Monday, March 28, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's science

Scientists are studying my cats. Finally. Where have they been all this time?

I noticed a flier when I was walking out of class a few weeks ago. Some psychology students were recruiting cats and their owners for a study into the effect of music on cats. Apparently cats find human music annoying. Some cat owners (not me) play classical music for their cats when they leave them alone, but this is actually stressful for the cats. Some composer had made specially-designed cat music. Now these students are seeing if the cats like it. Excellent.

So the two girls came over this morning. We sat in our bedroom and they played two control songs of regular classical music and two cat songs. One cat song actually had some purring noises and the other had suckling noises (really). The girls videotaped the cats and made notes. Maddie (the smaller cat in the above picture) spent most of the time under my bed, though she did emerge during the purring song. Abby (the larger one, and the love of my life) did seem to like the purring song, but during the suckling one, she scratched at the door and we let her out. Both cats were actually gone during the final human song, and we all waited to see if they would come back.

Science is not easy when you are studying cats.

They are doing the same experiment with 58 other cats. Hopefully we and our cats did our part to advance science. I would really like them to figure out how to clone them, because I don't know how I am going to live without my Abby.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Love-hate relationship

I have a complicated relationship with my hair. It has always been nice and shiny, but stick-straight and unexciting. It has a nice, rich brown color, but I started getting gray hairs in high school, and they were very noticeable against the dark hair. I spent much of my childhood with an awkward bowl haircut and thick unattractive bangs. I had super-long hair in high school, and then was obligated to get the news anchor bob for the first several years of my career.

When I got out of TV, I hacked off my hair and cut bangs. (Well I didn't. They stylist did, or that would have been disastrous.) I liked my hair, but it took a lot of upkeep and the bangs started to drive me crazy. So I started to grow it out again.

During my latest pregnancy, I noticed a few sections that seemed to have a hint of a wave. I thought they must have just been crinkled on the pillow. Then when I went into get a trim, my stylist said she was putting straightening balm in so she could blow dry my hair straight. What?! My hair has always been so completely straight that it wouldn't even curl when I spent hours trying to curl it with various heating elements, and now she was straightening it? Weird.

Sure enough, after Lena was born, my hair had a slight wave all around. I spent a lot of time looking at strands in the mirror. It is very odd to suddenly have different hair. It seemed to have more body as well and was bouncy and healthy.

But in the last few weeks, it has seemed drab and too long again. My hodge-podge of drugstore hair dye wasn't flattering anymore. I went in to the salon and selected a color and haircut on a whim. She said, "You know this will be several inches off right?"

"Yep," I said.

"And you want the bangs," she asked consulting the picture I had just found in a hair magazine.

"Sure, why not?" I replied.

It's funny how hair decisions hold such little weight now as compared to high school when that sort of thing took months of consideration.

So here is the final product:

I am pretty happy with it, though the bangs are already annoying me a bit. And the curl is not so much fun anymore. It gives me weird kinky pieces in the front. I tried wearing it wavy yesterday, but it didn't quite work. This morning I used a straightener. Finally I understand what all those curly-haired girls were talking about when they would complain, and I would say, "I wish I had curly hair."

So this look will do for a little while. Until I decide I want it long. And then I'll decide I want it short again.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

I need to stop eating cookies

I have a problem. The cafeteria at my work is amazing. the food is truly gourmet and it is cheap. It's just three dollars or so for a beautiful meal. And the desserts! There are always at least five choices from cookies to bars to pudding, pie, and gelato. I started a bad habit of having dessert every single day. Sometimes I would say to myself, "I'll just go look, and I'll only get something if I really want it." The problem is, I always really want it.

I pride myself on being able to many things at once. Work, school, family? No problem! but something of course has to go by the wayside. And that something  is exercise. I do still work out at least twice a week on the days I am teaching Step aerobics at the Y. But other than that, my workout clothes mostly stay piled optimistically next to my bed. My alarm goes off obnoxiously early since it was set with best intentions the night before, but it is slammed into sleep mode at least five times before I finally drag myself out of bed and step over my sad workout clothes.

The problem is this: I used to work out a lot. And I would run a lot. That is just not happening anymore. I am too busy, tired, and unmotivated and my hips ache for days after I go on a long run (and a lot of other really good excuses reasons). When you work out a ton, eating dessert every day, at least once a day is OK. Not so when you are a lazy slug.

I still weigh 15 pounds more than I did before I got pregnant with Lena. Many of my pre-pregnancy clothes still don't fit. I have caved in and bought bigger clothes. So, I need to turn things around here. That means either working out more or eating fewer wonderful cookies. Since I don't foresee more hours joining my day or any new found willpower, I am going to have to skip the dessert counter. Sigh.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Each day Q receives a slip of paper from preschool with brief notes about what they did and whether he ate breakfast or lunch. Also, Green, Yellow, or Red is circled based on their behavior that day-Green being good. Without fail, Q has been bringing home Greens. Until yesterday.

I was going through his bag and looking over his papers, when I noticed the Green crossed out and Yellow circled! There was a note from his teacher as well, "Q was very hard to keep on track today." Our sweet, shy little Q? Hard to keep on track? I couldn't believe it.

I showed the note to his dad who was also surprised. "Q, why did you get a Yellow today?"

"Coleton did it too," was his answer. He also mentioned it had been a Red at one point, so maybe he got downgraded.

"I don't care what Coleton did, I want you to be a good boy and listen to your teacher," I told him, trying not to smile at his first brush with insubordination.

The next day I emailed his teacher to ask for more details. She very formally informed me that "Q was unfortunately too distracted by the necklace he brought in to school" (he got Mardi Gras beads at the St. Patrick's Day parade we went to last weekend).

Q seems to be scared straight. His teacher said he was "AWESOME" after the necklace incident, and he informed me he was a good boy and listened to his teacher yesterday.

We may look back at this as the day Q's life of lawlessness began.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Heaven on a pizza

I discovered a new addiction last night. Papa Murphy's has a new s'mores pizza. Why didn't anyone think of this sooner? I had three pieces.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Big kid

We signed Q up for Kindergarten this week. And he just got glasses. He looks like such a big kid! I can't believe I am the mother of this little boy. It seems different when you just have babies or toddlers. School age kids mean you really are a grown up. I'm not sure how I feel about that.


Q was watching a Netflix Snoopy movie this week. "Snoopy is a sea gull you know," he told me matter-of-factly.

"A what?" I asked.

"A sea gull."

"Who told you that?"

"Daddy did."

"Oh, you mean a beagle."