Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm NOT a Blond(e)!

I grew up a blond, I identify with blond hair, and I certainly tried to keep the blond longer than what it wanted to stick around. I get blonde jokes forwarded to me, and I get asked if the blonde is seeping through to my brain...The truth is, I have been not a blond for quite some time, but I refused to give it up.

I had the white blond hair as a kid, but as I grew up, it became the dirty blond, almost like it had natural highlights.  It helped that I was outside a lot! Hello, swim team and lifeguard!  But then I had a real job, and I wore a hard hat, and my hair didn't see the sun quite so much.  Gone were the careless days of hanging out in the sun from early morning until the sun went down, and gone was the natural blond hair.

And so what if blond isn't natural? Or red? Or brown? Or whatever color you want to be, right?  I mean, it's just hair, and it only requires maintenance.  However, that was my issue with being blond - it's high maintenance, or at least it is to me. I mean, I have to remember to go the salon once a month to have the roots touched up! ONCE A MONTH! Not my style, I like every other month at a minimum, so I needed changed. I wanted change, and heck, based on the last personal post, I needed SOMETHING. 

So I went to the salon, and made a bold, on-the-spot decision.  I was going darker, I was getting rid of the blond (and red) and trying to go for something more natural. Although, at this point, it's hard to tell what's natural, but blond wasn't it.  So darker it was...darker than normally necessary in order to cover the red, too.

At the salon, I loved it.  Loved the change, love the solid color, and of course, love the cut and style.  But on Tuesday, I had a minor freak out.  It could be all the "Hey Blondie" comments I received now that I wasn't blond that made me think I rushed into the change.  So I called the stylist, booked an appointment for this Friday, and scoped out my hair every time I was near a mirror.

I love my stylist - I have been going to him for almost 6 years, and he was the first stylist I actually saw on a regular basis - ya know, no Great Clips, Super Cuts, mall salons, etc.  I trust him, and he has always given me great color and/or cuts.  He knows when to be bold with a color or cut, and when to be more conserative.  I have never regretted the work he has done. Never.

By Friday, I was (back) in love with my hair, but I went anyways.  The stylist and I talked, I tipped him in baked goods, and left with the wonderful hair he gave me last week.  No change, and I love it.  So here it is, no more Blondie (but hey, tell that to the guys I work with):

Immune to No

I swear Aidan received a vaccination at his 12 month appointment that eventually gave him immunity to "No."

Gone are the days when we say "No sir", he closes a cabinet, and we say "thank you." Or he steps away from the trash can, or he doesn't throw his food. Not any more. No sirree.

The pediatrician said we have to get creative (at his 15 month appointment) with "no". Huh? Should I use German, Spanish, French? Well, I don't know French...what do you mean, creative? Apparently, Aidan hears "no" too often that he became immune to its meaning, so we have to be more specific. Aidan, we don't spit our milk out. Aidan, we don't play in the trash. Aidan, we don't climb the chairs and rock them. Aidan, don't hit Bo, love Bo. Does he understand me?! Of course, he throws a fit when I take the milk away. He retreats to his toy area when I redirect him away from the trash can or remove him from the chair. He also understands how to pet Bo nicely. He hugs Bo.

We were warned, yup. The pediatrician said we can expect short attention spans, purposeful disobedience, and tantrums. Check, check check. Okay, Aidan, you passed with flying colors, can we move on to something else now?

So please, help me be creative before Aidan starts ignoring my remarks listed above. Here is his record:

Spits milk, especially when the dogs are around. He spits milk and plays with it on the floor while the dogs hurriedly lap it up.
Hits Bo (with a towel, his hand or a toy)
Hits me with his hands
Climbs chairs and rocks them
Throws food
Plays in the trash can - toys go in, trash comes out
Stands in the tub (Sit down doesn't seem to work anymore)

And using the full name doesn't work because he doesn't pay attention until he hears Aidan, and y'all he's Willis Aidan Bowers, so all he hears is AIDAN BOWERS, I don't get the impact of the full name as if he was Aidan Willis.  Oy, who knew using the middle name would bite ME in the butt, I mean, I sortof knew Aidan would eventually have difficulty.

Another issue is we laugh.  We can't help it, but what Aidan does will make us laugh, and we have to leave the room.  So Aidan continues the behavior for attention, and we know we have to hold a straight face, but it's hard.  It's hard when he's being silly, and I would rather laugh at a situation then become aggravated, but I know to help Aidan socially, I have to do something about the behavior...

For now, we'll find the positive in the michevious, attention driven behavior -  Laughter, learning, and loving

But hey, how about I balance out the negative with some positives.

Aidan was 30.2 lb and 34" at his 15 month check up. 95% for height and weight, and 50-75% for head circumference (no idea what the stat is). Aidan has stayed the course since birth - he was in these ranges and has not made an effort to slow down. There are meals where I swear he eats more than me!

He adds to his vocabulary, so we have to be careful with what we say.  We swear he is saying "thank you", "up", "milk" and "BoBo" very well lately. 

His walking is more human like and less zombie.  He runs, he climbs, and he loves playing outside so much.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stand Up for What You Believe In

There's a country song that goes something like this Stand up for something or fall for anything.

Let's be serious for a moment, no silly Diana.

