Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Double Edged Sword of Hand-Me-Downs

We have gotten truly unbelievable amounts of hand-me-downs for the girls.

Occasionally, I have been just a touch sad about the plethora of toys and clothes making their way into the house, for it means I don't get to go shopping for them myself no reason or need to buy more. 

But last week it was awesome.

I packed a big suitcase with 8 days worth of outfits (and the needed extra shirts and pants for when Adrianna has her five-outfit days and Kristina forgets to pull her pants down before using the toilet) for the girls for our trip out to DC.

On Monday.

When our plane left on Friday.

And as I gazed onto the suitcase to make sure we had everything, I realized that the only things in it that I personally have bought them were a few pairs of pajamas and socks.

That's right, ALL the sun dresses, ALL the shirts and shorts and jeans, ALL the panties, ALL the swimwear, ALL the sweaters... they were ALL given to us as hand-me-downs.

Now, I did ruin this amazing revelation slightly by sticking in their Easter dresses (which I did personally buy) at the last minute, along with some shoes.

But the point still stands.

Because they also wore hand-me-downs for the week prior, and still had plenty sitting on their shelves (ok, and thrown careless around their bedroom as I started to have rational mommy packing issues with Adrianna insisting on "helping" me) to last another week after we get back.

(Two if the weather cooperates!!)

So in exchange for not getting to pick out their wardrobes myself, we have saved thousands of dollars through a little luck and a little kindness.

Not a bad exchange these days, not a bad one at all.

Even if I sometimes get frustrated at being unable to match the girls as much as I'd like.

The adorable baby clothesline picture is by the incredibly talented Adele Enersen via Mila's Daydreams.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Today is a national holiday in the US.

Kids get off school, government gets off work, and even the occasional business is closed.


And it is generally hallmarked as the true beginning of summer.

But the sentiment is much greater to some.

Do you know what this picture is?

It is the fallen soldier table from the St. Barbara's Ball we attended last summer.

One is set up at every military ball, and it is always recognized with due solemnity and honor.

It's also one of my most hit blog posts from people searching for it.

Which is actually kinda cool.

(Also, MUCH better than the perverted panties searches that keep ending up here as well.)

But it makes me think that it is something people do not know enough about in general, nor would there be a great plethora of information about it readily available (even on the internet).

Or so I am assuming, since my blog sure isn't that famous (YET) to be at the top of the search results unless it's one of the only sources of information about the fallen soldier table available.

And it's that lack of information that is sad.

We are still a country at war, service members are still deployed overseas and families are still left behind.

And sometimes, lives are lost in combat.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Operational Options

Some times in life, there are just too many options.

And I'm not even talking about shampoo!!

You see, my new car, although a fairly baseline model, DOES come with a few enhancements.

The old one had exactly 3 wiper settings, Off, Low, and High. Yep, real exciting there.

This new one has 3 levels of on, each of which has another 1-5 range (like bike gears).

And I mess with it constantly!


Ah yes, it is sprinkling out, I think 1-3 is where I need to be. Oh wait, I'm driving faster, I better put it up to 2-2. But now I'm stopped at a light, I need it back at 1-5. Hmm, maybe just 1-4... but wait, we're driving again, lets go back up to 2-2. Oh but now it's actually raining, I should bump it up to 3-1. And now we're at another stop light, lets put it back at 2-3. Or maybe 2-1. Is it raining less? Oh wait, it's just snow. 

But the story does not end there.

You see, there is one aspect of the new car that has less than an ideal number of options.

Low gear.

Yep, there is exactly one option other than "Drive" which still allows the vehicle to deliberately move in a forwardly fashion. I think it's roughly equivalent to the level 3 on most automatics.

Which is something that only matters when driving down... steep...... hills........... or like, the side of a mountain.

Ah well, frequent use keeps the brakes in good working order, I'm sure.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go futz with my wiper speed some more.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Three Ts of Happiness

Video *SHOULD* be fixed now....

In our house, it takes three things to make everybody happy. 

Tunes, Tutus, and Trampolines.

Well, chocolate and/or cookies totally should be on that list too, but it doesn't fit with the nice alliteration or following video, so it'll hang out as the afterthought for the purpose of this post.



