What’s That Sound, Volume Five

Preschool has been a treasure trove of puzzling stories and observations from Noah. Since his godmother is his teacher, it’s been an unspoken agreement that I will text her Noah’s version of the events of the day, and then she texts me back with what actually happened.

Disclaimer: Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Or not so innocent.

As Noah is an introvert, he is usually silent when I pick him up, and the stories start trickling out as the day goes on. But one day he was bursting to tell me this story, and started it before I even had him buckled in.

“There was something that looked like POOP in the middle of the floor!”
“What? What was it?”
“It was poop. Joe did it.”
“HOW did Joe POOP in the middle of the floor?!”
“He just did.”
“Did anyone see him?”
“No. He pooped in the middle of the floor though. No – wait. Miss Janey said it wasn’t poop. She said it was mud from the bottom of someone’s shoe.”

I really appreciated his storytelling cadence. He controlled the narrative to allow me to feel the moment alongside him – to experience the emotions of what he and his classmates must have felt while observing what they were sure was poop in their classroom.

Upon relaying this story to Miss Janey and asking how “Joe” managed to get blamed for it, she said that it was indeed mud, but that Joe had just come out of the classroom bathroom and announced that he had pooped.

I’m sure the smell wafting through really helped the storyline along.

This same “Joe” also seems to be good at telling fantastic stories. Last week, this was the report:

“I played with my favorite friend today, Joe.”
“Yeah? What did y’all talk about?”
“About the time he got run over by a train.”
“How exactly did he manage to do that?”
“He was standing on a train track.”
“I think he would be dead if that happened…”
“Nope. He didn’t get deaded and he didn’t even cry! He’s so brave.”

They have many classroom sayings that they repeat back and forth. I’ve learned a lot from these.

“GOODNESS GRACIOUS gray balls of fire!!”
”Um. Do you mean great balls of fire?”
”Pah! No!! Why would there be great balls of fire? It’s GRAY balls of fire.”

Another day, Noah explained,

“Miss Janey says ‘Ready to rock?’, and we have to answer, ‘Ready to roll!’”
”Where do you rock and roll to?”
”Well, hmm…..I rock in the rocking chair and roll in the car.”

We got home late for nap one day, and Noah said,

“I’m too tired to walk. I need you to carry me!”
”My hands are completely full. I can’t!”
”I guess I’ll have to lay down on my own shoulder, then.”

Noah Is Adorable

It almost worked.

Random deep thoughts by Noah.…

“I put it somewhere you will NEVER find it!!! In my room. Underneaf my bed.”

“I’m like a construction worker because construction workers has pants.”

“If I burp, that doesn’t mean I’m sick. That just means I’m excused.”

“I used to be a grownup but how I became a baby is that I got squooshed. I don’t remember what it was like to be a grownup.”

One day, I was trying to convey great truths to Noah.
”God made you special. Did you know that?”
”I don’t want to be special – I want to be cool. God made me just…cool. Race cars are cool.”

A neighbor we’d never met was walking by our house one day. He stopped to talk, and after a few minutes, he turned to Noah and said, “How old are you?”

Noah answered forlornly, “Not old enough for bubblegum….”

Cynical and cryptic. It runs in the family.

For the record, I’d allowed him to try bubblegum a few days before. It went like this.

“Okay. You can try this. But don’t swallow it.”
”Okay Mommy!”
Two seconds later, it was gone.
”Did you swallow your gum?”
”Well where is it?”
”In my tummy.”
”So you swallowed it.”
”I DIDN’T SWALLOW IT! I bited it.”
”Did it go down your throat?”
”No! It went in my teeth.”

After about four rounds of this, I told him “I don’t think you’re old enough for bubblegum yet.”

And ever since, that statement has defined his existence.

From the backseat, Noah had a brilliant idea.

“If you died when it was dark then Daddy wouldn’t have to go to work the next day! That’s a good plan.”

Finally, a couple of deep thoughts from Ali…


“Noah’s more of a silly than a jokester because most of his jokes are just yelling ‘poopy’.”

“I really love the new superpower I’ve discovered that I possess. I can see through the windows of cars and look at the people inside!”

“Do you think that reading the words on grave stones would give me ideas for my Christmas List?”

Ali: “We’re going to the mall!”

Noah: “Is it like a store?”

Ali: “No – it’s the Store of Stores – just like the King of Kings!”

The Stages of FaceTune Guilt.

A few weeks ago, I discovered this amazing new app. I actually think Apple tempted me with it. Somehow they suggested it to me – I don’t remember where, but I do clearly remember the wording.

“Wondering how all your friend’s selfies are so amazing? This is what they’re using.”

I was intrigued, because all of my selfies make my face look like the landscape of mars, and the size of it too.

I downloaded the app, FaceTune, and was immediately overwhelmed by the auto-loading tutorials. They were intense. There was a LOT going on here.

But I slowly started playing with one setting at a time….

And there began my downward spiral into tuning my face.

FaceTime Leaves

It didn’t help at all that we had family photos the next week, and I suddenly had hundreds of pictures with which to tinker.

I mean sure, I played with the kid’s eyes to make them brighter and less shadowy, but this app was really about me, not them. Their skin hasn’t yet been ruined by the ravages of sun and lack of sleep and poor skincare like mine has.

And so I played. I smoothed out my skin, erasing wrinkles and sun spots and crater-pores. I was amazed!! If only I had airbrush makeup (or a skin transplant), I could look like this every day!

FaceTune 1

Then I erased under-eye shadows. Surely they’re just because I’m terrible at putting on mascara – it’s not what I really look like. I am just erasing my own mistakes – that’s all!

FaceTune 2

It was so easy! Just a swipe of my finger here and there…

But FaceTune is a lot like Plastic Surgery.

A little is great.

