Laura’s Very Exciting Life

Travel, haircut, oral surgery, software testing, etc. . . .  Also, drugs.

Happy Friday folks!

1. If you haven’t already, check out Mary’s guest post yesterday, which has tips and inspiration for decluttering.  It’s motivated me to throw quite a bit of stuff away over the past few days, which is always a picker-upper (pun not quite intended, ha ha ha).

2. My sweet baby nephew was baptised last weekend, and I was privileged to be his godmother.  I made a whirlwind, 36 hour trip down to the Sunshine State for the blessed occasion.

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3. The night I was in FL, I slept the best night of sleep I’ve slept in a long long time.  I remember the first five minutes or so of being in bed at my parents’ house, trying to get comfortable.  Next thing I remember, my alarm was going off, seven hours later.  Delicious.

4. Speaking of Florida, I can’t resist sharing some beautiful pictures that my brother, Stephen, took down there recently.  They almost make me want to buy a real camera, almost.  But I doubt I’ll remember to bring it around and use it.  So I stick with my humble little iPhone4 and enjoy the photography of others.








5. Speaking of photography, here are some selfies for the ages.  I took them because *drumroll* I’m getting my hair cut Saturday.  Yay!  I’m going to a lady who’s trained in the Ouidad method, which is supposed to do wonders for curly and wavy hair.

My hair is only slightly wavy, so I don’t know for sure if it will work for me.  But I’m sick of having my hair look crappy unless I spend 30 minutes blow drying it and using a round brush.  I just hate doing my hair.  And anyway, my blow drying broke and I’m not going to bother replacing it until the fall.  If ever.

So anyway, here is my hair today, looking like it does pretty much every day.

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Here it is on a good day.  I slept on it wet and the stars must have been aligned in my favor that night, because I woke up with it looking okaaaaaay.

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Can I get it to look like this every day, just a bit shorter?  We shall see.

6. The haircut experience, if nothing else, will be more enjoyable than the other self-improvement measures I’ve taken lately.  Namely, one gum graft, wherein a periodontist removed tissue from the roof of my mouth and stuffed it into the gums under my lower front teeth, where the gums were receding.  The idea is to keep enough gum tissue down there that my teeth don’t fall out.

It’s the second time I’ve had this procedure done (in a different spot this time).  It’s really something, feeling someone saw into the roof of your mouth.  Fortunately, the local anesthetic was effective (except for the last few sutures–ouch).

I was working at a Big Law Firm in DC when I got a gum graft the first time.  It was a Friday, and I remember feeling like it was the happiest day of my life because I took half the day off of work and had the whole weekend free.  I was getting skin carved out of my mouth and then sewn back in, but who cared?  I took half the day off of work.  I felt so free, like a kid playing hooky from school.

Truth be told, I felt kinda sorta the same way this time around.  Ana knows what I’m talking about.  Also, this time, I got hydrocodone afterward.

7. Pat was published on his company’s blog recently.  His post is about effective software testing techniques, which is a subject near and dear to his heart.

Aaaaaand, that’s all folks.  Have a great weekend!

For more quick takes, click on over to Conversion Diary.

Wimpy Mom Takes A Road Trip { Five Favorites }

We just made a road trip to Florida to visit my family: 1,000 miles each way, with a four year-old and a one year-old, neither of whom likes to nap in the car.  Right after we got back, I read Amelia’s account of her longer road trip, with twice as many kids, no air conditioning, and no CD or DVDs.  So yeah, I’m a wimp.  But whatever.   We lived to tell the tale, and here are some of the things that helped:

— 1 —

DVD player and DVDs.  Perhaps some parents the electronic babysitter, but I can’t get over this fantasy that car travel should be enjoyable and relaxing for me.  I like to read and listen to books on CD and do cross-stitch.  Singing “Wheels on the Bus” and counting cows and playing educational games or whatnot . . . for fifteen hours . . .  just doesn’t fit the bill.*  So enter this:

Or some other model like it.

And this:

Girl 1 watched it over and over and over.  The song selection is slightly questionable.  Girl 1 now goes around singing “We are on the prowl tonight/ like an alley cat./  Looking for some new delight / like an alley cat.”  But like I said, we made it there and back with sanity mostly intact, so I’m overlooking it.

*  I did read them a few books.  I may even have sung “Where Is Thumbkin.”

— 2 —

Books on CD from the library.  Pat and I have listened to a lot of John Grisham.  A lot of his older books are great (The Firm, Pelican Brief, The Client, The Rainmaker, The Street Lawyer).  The newer ones are hit (The Litigators) or miss (The Associate, The Broker, The Confession).  But they all make the time pass more quickly.

Grisham probably wouldn’t work if you have older kids.  His books have some bad language and adult subject matter.  But we turned the volume all the way to the front speakers in the minivan, and the girls paid no attention.  Once they’re a bit older hopefully we can find some audio books we all enjoy.

— 3 —

Chick-Fil-A.  Good food (for a fast food restaurant), clean bathrooms, friendly service, and a playground for the kids to run around in.  Perfect.  We select our route to FL based on the number of Chick Fil A’s we’ll pass.  The only downside (upside?) is that they are closed on Sunday.

— 4 —

Van organization.  Okay, this is kind of a joke.  You can look on Pinterest and find all sorts of ideas like organizing car toys using bungee cords and little bins whatnot.  You can also put together cute little packages of snacks and toys for your kids to open each hour.  Me? I used three cardboard diaper boxes.  One was for books, DVDs, CDs, and miscellaneous “dry goods.”  Another was for snacks.  The third one was for trash.  It worked.

Fantasy (image from Organizing Made Fun)

Closer to reality (image via Turn Leaf Organizing)

— 5 —

Driving Time Equity.   I lost my cool with the girls about two hours into the trip.  They had been whining for approximately 1 hour, 59 minutes.  Then Girl 2 had some business that required me to dig through our biggest suitcase, in the back of the van, on the side of the interstate, with 18-wheelers zooming past.  (See supra #4 re: my van organizing skillz.)  Pat calmly reflected, “You know . . . I usually do most of the driving on road trips because I always thought it was the hardest job . . . but maybe you should take the wheel.”  I did.  I don’t particularly care for driving, but at this point in our family life, it’s a lot less stressful than playing stewardess/zookeeper in the middle row.


I’m excited to finally join up again with Hallie of Moxie Wife, for her Five Favorites link up.  Thanks Hallie!