Monday, July 27, 2009

Needed: Maintenance Tips

I felt weirdly ambitious this morning, and I had both the kids and myself dressed and outdoors by nine AM.


I walked them around in their little wagon, first through our neighborhood and then to the school playground that's very close. The sun was blaring right in my eyes, but the kids seemed content, so I figured I should continue with the outing despite all the squinting wrinkles I was embedding in my face. On our way we passed the school's marching band practicing and wow, was Adelay fascinated by that. On our way back they were still at it, so I parked the wagon and we just sat and watched them do a routine. Then we picked some flowers (weeds) that were growing around the practice field before we headed back to the house.

On our way back I was noticing what a lovely little neighborhood we have, old, unassuming, but almost completely kept up and well tended. You can tell a lot of the people have lived there a long time, and really care about their homes. There are flowers and mulch and shrubbery and edging bricks and hanging baskets everywhere.

Everywhere except our house... Well, there ARE those things, but the flowers are few and far between, the mulch is from last year and is mostly blown away, and the shrubs were not the right type for the kind of sun we get in our front yard, and so they are clinging to life, but are not exactly lush or thriving. Anyone have any ideas for easy ways to tidy and spruce up one's yard without, um, much work? Or reassurance that when you have little kids, just keeping your house tidy and spruced up is work enough and I should let my yard rot away guilt free?

And speaking of rot, my nearly two year old son still has a pretty gross case of cradle cap. How is this possible? I mean, his hair gets washed at least every other day. And I do try to massage his scalp and not just suds up the hair. So what's the deal? Do I need to try to get rid of it?

Lastly, I am getting my hair cut tomorrow. I am waffling on an hourly basis between getting a kind of reverse bob like I had before, or just getting the layers trimmed up and thinned again. Basically it's whether the convenience of a ponytail wins out over having a hair that actually has a style. That's provided, of course, I were to style it, which certainly is a lot easier when it's short, but still doesn't happen every day.


Hillary said...

Yeah, I don't worry about our lawn. We're surrounded by retirees, who have nothing better to do than water their lawn and plant trees and shrubs and install fountains (!!!), and transplanted New Yorkers, who hate anything green, so our house is definitely the schlumpy one on the block. But we have a cute kid! Look! He'll say Hi! to you. Distraction seems to work ... well, that and not caring.

Scottish Twins said...

Based on the looks of our landscaping you know how I feel about lawncare and kids.

I also think you shouldn't worry about the cradle cap. It isn't bothering Eli!

And I vote for the bob. It was so cute on you.

CAQuincy said...

Yard shmard!

Izzy had cradle cap later, too. I kept thinking it'd go away on it's own. I finally gave in and gave her the ol' dandruff shampoo scrub--worked like a charm! (I did the olive oil thing on Mary. Messy! Oily head! Hence why I tried dandruff shampoo first on Izzy. Just watch those drips.)

I am thinking of doing Locks for Love again. I'm agonizing over the same problem. I HATE my hair short. No matter how many folks told me how cute it was, neither my husband nor I liked the style I got, and it was a pain in the butt to style every day--and I wanted my pony tail back! I am looking for a better, wash-n-go, short style to try. (I will just grow it back out again.)

( DID look cute with your bob!)

Jess said...

You have little kids. Now is not the time to worry about the landscaping. It sounds like what you have is close enough.

Swistle said...

OMG, we have a YARD??? Well, sure enough! There it is!

I don't know what to do with my hair, either. Right now it's the PERFECT length for a ponytail, but looks DREADFUL any OTHER way.

Nowheymama said...

Our weeds drive my neighbor CRAZY. She backhandedly complains to me about my flowerbeds all the time.

This does not motivate me to weed.

Katy said...

Ha ha! We have a similar neighborhood and our front garden looks like it belongs to the Munsters.

Cradle cap: try rubbing olive oil directly into his scalp. While gross, that usually solves the problem.

LoriD said...

We rely on hostas, ground cover and a few annuals for our landscaping. We are pretty much in the shade here, so our options are slim.

My kids still get patches of cradle cap. I just put a little olive oil on at night, loosen it up a bit with a comb, then rinse it out in the morning.

I like the bob!

Sarah said...

When we bought our house, the previous owner said he was going to drive by and make sure we hadn't let his precious landscaping go to waste. Um, yeah. Hope he hasn't driven by lately. The weeds are almost taking over the sidewalk and people acutally have to duck under palm fronds to get to our front door. Super embarassing, and yet I'm still not moved to do anything about it!

Anonymous said...

You DO live in a wonderful neighborhood and that's why people have stayed and not moved away, so many are older and DO have more time and money to spend on their yards. And remember that you have made many improvements since you lived there! After our trip, I'd love to spend a Saturday with you working on landscaping that would be pretty and low maintenance. We can talk about it on the plane :)

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

my yard looks like little tykes threw uo, so I'm no help there. but! I can give you cradle cap tips.

if you're self conscious, pick a couple of days when you'll be close to home as it can look kinda gnarly at first.

1. before he gets in the tub, slather that boy's head with oil. baby oil, olive oil, whatever. let it sit for 20 minutes or so.

2. take a fine tooth comb and run it through his hair close and across the scalp. try not to get too grossed out by the skin coming off. it should be soft and pain free.

3. pop him in the tub, briefly repeat the combing and then shampoo. rub his head with a wash cloth while there's soap in his hair.

4. rinse. might want to repeat the washing as his hair might look greasy bc of the oil. rinse again, really well.

5. when his hair dries, periodically comb next to his scalp. (this will result in white flakes all over, but it's short term!)

6. repeat process once, maybe twice more and he should be smooth scalped!

(did this with two crusty haired baby girls and it worked wonders).

by the way, a light coat of oil behind the ears gets rid of those crusties in the bath, too :)