A Trip to Bowling Green...Maybe

Back before we moved I made plans to go back to Bowling Green around this time, specifically to see two of my former students in The Diary of Anne Frank at the Public Theatre of Kentucky. About three weeks ago I decided this coming weekend would be the best time, and it's the last weekend of the play, so I didn't really have a later choice, if I wanted to see the play. So I called the Gibbs and booked the reservations for my lodging, then called PTK and reserved tickets, and I was all set.

Last night my friend Mandy said, "So, Kate. What are you going to do about your trip this weekend with the bad weather we have coming?" This was the first I'd heard of it. Apparently, we are in for the largest amount of snow since mid-December, and it's coming tonight. Some of you are aware that this mid-December snow was what kept us trapped IN Bowling Green and OUT of Lafayette just before Christmas. Maybe I should just rule out traveling during winter altogether from now on.

So I got some perspectives from friends, checked the internet when I got home, and decided I had a couple of choices. I could either check on getting tickets for the Sunday performance of the play and just take a day trip (maybe leave Gilbert in charge of Cole?!?) or I could try to leave tonight. Problem is, the snow's going to start this afternoon and I have a 2:30 appointment with my doctor.

So I guess I'll be doing what I do WORST--winging it. Cole and I are packed. The bag's by the door. We'll either be jetting out as soon as my appointment is finished and trying to make it to Kentucky before we get hit with the big stuff, or we'll be living out of our packed suitcase at home for the next couple of days.

Wow. My life is never dull.


A New Look

I don't want to interrupt the comments directed to my previous post (if you haven't read it yet, please do. I'm still welcoming comments), but I wanted to let you know about my new haircut. I have had the same style since a week or so after my wedding. I just always go back every 6-8 weeks and when she says, "What are we doing today?" I say, "Just a trim." I'd gotten to the point that I wanted something different, but I couldn't imagine what I wanted, and she refused to just put me in the chair and be creative, so I've stuck with the same thing for the last 5 1/2 years. I thought getting a new hairstylist would be a good chance for a change.

On Thursday I called a big salon in town and when the receptionist answered I said, "This may sound crazy, but I'm new in town, I don't have a stylist, and I need a new style. Is there someone there who is good enough to look at the shape of my face, decide what would look good, and just do it?" So she hooked me up with a girl who did an excellent job. I was THRILLED. I think I smiled all the way home. My comment to her before I got out of the chair was, "This look is too cool for me."

Then I encountered a problem: Last night I washed and dried it, and it did NOT look the same. I was so very disappointed. To be honest, I reverted back to my teenage years and had a meltdown. Gilbert made it downstairs just in time to witness it. I was so embarrassed at myself (I even made him promise not to tell anybody, and here I am telling it), but here's my defense: I tend to get my hopes up about things, and I don't do very well with disappointment. I was so excited about my hair and then it looked as though my too-cool hair was lost. Then, my sweet husband came to the rescue. He went to Wal-Mart and bought me a flat-iron. When I washed again today, I used the flat-iron and was able to mostly reconstruct the look I had left the salon with. I really like it. I think I lost some of the "cool" in the transition, but I salvaged most of the overall look. (By the way, last night made me realize that Gilbert needs to have a daughter one day. He handled the whole situation so well!)

So now that I've built it up, I'll reveal the look.
Here's a before: (it's more than a year old, but again, my style hasn't changed)

And the after:

Can you tell a difference?


Dare to Discipline

So I come downstairs tonight after making it home from a visit with the Andersons. I have an armload of laundry as I make my way through the obstacle course that is my living room floor, catching glimpses of the dirty high-chairs in my kitchen. Gilbert's on the computer and this is his statement to me: "Kate, you're slacking on your blog these days." So, here I am, with clinched teeth, creating a new post.

Knox-sitting is going well. I've reached the end of week three and the boys have become like brothers in every sense of the word. In the last two weeks, Cole has chosen to take Tuesday and Thursday as his feisty days. Knox has taken Wednesday. Today I decided that I might like them to take the same day every once in a while so they'll start taking up for themselves. Today, Cole, believe or not, was "mean and rotten to the core," as my Mom used to say. I think he waited for Knox to start playing nicely on his own so he could come over and ruin it. Poor Knox would just look at him. I secretly hoped Knox would deck him a time or two, just to give him a taste of his own medicine.