Yep, I have quite the pair of truly terrific little girls.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh, The Irony: Yogurt Edition

Kristina and Adrianna were sitting at the kitchen table eating yogurt.

Adrianna, although only a mere 16 and a half months old, is actually quite adept at using a spoon to feed herself.

When she so chooses to, that is.

However, this yogurt day was more of the finger paint and impromptu facial variety. 

Kristina was surveying the damage her sister was causing from across the table where she was neatly devouring hers, and observed that Adrianna wasn't doing a very good job eating today.

And then, just as she went on to point out how she personally was NOT making a mess, she some how accidentally dropped her spoon by flinging it into the air where it spun around three times before impressively splattering onto the table.

Adrianna thought the trick was delightful, started giggling and promptly flung her yogurt covered spoon into my lap.

But it gets worse better.

A few days later the girls were having yogurt again.

Adrianna had brought a ball to the table with her this particular meal, which is not at all unusual as she frequently insists on bringing on whatever she had been playing with along and I decided long ago that a My Little Pony sitting on the table next to her as she happily ate her food didn't bother me in the slightest (while her screaming bloody murder sure did).

But today, it wasn't a pony or a stethoscope or a little doll.

It was a ball.

Balls ROLL.

And when they get covered in yogurt, they track a lovely line of yogurt across the table. And then they fall off the table and continue their yogurt spread across the floor as well.

I may initiate the bio-hazard suite and plastic room covering requirement before the next feeding of yogurt.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Things I Should Know, But Apparently Don't

I have many moments in my life where pause to go "right, I should have known that". Some people have affectionately (I think) made reference to whether I'm really a natural blond or even gone so far to state that Kristina gets the blond color from Peter and the blond personality from me.

(You can't see, but I'm totally doing the lazer eyes of fiery death in regards to that allegation.)

But then, what fun is having blond stupid moments and keeping a blog if you can't fully exploit your own idiocies! Plus I'm sure it's only fair after exploiting stories about my children's poopoos. So here are some of my recent "I should have known that, but apparently didn't" moments for you to enjoy.

Power outages reset alarm clocks.
Now obviously I noticed the clock flashing 12:16 at me after the power came back on, and went about reprogramming it to the correct time. However I did NOT think to check the alarm before switching it to on when I was going to bed later that evening, and promptly woke myself up at midnight. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. In my defense, the alarm clock I'm presently using is probably older than I am, and I DID previously use an alarm clock that did NOT reset itself during a power outage. I think.  

Brightly colored bras show through white shirts.
I know, this is one of those really obvious ones, but let me fill you in with the back story. So one day I set out to buy a white shirt, and although I had fully decided upon this adventure the day prior, did not properly take it into account when getting dressed that morning and chose to wear the bright-teal-with-multicolored-polka-dots one. Polka dots showing through are VERY distracting when trying on tops. Also, this is not something to lament about on facebook, as you will quickly learn that all your male friends are immature jerks.

Kids can smell chocolate breath.
I have become very sneaky and devious in my mid-day chocolate snacking as to avoid the need to share with my children (because really, I already let them have cookies for breakfast, I gotta at least pretend I'm a competent adult occasionally). But I always forget that Kristina has super chocolate senses (she gets those from me) and can totally tell when I've been eating it and subsequently demands for some too. And for the longest time, I could NOT figure out how she knew I'd been eating chocolate... that is, until Peter told me she could smell it on my breath. Oops.

Salt and pepper containers can look the same. 
So I was attempting to put salt on something shortly after arriving at my parents' house, and the "salt" I had grabbed was coming out black. Well that's sure weird.... can salt go bad? Could some mold have grown in it? Maybe some dirt got into it? *ponder ponder ponder* OH!! It's the PEPPER. Riiiiiggght...... ok ok, in my defense, MY pepper shaker was one of those grinder things, and not a salt-identical holed cup. With a "P" on it......

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Never Leave Pancakes Unattended

Yep, it's a new motto for life.

Never leave your pancakes unattended.

At least not if you want to find them there when you get back.


