Sunday, May 23, 2010

Why We Shave Our Kids' Heads

First of all, for the record, Justin Bieber is actually 16. That makes me feel a little bit better. I found that out when I was rewatching his Ellen interview, which should probably make me feel a little bit worse.

Now on to the subject at hand.

Our kids always come out with "male-pattern baldness." They get this from Nate. I wish I had a baby picture of him to scan in. Thankfully, Nate has a nice, thick head of hair now. So if they continue to take after him in the hair department, they'll be lucky. But it's starts out pretty rough. With Harrison, I kept waiting for the front to grow in and catch up with the back. I waited. . .
. . .and waited. . .

. . .and waited. As his hair got longer and longer -- everywhere but the front.

Finally, after his first birthday, Nate convinced me to let him, "trim up the back." I still don't know if this was an accident or if he purposely did a horrible job so that he could just shave the whole thing, but this was his idea of "trimming up the back."

So, we took a few more pictures of our wispy-haired boy,
and then. . .

. . .0ff came the rest.

And we had our first "shorn pup." It took some getting used to and I morned his long wisps, but eventually I realized he looked much better this way. Especially when we got such positive responses from people. Looking back, we regretted waiting as long as we did to give him this new do.

Then along came Elizabeth, who took this look to a whole new level. With darker hair and much more of it, we had a situation on our hands.

I tried to distract from the "mad scientist look" with headbands.

It really didn't help her case when my mom came to visit and it looked like this the first time she saw her on that trip.

Definitely a mix between George Castanza and Kramer.

So my mom and Nate ganged up on me shaved her head. She was only 3 months old. And she was a she. With a shaved head.

Again, it took some getting used to. And it wasn't as well-received by the public as our son's shaved head had been. But honestly, scroll back up to those crazy pictures and you have to admit, it looks better.

I still tried using headbands as a distraction.

This time around, especially since he's a boy and it's totally acceptable for boys to have buzzes, we told ourselves that we would not let it get as out of hand as it did with the first two. Nate's been a little trigger happy though. He's been bugging me to shave it for over a month now. I'll admit, sometimes it did stick up funny in the back.

But sometimes it laid flat and didn't look bad, like last night, in his "before" pictures.

The bald spot in the back is how Nate finally convinced me it was time.
So, we have ourselves another shorn pup.

Again, it is taking me time to readjust. But I'm sure it will look better in the end, now that it has a chance to grow in more evenly.
I just wish I had given in sooner. We're leaving for Hawaii soon, and now he's going to be bald in all the pictures. If we had done it two weeks ago, it would have grown in a little. Nate says he'll just look like all the other Hawaiian babies.

Elizabeth pointed at his head and said, "This is Daddy's fault." Yep. For better or worse, it is definitely Daddy's fault. The problem and the solution.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Got a Fever

There is definitely something wrong with me. Why am I watching Justin Bieber videos on You Tube at 11:15 at night?

I had hardly heard of the this boy before last week. Couldn't have picked him out of a line up. Then he was on Oprah. Harrison was awe struck and a new obsession was born. I could hear him watching it over and over again the next morning and several times a day since. Then he was on Ellen monday and American Idol tonight. Now I'm finding myself becoming a little obsessed.

Baby, baby, baby, ooh really is pretty catchy, he can definitely sing, and he is just so stinkin' cute. I find myself in a bit of a Taylor Lautner situation, except this kid is only 15. So, it's a cross between more of a motherly love/isn't he adorable/how proud would I be if that were my son and jealously of my 13 year old sister, who can crush on him if she wants to (and why wouldn't she want to?) without feeling like a creepy old woman. Seriously, there are so many more heartthrobs now than when I was growing up. Boys way more talented and better looking than all 5 New Kids on the Block combined.

I could live without the wannabe rapper vernacular (I honestly cannot stand when people put on accents like that) and the turrets-like hair flip.

But other than that -- Baby (in the most literal sense of the word), you smile, I smile.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Look Back at April

Here's a look back at the pictures from last month that didn't make it into a post of their own.

Johnny Boy's 2 month pictures.

The sweater outfit my mom gave him that I love! He's gotten really good at smiling!

My 100% Hapa kids! Nate's sister, Rachael made all the grandkids these shirts for Christmas. "Hapa" means half (or mixed) in Hawaiian. They are definitely 100% Half.

I mentioned Harrison's obsession with Japan (thanks to Karate Kid). Well, that has also got him obsessed about how Japanese everyone is. There is a boy in his class who is a quarter Japanese, and he is fluent in Japanese, so Harrison often says, "I wish I were a quarter Japanese and then I could speak Japanese." He also can't believe that I'm not at all Japanese since I can speak some Japanese and write in Japanese. He often asks me if Johnny is "Full Baby." And when he will be "Half Baby." So funny.

I thought it was so funny how he fell asleep with his hand up. He never did relax and put it down.

Power to the people!

The kindergartners did animal reports. Harrison's was on the Polar Bear. We all learned a lot about Polar Bears. I also learned a lot about patience.

Harrison had his recital for Let's Play Music. He did a great job playing his bells and singing.

