Thursday, June 08, 2006

Toby is won!!!

Yesterday marked the 7th consecutive day that the Papaya did not poop in his diaper! He put the 7th sticker in a row on his chart yesterday. This morning was the big morning that he got to open Toby the Tram Engine - the carrot we've been dangling for the last 2 months. Today is a huge day in the history of our family. Congratulations, Papaya!

In a few minutes, Toby and the rest of our family pile into the car and began the long trek from the Hopi Reservation to Baltimore, Maryland. We should arrive there sometime early tomorrow morning (Baltimore time). Wish us luck/prayers!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Triple Digits

The remote thermometer attached to the other side of our front door (in the summer, usually a little cooler than the outside temperature since it's affected by the cooler temperature inside) just hit 100 degrees for the first time this year. The thermometer on our back porch (also in the shade, but attached to a piece of wood that absorbs heat) reads 115 degrees. The true temperature is probably closer to the front-door thermometer, but either way, it's hot out there!

Before I moved to Arizona last August, people told me that dry heat wasn't bad. That it was nothing like the energy-sucking humid heat in the east. There is some truth to this*, but on the whole, they were wrong. This desert sun (actually, this is semi-desert), at 5600 feet elevation and triple digit temperatures, is seriously hot and intense. It feels mean. It makes me long for some humidity to thicken the air between me and the sun. It makes me really glad I don't live in Phoenix, where it's about 10 to 15 degrees hotter right now.

We're heading to Baltimore on Thursday, and I must admit that I'm really looking forward to some humidity again! And the color green. I think I'll spend the first few days just feasting my eyes on the green of my parents' backyard, and letting my skin drink in the moisture. Then I'll probably start longing for dry heat again. Such is human nature.

*Dry heat mixed with intense sun is very, very hot. But dry heat in the shade isn't that bad, and dry heat as the sun goes down feels wonderful. Last night around 7:00, the sun was setting and it felt positively heavenly outside. When I glanced at the thermometer (the "cool" one), I was amazed to see that it was still 89 degrees! It felt much cooler to me than the early morning's 73 degrees with bright sun. And only in the desert can you have triple digit days and lovely, cool 50 degree nights. I still can't comprehend why so many people choose to live in Phoenix and Tucson, however.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The worst-looking $12 we ever saved

I'm afraid I butchered my husband's hair. His head looks like a black carpet, threadbare in sections. But it's not my fault!

Since we married almost six years ago, my husband has wanted me to cut his hair. He cherished a touching confidence in my hair cutting abilities (which I'm afraid got shattered), as well as a thrifty desire to save the time and money of getting a $12 Supercut every month or two (note: I finally figured out how to link to other websites from this blog!). Since moving here, haircuts are even more of a issue, since we have to carve out precious time from an already packed bi-monthly shopping day in Flagstaff for them. His mother has, on several occassions, promised to teach me how to cut hair.

Despite his pleas, I held firm. I did not want to take on the prime responsibility for his physical appearance. The whole idea of it just scared me. I really had no desire to learn. My husband took the rejection with good grace (for the most part) and satisfied his home-haircutting desires by addressing the Papaya's head every couple of months (he does a great job, by the way!)

But last week, he finally got his wish. His hair was getting long enough to bother him, and our shopping day in Flagstaff necessarily occurred on a Sunday (as we were driving home from the Phoenix Airport and our San Francisco trip). Supercuts was closed, and the next opportunity for a professional haircut was almost 3 weeks away. The pressure started up again. "It won't be that hard - you just pull hair away at the same distance all around the head and snip! Keep on doing the same thing over and over again, all over my head, & you'll do a great job! Come on, my hair's not even regulation length right now! I need it shorter for my job!" (Not that the strict military-like appearance and grooming requirements of the Commissioned Corps usually bother my husband that much, but it was a useful arguement). I finally gave in. After all, I thought, it might not be that hard.

I labored for about 45 minutes using a small pair of scissors with 1 1/2 inch blades, and finally ended up with a result that wasn't that terrible, although it was shorter on top than my husband preferred, had ridges on the back, and looked like some hair-hungry animal had taken a large bite out of the left side of his head. It wasn't bad enough to get comments from colleagues, but it was bad enough that my husband went online and started researching clippers. "If only we had a clipper," he thought, "my wife could give me professional, even haircuts." So the $12 we saved on a haircut got replaced by the $27 we spent on the Wahl haircutting set from Amazon.

Unfortunately, the story's not over yet. My husband was eager to try out our new clippers on the Papaya (who did need a haircut). To prevent the Papaya from being scared by the new device, he suggested I try it out on him first, while the Papaya watched. "It will help even out the sides and the back," he said. "Try a #3 attachment." I tried, and it was a little scary, but also somewhat satisfying, to see the large amounts of hair that hit the ground. The result was definitely scary - clear lines of very short hair, ending in different places up his head. He looked in the mirror, but stayed calm. "Okay," he said, "try a #8 over my entire head. Just do everything." A lot more hair hit the ground. My helpless laugh as I looked at his head did little to boost his waning confidence in me. The carpet hair-do was almost complete. A little more "blending" work with a #6, followed by a #5, completed the effect. After that, I convinced him that all sharp instruments should be taken from my hands and all further attempts to "make it better" should be nixed. At least his hair is regulation length now.

Most colleagues have been kind (and perhaps insincere - i.e. "It's cute!"). One fellow physician said he did something like that to his own head once - but only after a few beers. A refreshingly honest nurse screeched, "What happened to your hair? It got butchered!"

So if you're among the family that will see us when we go to Baltimore next week - please be prepared. I've heard that the difference between a bad hair cut and a good one is a week or two, but in this case, I'm afraid it might be a month or two. (The Papaya looks pretty good, however. My husband did him again.)

Maybe we should watch the instructional DVD that came with the Wahl kit.