For the record, the little booger HAD just finished devouring two pancakes of her very own and squirmed to get out of her seat, which Mommy (stupidly) thought meant she was done. So then when Mommy stepped away from the table to bring a washcloth that had just been used to wipe off a slightly sticky Adrianna back to the sink, the little stinker speed climbed up onto the chair and started shoving pieces of Mommy's pancake into her mouth as fast as possible.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weatherly Woes

Why yes, I AM going to whine more about Colorado weather and it's recent tendency for snowing in May, an experience I'm sure all of you will greatly enjoy.
There's a driveway out there somewhere. And a garden. Maybe.

Because since my last whining-about-snow-in-May post, it has snowed to very noticeable accumulation levels three times.  

THREE TIMES!!! 

My mother planted some bulbs in her garden last fall, and we have yet to see a tulip or daffodil open up BECAUSE THE PLANTS KEEP GETTING BURIED IN SNOW, and apparently aren't quite stupid enough to want to blossom under those conditions.

(Can't imagine why.....)

Sandbox? I think you mean Snowbox.
And do you want to know what it does in between snowing events? The snow melts, which turns the dirt roads into quagmires of mud and continues to assure my car's semi-permanent non-gray color status. It also brings about potholes that require extreme evasive maneuvers for the daily drive.

However, I also have children, which means the mud is also a major pain in the ass for taking them out to play.

Now, don't get me wrong, they love playing in the mud and I am more than willing to put up the dirty hands and pants that come with childhood.

But snow melt mud is a different breed. Snow melt mud is COLD.

Do you know what happens after children splash around in COLD snow melt muddy puddles? They get COLD. And dirty And whiny. And then you have to take them inside to get them changed and warmed back up, even though you were only outside for 8 minutes and everyone is going stir crazy in the house desperately wanting it to be summer already. 

video

Monday, May 23, 2011

Turtle Float

The Turtle Float is the annual fundraiser put on by Kristina's non-profit preschool, Over the Rainbow.

I 'assisted' with the event a few years back when I was working at the school for the summer, and thought it was mildly fun to watch while doing very little to actually DO anything for it.

Although I DID take all these pretty pictures, which you should be making appropriate ooh and aah noises over and feeling overwhelmingly compelled to sponsor a turtle as a result of seeing them in their full awesomeness.

Oh, and baby Kristina thought the whole thing was just enthralling, and demonstrated such by taking a nap.

It starts with the dumping of individually numbered small plastic turtles into the creek that runs through the middle of Nederland, where they are then collected farther down stream just before they hit the mountain reservoir by some seriously dedicated parents in waders with nets.

No really, the turtle catching parents are just awesome and in a total league above the rest of us non-turtle-catching-wanna-be-badass-poser-parents.

Despite their best efforts, every year a few manage to escape or get lost in the bushes, so if you ever happen to see a random little green turtle floating down Boulder Creek, now you know why.

Then the recaptured turtles are tossed into a kiddie-pool "pond", where they are pulled out by random as a drawing for all the prizes donated by local businesses.

The local businesses are also given the opportunity to sponsor a big duckie, which gets sent down the river prior to the turtle tossing. The business are expected to decorate them (and some can get quite elaborate, not to mention competitive) and they are then displayed for votes to be cast for the best dressed duck by the general populous during the High Peaks Art Festival.

And now I am a parent, and as such I have super duper parent responsibilities to support the school. However, as I am not the waders-and-a-net turtle catching sort of mommy, I'm going to be totally lame and only do what they absolutely insist all parents do.

(Yeah yeah, lets see you volunteer to get on your waders and go catch some turtles in snow melt water for your 3 year old's preschool.)

This year specifically includes the requirement of families selling tickets to sponsor a turtle, with all the fund-raising from the event is going towards the school buying the building which they have been renting for years and years.

So... anyone want to sponsor a turtle for $5 to support Kristina's super awesome non-profit community preschool? Anyone? Anyone at all??

(Why yes, this WOULD be the lazy momma way of selling her assigned tickets.... but think of what a good cause!) 

I'm working on adding a paypal gadget to the blog for this, but in the mean time if you are so inclined to want a turtle to be sent swimming on your behalf, please feel free to email me at heller.martha@gmail.com to work out the details. You will need to provide your name, address, and phone number for the entry ticket. And I will provide much praise and adoration and long rambling gushing about your totally awesome wonderfulness for doing so.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rapture Cometh? Guess Not

Why lookie here, the world didn't end yesterday after all.

