Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Why the Teenage Years are Going to be Fun

I have been giving some thought to the teenage years ahead of me.

I doubt they will be easy, since nothing so far has been anything less than challenging, and I'm really pretty sure parenthood only gets worse the farther you go until.... um............ yeah....

Wait, why do people procreate again? 

Quick, cute baby distraction time!!

Phew! That was a close one.

(You still want to procreate, right?? I can always bring out the super big guns and throw up some videos of giggling babies... I mean, NO ONE can resist a baby baby laughing hysterically over simple antics!) 

But I'm also very curious how much their personalities will be holding true 12 years from now.

My prediction is that Kristina will be the one screaming and slamming doors, while Adrianna will be the one sneaking out of her bedroom window.

Kristina is loud and makes a big show of things, but it really is Adrianna you have to watch out for. 

And I have proof.

You see, I took this video the girls playing in the woods (ok, to preface it I really should tell you I had just given Kristina her first lesson in peeing in the woods, which is what she started to talk/sing about and then changed her mind) and Kristina was carrying on the way she does as the main attraction.

And then Adrianna totally goes and flashes the camera.

Yep. The teenage years are going to be fun. 


Friday, August 26, 2011

Pictures of Life

I often wish somebody was just there, taking pictures of the moments in life I want to remember forever.

Those few minutes both the girls were wrapped up in the story I was reading to them as we were all piled together on Kristina's bed, their hair still wet from washing nestled against my chest.

Us walking towards the park, a hand of each of them firmly grasping mine.

That expression on Adrianna's face as she looks back at me when she surprises herself being able to do something for the first time.

Me scooping Kristina into a big hug when she greats me at preschool pickup.

But as we are not featured on reality television and as I am most often the one holding the camera, those pictures are few and far between.

And yet sometimes, even when I don't succeed in capturing exactly what I was trying to, there is still something appealing about the result.

I took this one last week, as we were sitting out on the back patio playing on a warm afternoon. The flash over-exposed, the framing was terrible, and nobody was looking at the camera for me.

But we were all smiling, laughing together at the pure silliness itself of me trying to take a picture of all three of us together.

And in it's own little way, it is 100% perfect. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Picking Raspberries

August is the season of wild raspberries here in the Colorado mountains, and the girls just love finding and eating the bright berries.

In fact, the activity of raspberry picking (and eating) has even become more fun than playing with dirt the last few weeks.

I remember scouting bushes for the very same red clusters back in my own childhood, and like to reference that memory and my apparent lack of any ill harm as a result whenever that tiny nagging mommy voice starts to wonder whether I should be requiring my children to wash them off before consuming nature.

(I also like to reference the specific incidents of eating dirt and/or ants and/or drinking rain water to dispel any lingering concerns about the quality of nature they're ingesting.)

Kristina is quite capable of helping herself and would utterly fail in the old-fashioned task to bring home a basket full as a result of eating half as many as she picked, but Adrianna loves them even more (despite having less developed finding/picking skills) and can eat them faster than I can retrieve them for her.

At this rate they're growing up real mountain kids indeed. 

Why I'm Probably Going to Hell: Name Edition

My parents did an interesting thing when they named me.

They named me Martha on paper, as everything from my birth certificate to my camp enrollment form have always read such, while always calling me Marty.

And there were times when I was younger where I wasn't a fan of needing to correct teachers for calling me Martha and request Marty instead, or moments where classmates made teasing remarks about the Martha aspect (middle schoolers are a nasty bunch, just saying....).

But there are also times when it proves useful.

I have been known to go by Martha for work (or in regards to the military) and then can instantly know who is calling me depending on the name they ask for.

And I think I may have even been willing to give up being Marty altogether had I not put it down on some piece of paper for a preferred name when I applied to Cornell, for you see Cornell did this amazing thing and actually put down the students preferred name onto the roster lists they gave to teachers, so everyone just called me Marty through college as well.