Silly girls at playgroup!


The Birnels, who are friends of friends, recently moved here and have become friends of ours. Brittany is quite the party thrower. Elizabeth had the privilege of attending Stella's Fairy Party and came home with a head to toe fairy outfit. Thanks, Brittany, for supplying Elizabeth's Halloween costume months in advance!

To see more details from this amazing party and lots of other great stuff, go to Brittany's Blog here. Elizabeth is the one in the denim dress.

I love it when babies fall asleep in someone's arms (preferably mine). Notice the little drool drop. . .

. . .and down it goes.

Harrison rediscovered "Jay Jay's Movie" an independent film that Uncle Jayson stared in called "Big Dreams Little Tokyo." This further fueled his love for anything Japanese. When Jayson and Victoria drove through, Harrison wanted to get a picture with "Jerome" on the screen and in person. (Notice Harrison is wearing a "gi." That Karate Kid post is coming up next!)

Elizabeth looks much more like Auntie Victoria than her own mother. They don't even share any blood!

That was the rest of April, fools! (said in best Mr. T. voice).

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day: Sickly Sweet

Sickly: I spent Mother's Day in bed with the flu. Threw up, chills, fever, head and body aches. What a sad day to miss church (the kids singing, the great talks and lessons on mothers, the chocolates they pass out (don't worry, Nate had strict instructions to get one for me and bring it home)). Plus, we had a lunch appointment AND a dinner appointment. We don't get invited over for meals all that often. Twice in one day? And I had to miss both. Sad.

Sweet: A breakfast in bed plan. After I threw up in the wee hours of Mother's Day, Nate said, "I guess you probably don't want breakfast in bed?" Harrison and Elizabeth came in very excited in the morning. Harrison said, "I woke Elizabeth up." When asked why, "To make your surprise breakfast." The mere fact that they all had a plan was very touching. I told them I'd take a rain check.

Then they presented me with one of Nathan's famous homemade cards that I love. On my b-day, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and our Anniversary, he makes me homemade cards on the computer. They are funny. Nate did a dot to dot for Elizabeth so she could write her name. Harrison wrote his own note, part of which said, "I like being your sunshine." So stinkin' sweet. That was the highlight of the day.

Sickly or Sweet? You decide: Nate got me a gift that is right up there with "The Drumming Monkey." For those who don't know that story, it would definitely require a post all it's own. The good part is, this one only cost $2, not $40. It's a pair of pewter key chains, one boy and one girl, who have magnets in their lips, so they kiss. He got it on one of his "deal" websites, and it came all the way from Singapore. He's going to keep his keys on the boy and I'm going to keep mine on the girl. If our keys are ever close enough to each other, they might just kiss. Now, if that's not the most romantic thing you've ever heard of, I don't know what is. (There needs to be a special font indicating sarcasm).

Sweet: The kids brought some cute creations home from church. They showed much care and concern for me throughout the day. Taking time to feel my head to see if it's hot, get me anything I needed, ask me if I wanted to take a nap, and talk in really sweet voices to me. At one point Harrison said, "Mom, why don't you lie down right here and I'll go get you a glass of ice water." Adorable.

Post Script: I failed to mention that Nate was also very sweet to take care of the kids all day, even though he started to feel sick in the afternoon.

Also sweet: I lost 4 lbs. in about 36 hours. Nothing like a good stomach bug to help you lose the baby weight. If I can keep those off (which is not likely), I'll only have 10 to go. Plus the 7 or so that I gained before I got pregnant. But really, any weight loss, in any way is highly appreciate around here. Note to self: Do NOT gain 40 pounds next pregnancy. Seriously, if I'd gained my typical 25, I'd be more than done by now!

I guess the day was pretty fitting considering Motherhood in general is definitely a little sickly and a lot sweet.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dear Mom,

You've been there to welcome us all into the world. First me, and then my children.

Thank you for being there then and always. Morning, noon, night, middle of the night, I know you're there with a listening ear and a helping heart. I'm so grateful for you.

Here's and interview for you from E. (Elizabeth), H. (Harrison), and M. (Michelle)

What's Grandma's name?
E: Grandma. What's her real name? Harrison. No, her first name. Grandma.
H: Karen
M: Mom

How old is Grandma?
E: 20
H: 54
M: 54 (for 3 more days)

What do you love to do with Grandma?
E: Play. What do you love to play with her? Her.
H: When she's awake she makes breakfast and then she wakes me up.
M: Talk, laugh, cook, shop

What's your favorite thing about Grandma?
E: Her putting on her make-up.
H: When she reads me books.
M: Her example of how to be a wonderful wife and mother.

What is Grandma good at?
E: Making stuff what gets broked.
H: Sewing
M: Homemaking (Not just cooking, cleaning, sewing, and decorating, but also making those in the home feel loved)

How many kids does Grandma have?
E: 1. Who's that? Katy.
H: 6
M: 6

What's Grandma's favorite thing to do?
E: Sew
H: Go to the beach house with us.
M: Spend time with her family. (So, Harrison was right)

What's your favorite thing that Grandma has ever given you?
E: Putting me to bed.
H: When it was Valentine's and she gave us that candy that her family had made with her.
M: Life. Love. A testimony. And some pretty cute jewelry.