I've been struggling lately.  Sometimes I cry, sometimes I yell, sometimes I have tons of confidence, and sometimes I wonder what I have gotten myself into.  I am pursuing something that could will affect my entire career because rumors spread and people talk.  Whatever I do, whether right or wrong, people will be different around you.  They'll walk on egg shells, refrain from telling a joke, or not comment your wonderful cowboy boots.  Because they worry, because they whisper when you leave the room...

My mom taught me to stand up for what's right.  She taught me to fight for what's right.  She taught me to stand strong even when you want to cry and break.  I saw and heard nasty remarks because my mom wanted to have a garbage dump removed from the front of a school. Rats, trash, and disrespect - she knew it wasn't appropriate in front of a school - She fought, people were nasty, we received harassing phone calls.  But she fought. She won...and people eventually thanked her.  Same school, and she didn't back down to an abusive principle.  She won, but she also lost along the way.  She lost sleep, she lost an appetite, she probably lost friends.  But she won, and people eventually recognized the wrongdoing. Eventually...

I cry, I hurt, and I fight.  What people have done is wrong and what they are doing is wrong.  If I sit by idle, they win.  They continue to treat people I care about with disrespect, and it's not just THEM, there's more out there.  I have to make sacrifices for my friends, for my future, for those who come after us.  I have to stand up for those who can't.  I have to say you're wrong, and I don't care what you do, I am not going away.

There's a scenario that I play over and over in my head where I get to express my feelings to the offender.  I know I won't get the chance, but I feel by playing the scenario in my head, I will feel justice.  

I wait.  I wait for the outcome.  I imagine the day I find out, the excitement, the victory, and I realize I am too excited, too optimistic.  What if THEY win? What if I made this up in my head? Then I am the fool, and I lose.  I lose confidence, I lose pride, and I lose respect.

But let's be optimistic.  Let's think about a positive outcome.  I hope I can make someone else what I was discriminated against.  Oh, the ironry, I wish for the irony.  But again, high hopes.  High hopes for justice.

Some think I am strong, I am confident, and I am a badass (sorry for the explicit language, but this is what I have heard).  But in truth, I avoid situations where I meet who I accuse. I can't eat lunch at the local cafeteria because I am afraid...afraid of who I will run into - what will they say...will I run the other way...will I speak up, will I embarass myself.  What will I do?  I'm not brave, I'm a coward.  I hope to stand behind someone, I hope to speak through someone, I hope to never encounter these people agian. And if I do, I will divert, divert, divert. 

So if you know me, please send your strength.  This fight isn't easy.  I must stand up for what's right, but consqeunces exist. I'm distraught, I'm crying, and I'm questioning myself.  But I must remember, Stand up for something, or you'll fall for anyting.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Building the Dream

Back in college, I remember day dreaming about my future and wanting a house out in the country with a long driveway shaped by beautiful hard wood trees.  I never had a vision of the house or the property, but a few years back, AJ and I came across some land out in the country with a creek running through it.  Perfect (except for the silly pine trees).  Oh wait, now we're tree farmers, okay, pine trees you're not so bad.  So for several years, AJ has harvested pine trees, leveled and plowed the land, and planted various fields for hunting.  Nothing profitable, but tree farming takes a while.  
So we're technically farmers...I mean we do own a tractor with various farming accessories.  We have waders, snake boots, pick up trucks...but AJ wants more.  He talked about COWS and CHICKENS.  What?! I'm not that kind of farmer.  Pine trees, pine straw, okay.  Animals...besides the dogs, oh no, what did I sign up for?  But that's all in the future.  First we have to live on the land and not 20 minutes away.  Then AJ will build a barn for the tractor and other farming equipment.  Oh, and the tree farming needs to become profitable so we can buy more land.  So it appears I have time to accept that one day, I might be woken up by a rooster or step in cow droppings.  However, I am getting ahead of myself.

Where are we at with our dream?

  • Well, we have house plans.
  • We have builders bidding.
  • We have a loan preapproval status pending.
  • We are in the process of refinancing our current home.
  • We know our budget and where we have to give if we want more home.
  • We have samples sitting on the dining.
  • We have catalogs stacking up in the office.
  • We have a closet design (*ahem*, AJ doesn't know this, but I have designed the closet layout)
  • We have two spots staked out for a home site.  Where we place the home is dependent upon DHEC and possibly the county.  You see, a creek is part of the state's waters, so there are restrictions on how close you can build and where your septic tank can sit.
  • I have many things pinned for ideas.
  • I have appliances picked out, or at least the minimum requirements.
  • I have made it known that the kitchen is mine to design.  Sure, AJ has veto powers, but when he started flipping through MY catalog making comments, I snatched it up and said that's not what I want...ya know, very lovingly.  There will be many decisions I do not care to weigh in on, but the kitchen is mine.  I've marked my territory.  

So the plan is to start building in February with a duration of 7 months.  

In the mean time, I day dream of walking my dogs leash free over the 26 acres, AJ knocking down silly pine trees to weave nature trails through the hardwoods, and building a bridge (I design) over the creek.  All in the future, but hey, dreamers need ideas in order to reach their goals, right?  I mean, we will have a nice long drive way, but we will need trees, and then there's a grassy opening where a small water fountain structure would be perfect, and then at some point, the drive will split off to go to the house (so I need a woodsy sign to point our guests) and to the creek.  I can envision all of this, but for now, I'll go scour the catalogs to perfect my kitchen.