And now.... well, now I actually prefer Marty.

Perhaps, someday, I will become that amazing professional and wish to have a more professional name... but right now I'm totally content with my name being what it is.

However, Target is not as cool as Cornell, and even though I put down Marty as a preferred name somewhere on their paperwork as well, everything in the system still has me down as Martha.

Additionally, they had ordered my original name tag before I ever had orientation or made mention of the preference to Marty, so my switching from a "new team member" to a personalized Target id pin was to a Martha one.

(However, they do regain some amount of cool since you can sign up for a new name tag at any time, even if it's just because you lost yours, you just have to wait a few weeks for it to come in. And if you're really bad about loosing them, you can even put down x2 or x3 and get a whole pile of personalized name tags in at once.)

And that meant I TOTALLY knew which team members actually remembered my name from when we were introduced, and which ones were cheating via the name tag.

I formed great respect for those who met me once and whom I don't usually work very closely with and yet who always remembered me as Marty.

And I may have formed a slightly cynical view of some who really should have remembered who I was (*cough* my team leader *cough cough*) and still didn't manage the transition until weeks after I got myself a Marty tag.

But, since I still regularly cheat on my co-workers' names via the all important and ever present Target name tag, I suppose I could cut humanity some slack occasionally. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Open Letter to Target Shoppers

Dear wonderful people who shop at Target,

We are happy you're here! We really do consider you guests at our special store, and helping you IS our top priority at all times.


You could use a few pointers on being polite guests during the busy back-to-school season.

(No joke, the Boulder Target had top sales for the entire nation on Tuesday with University of Colorado dorms opening for out-of-state students, and will almost certainly be repeating it today with dorms opening for local freshman.)

Please, for the sake of every other human being who might be trying to walk down that main aisle, do not just leave your shopping cart haphazardly in the middle while you wander around looking at the merits of different curtains. We understand that you feel you must closely examine every single 63' single panel we stock, and really we don't mind you doing so in the least. But could you please tuck your cart to the side first?

Similarly, please do not stand in the middle of the main aisle while having a very important cell phone conversation about the unbelievable price of arugula at Target. We don't really care what you think of the produce, nobody goes to Target because they want to buy arugula. We just want you to be marginally aware of the 500 hundred OTHER shoppers and employees in that store while you rag on the produce, some of whom might actually be trying to get over to the arugula and can't because you're standing in the middle of the big aisle leisurely strolling while talking and not paying any attention to anything in your surroundings.

(Ok, I totally lied there. Target does care about what you think of it's produce. They regularly tell me about how much they care that we get sucky produce scores at huddle. I personally do not care about the competitive price and/or organic levels of supposed awesomeness of arugula.)

On another related note, please do not stand in the middle of the main aisle (are you noticing a theme here?) and argue about things with the other people in your party. Take a shopping break, go order something at Starbucks and have a seat in their nice little cafe area. A few minute breather will help your relationships, and allow for a legitimate conversation over what the (quite possibly ridiculous) issue with plastic storage bins really is.

Remember that the world does not end if you cannot buy push pins today. It doesn't. You can come back next week and we'll have lots of them. There's no need to have a crises over them being out of stock right this moment. It really will be ok. I promise.

Do not make out in the toy section. A) There are kids all over the place there who don't need to witness what, exactly, pg-13 means, and B) I was trying to put more Captain America disk shooting shields on the shelf, needing to reach around your slobber sharing snuggly bodies is just something I don't like doing very much. Might I recommend your car, or perhaps that cheap motel that's only like a half mile farther down 28th Street?

Leave the stuff you are not buying how you found it. Spending 30 minutes playing dress up in the shoe section is ok, but leaving it completely trashed while also not buying any of those two dozen hooker heels you just had to try on isn't cool. Also, please don't open the sealed boxes to examine the ice crushing part of different blenders and then leave the rest of the unassembled blender contents scattered all over the shelf. No really, don't. Target has a great return policy, you can buy it (or even several of them) and take it home and open it and look at it all you want and then just bring it back with the original packaging and receipt if you don't like it and we'll take it right back no questions asked. 