To tell the truth, since they started behaving this way, I have really, really struggled with how to handle it. I guess I'm still struggling, but after talking to some ladies who have dealt with boys of their own, I'm coming to terms with the idea that I must remember that they are boys and they are almost 17 months old. Just because they are behaving this way now doesn't necessarily mean that they will behave the same way as adults. I should also not feel the need to nip every single occurrence in the bud or fight every battle for them. So sometimes when they look at me for intersession, I just say, "You're gonna have to handle this one on your own." As long as no one is getting injured, I think it might be wise to let a few slide and teach them to stick up for themselves as well as they can. Bad idea? Got a better one? Your feedback is welcome, especially from you who have dealt with boys.

Cole is completely unresponsive to time-out these days. It used to make an impact. Not anymore. He used to sit in the corner, face the wall, and cry. Now he gets up, comes over to me, and calls my name as if to say nonchalantly, "Hey Mom. You forgot me in that corner over there, but don't worry. It's no big deal." So I've been putting him in my lap and sitting with him in the corner. When I do that, he puts that chin up and peeks at me and grins like I've just made up a new game, so I stare up at the ceiling and pin his arms to his sides, hoping at least for a whine of discomfort. Does this make me evil? Today we tried this after he hit Knox. When time was up, I turned him around, gave him a brief talking-to, told him to say sorry and hug his "opponent" (he does this eagerly every time, as if that's his favorite part). And, seriously, as soon as he released Knox from the hug, he smacked him in the head. I think time-out will be much easier when I can lock him in the basement without food or water for a couple of days. But seriously, when I can put him in his room to think about his behavior, I hope it will improve. Until then, is time-out worthless? Is it acceptable for me just sternly say NO every once in a while? I mean, if I used time-out for every incident, there would be a spot worn in the floor after a week. I will also say that I did spank once this week and was completely riddled with guilt and felt the need to beg for his forgiveness afterward. Is that what parents mean when they say, "This will hurt me more than it hurts you?" Keeping in mind that every kid, every parent, and every situation is different, I say again: ideas and feedback welcomed.

So seriously, things are going okay. Some bumpy spots, some definite eye-opening experiences for me (and probably for both boys) but overall, all's well. Thanks for letting me vent, and thanks in advance for your ideas.

Oh. Thought I'd share a picture of Cole's attempt at a hiding place when he has something Knox might want. As you can see, the hiding isn't usually a success.


Stranded Again!

And now for another episode of "The Misadventures of Miss Kate."

So I'm taking Gilbert to the airport yesterday to catch a flight so he can go hunting with his dad in South Alabama. We decided to take my car because it gets better gas mileage and it had a full tank. I drop Gilbert off, get about 3 miles down I-465 (in Indianapolis, for those of you who aren't familiar) and I suddenly start decelerating. I try to pick up speed again, but with no luck. With nowhere to pull off, I quickly exit, hoping momentum will keep me going until I can get to a good pulling off spot. However, momentum doesn't get you far when the exit is a circular uphill ramp. I find myself halfway up the ramp on the side of the road.

I call Gilbert for advice on what to do. He gives the numbers of a couple of knowledgeable and level-headed people in Lafayette (it's about 60 miles away). I try Bill Bell first. He's the one who helped us out when my car gave us trouble on the way up in October, if you're familiar with that story. Of course, he jumps in the car and comes to my rescue. Luckily, most of my wait-time is still in some daylight (it's about 5:40). In the meantime, I call my friend Rachel to chat (I'd been trying to find a good time to call her), try to catch Melissa to check on her, and call to check on Cole. (Praise God he was with the Tilleys and not in the cold car with me!) By 6:35 I'm in a warm car with Bill and he's on the phone with Triple A, requesting a tow. By 8:30 the car's on the truck and we're heading back to Lafayette.

With a restroom stop and a stop at my house to get Gilbert's vehicle, it's a little after ten when I make it to Cole. He's trying to be asleep, but the commotion hinders him. By 10:45 we're home, cuddling in the rocking chair, and thanking God that Gilbert was at the airport and Cole was safe and warm in Lafayette when the car broke down, that we finally made it home together, that we were able to safely crawl into our own warm beds that night, and that we have such great people to help take care of us.

What a night! And, what a morning--Cole was up and at 'em by 6:45.


