine like her sister.

Unbeknownst to her, these mournful conversations were tugging at her father's heartstrings.

"We could get hers done now," he'd say to me. "It's a good time of year. No soccer to worry about."

And I'd shake my head and think, 'too young. Too young'. But before long, between his rational explanations and her reveries about life when she had pierced ears, I'd had my arm twisted. And so we trooped off to the mall again as a family. Timid Daughter got pierced ears...and so did the Uber-Princess.

"It's easier to just do them both at once. If you're taking care of one's ears, you can do the other just as well," Musing Dad had reasoned.

The Uber-Princess was excited to get hers done too. She picked out a demure pair of cubic zirconia studs. She climbed bravely up into the chair and sat perfectly still. She grimaced only slightly at the pain, then stared proudly in the mirror at her glittering ears.

All was well until the next day. Suddenly the sight of my baby with pierced ears wrenched at my heart. 'Too young! Too young!' I thought to myself. How can it be that this is my little baby? She looks so much older...and yet not.

It went that way for me for a few days as I mourned this simple rite of passage come too soon in our household. It is done. The girls are so happy. But if any mom out there has their young daughters asking for pierced ears, I caution you to think about it. There's always tomorrow or next year (or the year after even). Don't let them grow up too fast, even if it's just a simple hole in the ear.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Five-Star Friday

I woke up with a question running through my brain this morning: what kind of day would it be? And along with that question came the thought: wouldn't it be nice if someone could preview our days for us and write up a handy review? That way we'd know whether we should get out of bed or just pull up the blankets and stay put.

A simple movie review format would work fine for me. Give me the star rating - on a scale of one to five, how would you rate this day? Is it a two-star day? A four-star? And maybe a quick recap of the highlights (without giving away any spoilers) would be a big help, not to mention the perspective that would come from hearing it summarized by an objective viewer.

It just seemed to me, in that early morning sleepy brain state, that it would make things so much easier. I could be prepared for the junk to come if I knew it was going to be one of those two-star kind of days - you know, lower my expectations right off the bat. And even if it started out rocky, knowing a day ultimately rated five stars would give me the courage to press on and perhaps give me a little bit of excited anticipation too.

So far today has been a five-star Friday. I wonder how it would have been if I'd known that this morning.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hobby Refound

I'm getting back into scrapbooking again after some months of being away from it. The past year or two has simply been a drudgery for me. It wasn't fun, only work. And with each month that I didn't scrap or did only a little I was that much "further behind". What kind of hobby is that, really? I mean, who wants to do something with that kind of setup? Do people with other hobbies ever "get behind"? C'mon on now! That just seems wrong to me.

So I picked up a new book at the recommendation of a friend: Photo Freedom. It is a scrapbooking organizing guide. And it is just what I needed. Instead of looking at photos just chronologically, you shift toward looking at them also thematically - which requires a different way of organizing. I've only just started, but already I'm feeling the weight lift. I'm beginning to realize that part of the drudgery was the fact that I kept doing the same thing over and over again: birthday page, Halloween page, Christmas page, Fourth of July, etc. For year after year of my kids lives I'd do the same thing (and three versions for each year no less!). Sure, it required some creativity to keep those pages fresh and different (no, I did not repeat the same page for each album), but let me tell you, it was still getting very, very dull.

Then I'd see all these creative pages either at scrapbook gatherings or in magazines or books. There were the ones where they show a kid doing the same thing at different ages, or collages of people or places. And I'd think to myself: that would be great to do if I could just come up with those kind of groups of pictures. Now I can! And I'm getting excited again.

So if you visit me any time soon - that mess on the dining room table is the raw material for this new creativity. I'm back in the scrapbooking saddle.

There's just one thing: I haven't actually scrapped a new page yet. But soon, very soon I'm going to and it will be just fabulous!