Do not bring your dog into the store. We are not Petsmart. There are signs clearly stating non-service animals are not allowed in Target on the front doors. Just because this is Boulder and you are Fifi's guardian instead of owner and like to buy her organic doggie cookies at the doggie bakery down the street from your house every day (at prices I refuse to pay for cookies for my children) and spend more time cooking her dinner than yours does not mean she can ride through the store in a shopping cart. Mmmkay?

Respect Target employees as fellow human beings. Just because I work there does not mean you automatically get to treat me like crap be blatantly rude to me. If I go out of my way to help you or to try and meet whatever special requests you have, it'd be good of you to remember to say please and thank you. Also, respect the personal space bubble and do. NOT. Touch. Me. Some of us have enough issues not losing it with the high stimulus environment that comes when the store is operating at max capacity, touching me (even in the most well intentioned way to get my attention) is not appreciated. Practice saying "excuse me, Ma'am." I get to say it a hundred times trying to walk from one side of the store to the other, it's really not that hard.

Pay attention to the employees at the check out lanes who are trying to direct you to the empty ones. You will be happier, and so will they. I know the Inquirer is unbelievably fascinating, but you could just buy it and then you can read it sitting in your car with all the time you saved by not needlessly standing in line.

My boxes are my boxes. I'm sorry, but it is against Target policy for me to give them to you when I'm done pulling stock out of them. Disregarding that and demanding to speak to my manager makes me think lots of not nice thoughts about you. I hear karma's a bitch sometimes... one which I'm kinda hoping will come bite you on the leg rather soon.

Please don't hide stuff. If you have shampoo in your basket that you change your mind on getting, that's ok, just hand it to the cashier on your way out and tell them you don't want to buy it. They have a special tub right there to dump all of those things into and will be happy to do so. Stashing it behind the sheets screws up our inventory, has a good chance of damaging the sheets, and makes for more work for all of us lowly employees. And for those of you who like to stash trash behind things on the shelves? Yeah, there ARE trashcans underneath every single guest service phone throughout the store, not to mention the ones in Starbucks and the ones you have to walk around just to get in or out of the store. Would it really be so hard to use one? I bet you are the same lamewads who stick gum under the table at restaurants. Turds.

It's ok if you accidentally break stuff! Do you know how many of those cheap back-to-college full length mirrors have gotten shattered by employees? Heck, I took out an entire end-cap display of Windex all by myself one time! We won't be mad at you, and you won't even have to pay for the container of laundry detergent you knocked off the shelf which subsequently exploded when it hit the floor. Please just tell us about it so we can get it cleaned up ASAP! We really don't want anyone (including lost children, blind elderly people, and Fifi) to get hurt by it.

Yep, that should just about do it Target shoppers.

Some careful study of these helpful shopping tips will make for a better Target experience for everyone.

(Most especially me!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mountain Child, pt. 2

My children do not have two inches of perfectly manicured grass to play in. In fact, they barely have any grass at all.

There are no sidewalks to learn to ride a bike on.

Wild animals are a real and present danger, and they will master operating a bear-proof trashcan  alongside tying their shoes.

Museums, zoos, and even swim lessons require some serious driving and time commitment.

Neighbors are few are far between.

But they are having daily life experiences very few children have the opportunity to these days.

Have you ever ran through the woods? Leaping over fallen branches, launching off of rocks, dodging tree trunks??

I did. And now I watch Kristina and Adrianna do so.

I remember how exhilarating it was. How my mind instantly put me in another time and place, one of grand adventures and no electricity, where each day was consumed merely with the thoughts of survival and conquering all that was there to conquer.