I suppose that means I have to go do some laundry now. Damn.

Non Sequitur: Moses invents the top 10 list

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pink Toenails

There has been a big uprising in recent weeks over a J. Crew add that featured a mother painting her son's toenails bright pink.

The conservative response was less than favorable, most of which I would say is way overblown bluster over what is essentially nothing. 

In response to the conservative response, the liberal approach took up a bold protest movement.

And started a (facebook) pink toenail event.

Overall, the whole situation strikes me as fairly stupid.

Everything from the fact that toenail polish comes right off with nail polish remover to the stupid ideas of "gender" being imposed on something which is simply imitation play... it is just dumb. And the pink toenail response protest is almost as bad for continuing to make a political issue out of something that shouldn't be politicized in the first place.

I had no serious intention of participating, not to mention details like my children being little girls who are halfway expected to prance around with pink toenails at least occasionally during their childhood anyways.

But, as Kristina choose last week to start begging for me to paint her toenails for the first time, the girls ended up with pink toes anyways.


Aren't they cute? Whomever created super fast drying nail polish is a GENIUS.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Twinkle Twinkle

Alternative titles considered for this blog post include:

Your House Is Too Quite
Use In Case Of Silence Emergency
Opera Singer In The Making

You know, just to give you a faint heads up that you might want to turn down your speaker volume, remove all sleeping babies from the vicinity, and deactivate overly sensitive car alarms before playing this video.

video

Do note that her normal voice isn't quite that shrill and squeaky, which you can hear when she asks to see the video at the end (if you can tolerate Twinkle Twinkle Little Star sung that enthusiastically for 45 seconds). She's been playing around with using a baby voice at times recently, and it truly does bring about a new level of cringe to her always top volume solos. However, I did think her use of make shift percussion instruments while singing pretty impressive. And, um... loud.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Photo Shoot

A few weeks back, my dear friend and awesome aspiring photographer did the photo shoot for the picture now being used as the blog header.

I thought it actually went quite well, as I only had to use fairly minimal chocolate bribing to get cooperation and none of my children actually ended up in any of the lovely scenic bodies of water around CU's campus.

(They DID destroy a few tulips. Shhhh.... don't tell CU.)

(And there was the jumping onto the camera flash incident, which the equipment may or may not have recovered from....)

((Sooooo sorry about that still!!))

But yes, over all it was a good shoot. Being outside was nice, as the girls could wander about more and play with sticks and pick dandelions. And sample the local horticulture... apparently tulips are quite tasty to one year old pallets.

However, our photographer didn't share that opinion.

It was her first time doing a shoot with children, and she thought it was challenging.

Huh.

Obviously she has not repeatedly witnessed what my children DO in a normal photo studio.

But perhaps she just needs a few tips for photographing the younger crowd.

You see, the photographers at the standard portrait studios are specifically trained to totally fake out that perfectly posed family shot.

They are a devious bunch, and often resort to self-degrading measures to get children all looking the same direction and (maybe even) smiling.

They use rattles and tins filled with beans or buttons to clang about to get everyone looking the same way.

They put stuffed animals on top of their head and "sneeze" them off (the preschool crowd finds this stunt HILARIOUS).

They have pom-poms which they'll wave in children's faces or tickle tummies with.

They will wave a piece of cardboard to blow air on a small baby to startle them from crying.

They will direct the parents to pull the pacifier out of a happily sucking baby's mouth on cue to get the picture snapped before the indigent pissed off screams start.

They make weird trilly noises to attract the attention of a bored child or overwhelmed baby.

They will have the older children say random funny phrases (turkey pickles!) to both keep them from doing the artificial "CHEESE" face and to make them genuinely laugh.

Yep, the portrait studio photographers are a sneaky bunch. And the idea that a family just sits down nicely posed on stools and everyone smiles nicely for the camera the first time is SO false.

Unless you're looking at my perfectly precious little family, since when we are anything less than adorable?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Little Known Danger of Chex Mix

I have never personally made Chex Mix in my life.

However, through my astute observations of a bag that was delivered to the house via a friend of my mother, it appears that you simply dump some of whatever miscellaneous snacks and cereal you have around into a bowl and sprinkle some garlic on top.