Check Out My Boys

You gotta see my two handsome men. Gilbert's got a cute video on his blog, entitled Daddy and Cole. I guess they were waiting for church to start tonight while I was at CPR class. You gotta love this, and if it doesn't make you want to smooch Cole's cheeks, something's wrong with you.


My New Endeavor and My New Girls

Thought you all might like to see pictures of how I'll be keeping myself occupied for the coming months:

Knox is a friend of Cole's from church who was born the day after Cole. His babysitter will be our babysitter when she recovers from some surgeries. Until then, I'll be keeping Knox during the week. Today was the first day, and it went really well. The boys got along great, although I had to find duplicates of every toy so they could have their own. They mimicked each other's every movement and had a really good time. Their nap times overlapped a little, which I wasn't expecting, so I got some me-time for about an hour, and then after lunch Gilbert was gracious enough to bite the bullet and come home (despite the possibility of entering chaos) to give me some grown-up time. We had a great day, but I am completely exhausted. And to think that the rest of this week I'll be going to a CPR class for three hours every night after keeping two boys all day. I just think I'm exhausted now.

Part of my exhaustion, however, is my own fault. Several (almost twenty) of the ladies from church went out last night after service for dessert and a movie. We stayed at Applebee's for two hours and then went to the 10 o'clock movie. I decided that I wanted to see P.S. I Love You, so I emailed the ladies I had addresses for, told them to invite whomever might be interested, and it took off from there. I couldn't believe the number of women willing to go out so late at night. I didn't consider the fact that going so late means freedom from responsibility and the guilt of leaving husbands with those daunting tasks that wear us out, because the kids are in bed.

It has been so long (probably since high school) since I've been able to go out with a large group of girls and not once think, "Why am I here? I shouldn't have come." I know this sounds awful, but it's true. Most of this is probably due to my own insecurities and timid nature, but I still feel this way. And I feel confident that I can write about these feelings honestly, knowing that lots of my girlfriends are reading, especially those in Bowling Green, because I know you know what I mean. Notice the word large in the first sentence. That is the operative word. I've been out plenty of times with one or two girls and had a great time. It's that large group that I usually regret going out with. I hope I'm making sense. Anyway, I didn't once feel this way last night. So I got in bed at 1 a.m. and wanted to express my thanks for such a great time. All I knew that would suffice was, "Thank you, God. Thank you." I just kept repeating it over and over. It was quite an overwhelming feeling. What a great and fun group of ladies God has so graciously placed me in the midst of. (The movie was great, by the way, and I didn't get harassed too badly for being the preacher's wife who took a bunch of ladies to see Denny Duquette's backside.)

On a totally different and random note--I also wanted to share a picture of Cole's leftover-spaghetti breakfast the other morning. He picked it out of the fridge and didn't want to trade it for anything. I decided this was not a battle worth fighting. And look what a good time he had! Breakfast is never this much fun.


I'm Still Here

I'm feeling guilty that I haven't posted anything in a while, so I thought I'd try to come up with something, but there's nothing really new or exciting going on.

Cole's given us a glimpse of the terrible two's the last couple of weeks. It doesn't take much to make him upset, and "no" is his favorite word again. (He did that for a while six months or so ago, but it became scarce for a while. Now it's back. Also back is a flailing hand that accompanies this word. I'm hoping one day he'll understand me when I say, "Be sweet to Mommy. She loves you too much for you to hit her.")

His other favorite thing is dessert. Cookies are on his mind all the time. He'll grab my hand, pull me to standing, reach for me to hold him, then point me toward the kitchen where he'll point to wherever the leftover Christmas goodies are. After venting to my friend Rachel the other day as I opened a package of cookies for him, I remembered that his obsession is mine too, that I am the parent, and that I have control over the situation. So I got out a garbage bag and dumped everything except a few things I designated to Gilbert. When I closed up the bag, Cole wrapped his arms around it and threw his body against it. I wanted to do the same. So I guess if I have to have a new year's resolution, Cole and I are sharing this one.

I've also been working lately on job applications. My licensure is in limbo right now as they're waiting for me to complete a CPR class that is scheduled for next week. I'm just working on applications at a comfortable pace while I have plenty of time to get them in. (I'm hoping for a job in the fall, but I may have a new endeavor in the next week. Stay tuned for more details.)

So, I am still here, and things are still going well. Just thought you might be curious.