But the longer you play, the more likely you are to turn yourself into something grotesque.

FaceTune 3

I mean sure, I don’t have any wrinkles, but my face nearly lost all natural contours in the process. Magic always has a price.

And then there was this edit.

FaceTune 4

Yes, my skin looks like it could be in a beauty pageant. But I also look like an American Girl Doll replica of myself. She ain’t real.

Despite my slight misgivings about my somewhat deceptive editing, I posted two of the photos as my new profile pictures on all of my social media accounts:


And the comments began.

“You look so young!”

“I swear you’re aging backwards!”

“You look fifteen!”

“Is your hair blue?”

Aside from the last one, each pricked my conscience a little more forcefully.

I mean sure, I’ve always edited my photos (who doesn’t?), but FaceTune gave me a level of control the likes of which I’d never wielded before. And with much power comes much…facial contortion.

And so began my downward spiral of angst and conflicting emotions.

1. I should admit that objects in this photo are not as young as they appear.

2. They don’t even look like me. I mean, those photos were taken when I looked my best, so there is no way I could ever achieve the post-edit skin tone on my own.

3. But it could! If I were better at makeup! Or had my own professional airbrush cosmetics studio!

4. Okay not really .This is what I would look like if I had a proper skin care regimen AND started it twenty years ago. And maybe wasn’t prone to freckling.

5. But I could be this person if I lived entirely on the internet. Oh – I wonder if I could do that?! Then I could have all the perfect skin tone I wanted….


7. Oh dang. There’s another comment. I need to admit my trespasses. I have to. I’m losing all credibility. The only way to regain it is to post a no-makeup selfie.

Or not.

8. But if the photo were overexposed, my skin would look that good, too! Cameras always lie – everyone knows that!

9. And anyway. I bet all the people on the internet with perfect skin are just FaceTuned. That’s what Apple told me, didn’t they?!


11. Argh. The photographer just liked my photo on Facebook. He’s probably judging me for smoothing myself. HE knows what I really looked like. HE knows I’m lying through my wrinkles.

12. I wonder how you can shrink pores as big as mine?

13. FaceTune. Oh, FaceTune. Why can’t you transform my skin like you lie about my photograph? Why can’t you be a real boy?

14. If God didn’t want me to be able to smooth my skin on the internet then He wouldn’t have created FaceTune. So there.

…But He could’ve cut out the middle man and just given me flawless skin to start with…

15. Guilt. Nothing but guilt. (But not quite enough to change my profile picture.)

FaceTune should have been called Pandora’s Face. That’s all there is to it.

Things In Which You Shouldn’t Run.


So I wear leggings as pants.

Clearly, that came as a terrible shock to many of you – at least based on the comments, the Facebook conversations, and the in-real-life justifications I’ve had to offer since making my grand admission.

So, in an effort to regain your confidence, I’d like to present you with a few “At least I don’t wear these” items, compliments of HauteLook and Target.

(I realize that I’m simply yet again setting myself up for later recants, but surely not. Surely. Not.)

I may be wearing athletic leggings as pants now, but at least I don’t wear these.


“When leggings as pants aren’t edgy enough for you anymore, try hose as pants wrapped in brightly colored Ace Bandages!”

I cannot help but wonder the state of the crotch. Are we talking mummy-in-a-diaper or celebrity peek-a-boo?

If you prefer to mix and match your hosiery and metallic Lycra, there’s this variety:


* Note: anyone without thigh gap, which includes me and 99% of the world, will get exactly one wear out of these pants before getting a run in that frighteningly thin seam.

If you prefer to look like the Tin Man halfway through the shredder rather than C-3PO, they have you covered as well.


However. Any and all leggings ever made are better than a dropped-crotch pant.


Especially a dropped-crotch sweat pant. With heeled boots.


Because nothing says “I wear granny panties and Depends and maybe Pampers too” like a crotch that intentionally comes down to your knees.

Speaking of Granny Panties.


Can anyone explain to me why you want Granny in the front, party in the back?


If you’re going to wear a thong, wear a thong. If you’re going to cover the bottom half of your rib cage with your underwear, cover the bottom half of your rib cage with your underwear. You can’t have it all.

But let’s talk about what we’ve come here to talk about: What not to wear when running.

1. Don’t wear a sports bra that looks like it may have been hired to strangle you.


2. Or a sports bra that looks like it just finished touring with Lady Gaga.


3. In general, don’t give your boobs the opportunity to jump out the top of your top. It’s not good for aerodynamics.


4. Don’t wear pants that were upcycled from your fifth grade class photo backdrop.


Because no one needs flashbacks of their pimply tween face when they see your butt.



5. Don’t wear “pants” that look like you just escaped from a cult.


Because then everyone will assume you’re running from a bearded long-haired dude with 15 wives and 167 children, and you’ll be slowed down by dozens of offers to help.

6. Running skirts are weird. And they’re weirder still if printed with a 3-D Magic Eye poster from 1992.


After all, you don’t want to make other runners go cross-eyed trying to see your secret message. Unless you’re in a race. Then by all means make the other contestants trip.

7. Shoulder Peek-A-Boo is not meant for running. We’re running, ladies, not clubbing in Miami.


8. Unless you’re thighless, Dr.-Seuss-colored vertical stripes and spandex aren’t usually a good mix.


And most importantly,

9. Do not. I say DO NOT. Run. In a Thong.


I don’t care if it claims to be a performance thong.

So what if it says it wicks moisture. Exactly where do you think it’s going to send it?!

And you think your shoes rubbing your feet can cause chafing…you do not want chafing in the places a thong can travel.

And after a marathon, no amount of laundry detergent could make that thing sterile again. Assuming it doesn’t pop and smack you in the face on mile 22.

Let’s all just agree that VPL is okay when running – because the alternatives are deadly.