After spending 6 years cooking for someone who (along with his entire extended family) strongly feels that there is no such thing as too much garlic, I TOTALLY get this last step, and have been known to add garlic to pretty much everything besides chocolate.

So, we had a bag of garlic Chex Mix sitting around. And I thought it would be a good idea to give cups of it to my children while I neglected them to check my email they watched a movie. Because really, I can usually weasel out a solid 20 minutes of not doing any active parenting if they're well stocked with snacks and drinks and Disney.

That is SO worth the risk of a few crumbs.

However, although I am not actively parenting them when I sneak away, you had better believe I am intently listening to the little rascals making sure everybody is relatively ok and not beating each other up or setting things on fire or smashing things with a large stick or escaping from the family room.

I heard Adrianna get down from the couch and toddle into her bedroom, and didn't think anything terrible of it as the most damage that'll happen in their room would be the books getting pulled off the bookcase in there.

Well, Adrianna could start climbing and get somewhere high and promptly fall off and crack her skull open where she'll start bleeding profusely and possibly have permanent brain damage...

Alright alright, I should go see what, exactly, she's doing.

Oh no worries, she was just rolling around on her bed satanically giggling and smashing the remains of her garlic Chex Mix into a fine and highly scented powder that will ensure her mattress and sheets forever smell like a deliciously flavored pot roast.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fake Tanning Time

Every spring there comes a point where I start to anticipate wearing summer skirts and dresses.

And even, occasionally, shorts.

(Obviously that has not been this last week, but go with me here on the generalization of it nearly being the generally accepted time for summer.)

And then I realize that my legs are STILL their permanent zombie shade of white, of which they seem to want to remain for all eternity.

Personally I could really care less about the exact shade of my skin. But I'm a matcher, and am rather wanting for all my limbs to be about the same shade. My fondness of wearing tank tops with jeans only adds to the effect of my legs always being a noticeably different pallor. 

More interesting still, my torso manages to remain normal human flesh color throughout the year despite seeing sunlight about once every half decade, while my legs continue to hold the undead gray/white tone year round.

So last year I decided to do something about this totally shallow and mostly irrelevant beauty concern, which I'm sure all of you just finding riveting right now. The suspense, the drama, the lack of depth... it's a soap opera in the making for sure. 

After a quick consultation with my (long distance) resident beauty expert, I assesed that my choices were to start laying out in the cancer causing sun all afternoon oiled up and in a bikini on a regular basis, start visiting a tanning salon and lay oiled up in a coffin-shaped cancer causing pod on a regular basis, or totally just fake it with some tinted lotion.

Tinted lotion is awesome.

And so, as spring hearkens the air (or rather, impending travel to a climate that just might not have snow in the middle of May), it is time to begin working on this years fake leg tan. Woot.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hello Summer... Or Not

Last weekend here was absolutely gorgeous. Sunshine galore (if you've never seen the Colorado sunshine, you have *no* idea what you're missing) and the first genuinely warm days that reached us all the way up in the mountains.

The girls and I spent three days at parks and exploring the woods and playing with the (very awesome) new sandbox.













And it was AWESOME.

And then it snowed a whole bunch for the next two days. And then it melted, so it could spend the weekend snowing some more. Because spring in the Rocky Mountains kinda sucks is when Winter and Summer battle it out until Summer finally wins.

Except that Summer has been loosing this week.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Epic Life

Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson

Yep. I'm right over here Opportunity, just waiting for the chance to have an Epic Life and to Change the World. Please feel free to come calling at anytime. Thanks.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Blogger Ponderance

At some point post my possibly preemptive and ultimately unnecessary personal freak out the Blogger system crash and temporary deletion of posts, my Scary Dolls post was reinstated in it's original form minus the comments, as I believe all other blogs were as well.

(Also, a huge THANK YOU to the incredibly thoughtful and always awesome Rachel over at Grasping for Objectivity for still having it in her non-Blogger blog feed during the technical hiccup and emailing a copy of it to me.)

However, the system glitch does bring up some serious contemplation about the limitations of blogging.