What's the yummiest thing Grandma makes?
E: Chocolate milk
H: Eggs and the new Slim Fast
M: Ooh, that's hard. Cinnamon rolls. (She's taught me to make a lot of the same stuff, so I picked something that I don't make myself).

Why does Grandma come visit us?
E: Because she loves to and we invite her.
H: Because she loves us.
M: They're right, but also to help us and lend her support to us.

What do you want to say to Grandma for Mother's Day?
E: Happy Mutter's Day
H: I love you
M: Mom, I love you so much. I love that my kids love you too. My appreciation for you grows with each child I have, because I gain a greater understanding of how much you sacrificed for us. You're the best mom and grandma ever! Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish, DEAD Fish, Blue Fish

We've learned some hard life lessons at our house this week, at the expense of our first beloved pet, a fish named Zutsie.

Harrison got Zutsie for his 5th birthday. Yours truly did a decent job keeping Zutsie's bowl cleaned out (only about once every 2-3 weeks, but it seemed to be enough), and kept Zutsie alive for 9 months. I even rescued him from the disposal (thankfully it was off) a few months ago after he fell down there during one of his cleanings. This week when cleaning out the bowl as the main source of entertainment during playgroup (those 3 year old girls can't get enough of watching me clean out that fish bowl), I saw that we were out of the chemicals that make the water safe for fish. I had heard other people say that they didn't use chemicals and their fish were fine, so I decided to risk it.

Later that day, I noticed that Zutsie seemed like he was struggling. I fed him some food and hoped that work perk him up. That night, I found good old Zuts at the bottom of his bowl, belly up. I quickly decided against the thought of sparing the kids from the pain with a switcheroo, because they need to learn that death is part of life. I just didn't realize it would be as painful as it was.

Unfortunately we don't have any pictures of Zutsie alive. Here he is dead, with part of a ripped dollar. Harrison said he ripped the dollar and put it in there because he was mad at Zutsie for dying.
He was eager to flush Zutsie down the toilet, but then when it really came time to do it, he got pretty upset.

This broke my heart. I really had no idea he loved the fish that much. Although, I have always known that he is a very sentimental, sensitive boy, so I wasn't that surprised.

Nate and I both talked to him about death being a part of life. Everyone and everything has to die. And that we would be able to see Zutsie again when we die. I assured him that we would go to PetSmart the next day and get a new fish. He decided that we would name it Cookie Monster Masayuki (Uncle Jay Jay's middle name) Watabe.

On our way to PetSmart he said, "I'm going to pray that Zutsie has a good time while he's dead and that he'll be safe and sound while he's dead."

Despite my attempted persuasion, Harrison insisted on getting a white (and in my opinion, very ugly) beta this time. I told the sales girl what had happened and she said that she has betas and doesn't use chemicals and they are fine. She said ours was probably just used to the chemicals and so when we stopped he couldn't handle it. She said if we started off without the chemicals we'd be fine.

Thank goodness PetSmart has a 14 day money back garuantee on their fish, because that sales girl was wrong. Dead wrong.

This time I decided to let Harrison wait and figure it out himself. At one point he asked if Cookie Monster was sleeping. Then his uncle, who the poor fish was named after, and who has never had much tact, came in and said, "I think that fish is dead." After a moment of confusion and disappointment, Harrison said, "I'm not that sad because we only had Cookie Monster for like one day."

We took the body and receipt back (because that's what you have to do) and this time I convinced Harrison to get another blue one. This one blows Cookie Monster out of the water in the looks department. By the way, why the only fish we owned that wasn't blue got the name Cookie Monster is beyond me.

This one is named Daniel-San Masanatto Watabe. Allow me to explain. Harrison gets a bit obsessive with movies/shows. We've gone through a Cars phase, a Little Einsteins phase, a Toy Story Phase, a Spiderman phase, a Bakugan and Ben 10 phase, and most recently a Karate Kid phase. I need an entire post to adequately illustrate the love and admiration Harrison has for Daniel, Mister Miyagi, Karate, and all things Japanese. Hence the name Daniel-San (said with accent). Now about the Masanatto. I think I've mentioned the Masa tradition going on in Nate's family. Every boy gets Masa paired with something else as their middle name. Well Harrison's favorite Japanese food is Natto (fermented soy beans -- smells and looks as nasty as it sounds, so I have yet to try it), so he has lovingly paired this up with Masa to make the name Masanatto.

We also added a plant to the mix this time. I must say the whole things is looking better than ever.

Let's just hope we can keep this one alive. I'm getting tired of going to PetSmart and I really like him the best of all -- although Zutsie will always have a special place in my heart.

Tonight Elizabeth said, "Harrison, don't worry, you'll get to see Zutsie again in Heaven." Harrison said, "Elizabeth, fish's heaven is the toilet, the trashcan, or the pet store. They don't go to real heaven."

Wherever fish heaven is, I'm hoping Daniel-San won't have to go there for a long, long time.