Presently I do not write anything or save anything that gets posted in any format besides Blogger. Which means I have no back up or copy of anything I have done in the last year should Blogger ever fully eat shit and die irreversibly crash. And although I don't consider much of what I write to be that amazing (although should you feel otherwise and desire to give me a writing job, I will fully support that opinion and would be more than happy to produce posts thoroughly discussing my supreme awesomeness accordingly), I do really like seeing what I have done. It does take work and time to write blog posts (even the crappy cop out ones), and it would be hard to suddenly loose all of it.

(Also, this about the only tangible thing I have beyond my children still being alive for "successes in life" right now, and as lame as that is I still kinda want to keep it.)

There are other similar (and by similar I mostly mean "free") blog hosting websites, such as Wordpress, which could always be an option. However, there are no guarantees that a different hosting site wouldn't have it's own technical issues from time to time. And I have to admit, I'm comfortable with Blogger at the moment and am not a big fan of unnecessary changes in general.

(Plus I know how to make it do what I want at this point, so I feel smart when I do fun internet techy things on it.)

The other option would be to get my own website. Now again, there is no guarantee that the host server couldn't just keel over one day, but I strongly suspect the probability of it doing so is supstantially less.

(Especially if I stop being cheap and actually paid for one.)

But again, I did NOT major in computer science (fun fact: I haven't taken a computer course in my entire life beyond 7th grade typing class) and therefore am at times easily intimidated by needing to do the internety code stuff to make my own website happen. One of the (possibly very few) real points Blogger has going for it is it's ease of initial clueless use, with the ability to expand what you are doing as your skills and interest grows. Anyone really can start a blog on Blogger, as it will walk you through the initial auto set up process, and you only need to mess with settings (that'd be the "make it pretty" formatting part) beyond that if you so choose.

That all said, I really do suspect I could create and maintain my own website, it would just take the proper motivation to make it happen.

(And chocolate. Computer crap always requires chocolate.)

However, that motivation is lacking for today (plus I'm totally not famous enough to make it worth it yet), so we will continue to hang out with Blogger for the time being.

Unless it decides to crap out at random times repeatedly. Then I just might find a little extra motivation to seriously reconsider blog hosting options.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Scary Dolls

A friend of mine has staunchly maintained that dolls are creepy.

Our house has quite a few dolls (some are even my children's play things), and I would still staunchly argue that most range from ugly to harmless.

However, there are some which I will fully concede are just damn weird.

(The rest of this post could also be subtitled: Toys to never ever get my children.)

Mostly they're the ones that do stuff or try to be overly life like (Uncanny Valley, anyone?), but some also fall into the kinda creepy category because of exceptionally poor design.

Baby Alive Bouncin' Babbles- This one isn't the most threatening looking dolly off hand, she actually is on the smaller side and marginally cute (at least as far as mass produced molded plastic goes). BUT should you be unfortunate enough to walk by an aisle of these things? They all start making creepy cooing giggle noises and bouncing at you, declaring (in babytalk) how they want to eat your soul. The previous version was supposed to actually crawl, which appears to have been discontinued as I can't presently find it online (that's a good thing). I can think of few things more terrifying than TOYS crawling after me babbling.

Monster High Dolls- These are new arrivals to the fashion doll scene, and are just a terrifying combination of the Barbie doll toy concept, Bratz style and body proportions, and a questionably unhealthy Halloween devotion. They also have a corresponding animated tv show, which I'm sure sets exactly the view of a skanky multicultural high school I want to instill on my little girls (spoiler alert: Cleo is the bitch. Thank you Target video preview showcase with child height play buttons for gifting me with that information).

Clawdeen Wolf, Lagoona Blue, Cleo De Nile, Deuce Gorden, Frankie Stein, Draculaura

By the way, little girls of mine, if you think you're getting out the house in one of those outfits when you're 14, I just might let your father carry through on some of his threats of locking you in your room and burning your clothes.


Singing Justin Bieber Doll- It's a Justin Bieber doll that sings a Justin Bieber song. Do I need to say more to explain why this one is terrifying? Nope, I didn't think so. Oh, except that there is MORE THAN ONE Justin Bieber doll singing Justin Bieber songs. 

We Really Did It Dora- Now, I'm not a big fan of Dora the Explorer in the first place (have you ever watched that tv show? *shudder*), and combing her less-than-great likability with the functions of a Chicken-Dance-Tickle-Me-Elmo just doesn't bring about a good product.

(Also, please never get my children a Tickle-Me-Elmo of any variety. I'm sure they would love it and I would want to smash it with a brick within the first three seconds. Or the Barney playing a banjo version, that one might even be worse. And definitely not the overpriced moonwalking Mickey Mouse spaz, that one might scare Kristina as much as me.)

Swappin' Styles- This is the Barbie doll with a removable head. You can buy additional single heads to put on the basic doll, or opt for the nice combo pack pictured to the right which comes with a few extra starter heads. They've also done away with conventional doll shoes, and now just have you change her feet. Yep, there's just something about the rack of Barbie heads and feet that make me go *blarrrgh* and start counting how many years of sweet innocent pastel ponies I have left with the girls before our house turns into Wannabe Whore Creepy Fashion Doll Central.

(Dearest little girls, please stay little forever. Love, Mama.)

((Unless staying little means wanting a baby doll that shits. In that case, please grow up fast.))

Baby Alive Whoopsie Doo Baby Doll- Um... here, I'll just quote the official description: Playing "mommy" is more fun than ever with this BABY ALIVE doll that "eats" and "poops" just like a real baby!

Yeah, no. I clean up enough crap, pooping dolls are not allowed in this house.Want to know what else isn't allowed in this house? Baby dolls that poop AND talk. No really, NONE OF THEM are allowed. Period.

(Seriously Hasbro, how many crapping dolls are needed in this world??)

The Breast Milk Baby- This is one that I really want to like, for all those lofty "breast feeding is perfectly natural and Americans are just prudes" ideals. But it still weirds me out. Best I can tell, the child wears a boobie bib which the doll latches onto and makes sucky noises. Kristina pretending to nurse her dolls (and the occasional stuffed dog or giraffe) doesn't bother me in the slightest, but these things just give me the willies. Oh, and they're overpriced.

But hey, at least they don't poop.


Dear Blogger, I Hate You

Anyone notice how a post didn't go up at it's usual time today?

Or how about every Blogger brand blog in existence had whatever was posted on Thursday deleted?

Yeah.... Blogger (the site that runs this particular flavor of blog shin dig) went out for the count yesterday evening and into today, preventing bloggers from writing/posting stuff and then apparently had to reset the system by removing everything after Wednesday.

Or the government is censoring the interwebs by day of the week.

Either way, there's more than a few mildly annoyed (and even a few royally pissed) bloggers out there.

And a few extra lazy ones that used the system being down as a reason to take the night off of writing posts.

However, even the really lazy ones are sorta sad about their super awesome (and a little time consuming to put together) "Scary Dolls" post disappearing into cyberspace.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Cornell Misconception

I went to Cornell College.

Which is in a small town in Iowa.

But people don't usually hear that part. They hear "Cornell", and assume it was the big fancy Ivy league university that means you have super smarts, super money, and super connections in life.

And I am totally cool with that. So is every other Cornell alumni I've ever talked to about this.

(All two of them.)

However, at times it can be confusing. When we were living in New York, from time to time I would encounter a Cornell sweatshirt and start to be all excited about having found someone who also went to my Alma Martyr so far away from the midwest.

And then about three minutes into the conversation I would realize they went to the one out east.... you know, like two hours away from where we were. And then I got to fake it with lots of smiling and nodding until I got out of the causal encounter after I just boldly declared "OMG I went to Cornell too!"

The College and University were started by cousins in the same prominent Cornell family, but the College was first by four years. And that is a detail they are very proud of. At one point the University requested the College to change it's name to stop confusing people, and the College pretty much told them to shove it, they were here first.
Cornell College campus

A few years back, there was a big news to-do that flew through the Cornell alumni internet grape vine of an article about the University with this picture of the College featured alongside it. 

Oops... somebody didn't check their sources very well.

But really, I don't think people should have so much trouble keeping them straight. The three big name public schools in Colorado are the University of Colorado, the University of Northern Colorado, and Colorado State University, commonly abreviated CU, UNC, and CSU respectively.

Remarkably similar names if you ask me, and yet nobody has trouble keeping them (and most importantly, all their sports rivalries) all sorted out.

So dearest world, if you want to assume I have exceptionally brilliant intelligence and went to a top terr school, be my guest.

But you're really just being dumb about it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Ultimate Pink Room, Gone Green

HGTV (a television network) has an annual Green Home Giveaway, which I may have been slightly scoffing of in years prior (psssh, green building? sustainable landscaping? solar panels? who wants to win that!) and never given much thought to before.

But then they ran a commercial mentioning that their current one was in Stapleton Colorado (the one right in Denver, not the one waaaaay southwest). That's totally where I'm looking for jobs! Perfectly convenient location to everything! And it's in a nice new neighborhood pandering towards families!

I could totally go for winning a house there!!

So then I went online to enter (hey, my odds of winning are probably about as good as my chances for being hired at a living wage for a job I want, so I'm totally optimistic about the possibility!), and took a quick browse through the online house picture gallery.

And do you know what it comes with?? A PINK ROOM!!!


That's even pinker than I was planning on making it in my wildest of indulgent pink fantasies!!

(And like, that previous mostly practical for renting an apartment pink plan I had? Psssh, total dog kibble compared to this ultra pink beastie.)

As I just so happen to know two little girls who would be overjoyed with that room, I am now even more endeared to the idea of the Green Home Giveaway. Just look at that epic levels of pinkness.... truly epic.

The rest of the house, although somewhat decoratively unremarkable for my personal tastes (and the popsicle stick chair really would have to go), does appear to have a very nice floor plan that would be really quite livable. There's a third small bedroom upstairs and a reasonably big loft space that totally fits the 'playroom' I had hoped to find. There's also a mega sized multipurpose laundry room downstairs that would be a just fabulous alternative from the kitchen table for craft projects (you know, once I remove all the very nice fabric furniture and put down some lament floor mats for my children to destroy).

But all is not perfect in sustainable building land.

The house doesn't have a welcoming (much less red) front door, and the back yard isn't the biggest nor does it come well equipped with children play accessories, however I am confident I could manage to exchange that fancy schamcy grill for a small swing set and sandbox.

You know, as I make great personal sacrifices for something they're potentially giving me for free.

Oh, and it comes with an 2011 CMC Terrain crossover SUV. Because really, who couldn't use one of those!?

Yep, it'd truly would be just an excellent solution for moving out on my own. Now I just have to hope my odds of stupid dumb luck are substantially higher than they have ever been before.

(And as long as I'm dreaming, could I also get a job less than a ten minute commute away as well? Thanks Life, I'd really appreciate it. Oh, and cheap but still awesome en route childcare would be nice too. And maybe a pony....)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lipstick Switcheroo

Kristina is fascinated by the process of me putting on makeup in the morning (note: "putting on makeup" means eyeliner, simplest application of eyeshadow imaginable, and a quick smear of lip stuff all of which is usually done in less than three minutes and with at least one child clinging to my leg), and often asks for me to put makeup on her as well.

She has worn makeup on a few occasions, in the same sense as I let her clomp the house in plastic high heels and clip on earings, but on general principle I'm not one for letting my preschooler put on lipstick on a regular basis.

However, SHE doesn't know that.

You see, when she asks to wear lipstick too I like to pull the good old lipstick switch on her.

The picture illustrates two lip products from my makeup bag. The one on the left is a light moisturizing lip colorant which I put on me, the one on the right is pomegranate chap stick which I put on her (and recently, Adrianna, thanks to her overwhelming case of metooism).

And she has yet to realize they are not one in the same.

So this way I get to indulge her in what she wants to do while also not being a horrible mother for actually letting her wear makeup and feeling quite comfortable with the knowledge that she is merely applying a little lip balm, which I might very well be putting on her for chapped lips anyways.

Now I just need to make sure she stays ignorant of what chap stick really is for another 12 years or so....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

From The Mama Within

Mother's Day still strikes me as a strange holiday "in my honor" or what not. I'm sure this is just the 20 something barely out of college punk inside of me who still hasn't fully latched on to the detail that I AM a mother (doesn't that just sound weird?), as it is the 4th year (5th if you count when I was pregnant) of this and it still seems out of place to me.

But, here's the picture run down for my Mother's Day the last couple of years. You know, the proof of me earning those heartfelt cards and all.

Iowa 2007

Colorado 2008

Oklahoma 2009

New York 2010
Colorado 2011