I hunted squirrels (and (luckily) had rather poor bow making skills), picked berries, tracked mountain lions (ineptly, again probably for the better), built birds' nests, attempted to climb trees (pines are not very climbable, and I had pretty wimpy climbing capabilities in the first place), followed deer trails, collected rocks, braided pine needles, whistled on aspen leafs, and on a few rare occasion even remembered that I was a little girl (who was probably wearing a pink dress and pigtails).

Sometimes the middle of nowhere can be an extremely cool place to live.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Four Years in the Making

My dearest Kristina,
Today is your 4th birthday. I am perpetually amazed at how much you grow in a years passing, and am exceedingly proud of the wonderful little girl you have grown into. You have always been so full of spirit and life, living each day of your little life to the most you possibly can. I didn't know it was possible to love another person so much until I had you, and I would not good give you up for the world. Happy birthday sweetheart, I hope you enjoy being 4 as much tomorrow as you did today.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Geek is the New Cool

I pretend to be geeky to fit in socially with my friends.

Don't get me wrong, I do actually have some slightly geeky tendencies (such as a warm fuzzy fondness for Star Trek and certain pastel equestrian collection sitting out in the garage) and have managed to gain a few geeky skills just going along with life (like I know what google plus is and consider high speed internet as important as indoor plumbing).

I also have a strong tendency to form close bonds with those of the heavily geeky nature (although I rather suspect it is because the slightly socially awkward tend to be much nicer people in general). 

But ultimately, I am no geek.

I tried really hard to participate in role playing games in college because EVERYBODY I was remotely friends with, lived with, or dated played them. Frequently. And I liked spending 4 hours on Friday night hanging out with those people. But I never really enjoyed it (and even manage to play an entire session of Dungeons and Dragons using a D12 thinking it was a D20 one time), nor understood the purpose behind them beyond 'sitting around with people is better than sitting around alone'.

((And if you didn't get the D12 vs. D20 thing, it's referring to dice. Most of the rolling within a D&D game is done using a twenty sided die, where higher numbers are nearly always better. Thus using a twelve sided die where my highest possible role would have only been mediocre was not dissimilar to shooting off my big toe just before running a marathon.))

I watched many games of Magic the Gathering (a card game of sorts) and Battle Tech (involves little robot model figurines you assemble and paint and a map-like game board to move them around on), and never found them of particular interest.

I have attempted to stay up on Star Wars trivia and jokes, but ultimately never progressed passed having a Princess Leia complex. 

My in-depth understanding of The X-men and Star Trek is limited to which characters (cough cough Wolverine cough Commander Riker cough cough) are particularly hunky and a general reference to the broad idea of them being cool.

I was allowed to touch the controls on a few brief occasions during multi-player first person shooter games (there are many varieties of these, the gist is a group of people play together via the internet on a team which has a goal of, say, not getting killed by the zombies while running through the forest to find some secret bunker or other), but I was usually booted off pretty quick for squeeling over the microphoned headset. Oh, and I would get stuck in corners a lot. And then I was shot, and other people started whining about my sucking at the game.

I even showed up to the Chess and Games club meetings on occasion, and watched LAN parties (where 50 students would all bring their computers into a dorm room lounge and do nothing but play video games for three or four days) from affair. 

But none of it stuck.

I never took apart my computer just to put it back together (which, all things considered, is probably a really good thing).

I never gained any appreciation for World of Warcraft, nor mastered the online gaming lingo beyond understanding n00b and pwn3d (the first term being slang for a new person (as in, I was called a noob at work last week for not being proficient in something) and the second being a weird internet take on being "owned" (as in, I was pwnd when I repeatedly died within the first 30 seconds of game play).

I never understood the supposed sexiness of vampires, much less the awesomeness of Harry Potter (no really, I just don't see the awesomeness.... maybe I should get around to reading those books or watching the movies one of these days).

I never read any of the original Marvel or DC comics (although I CAN tell you Spiderman is Marvel and Batman is DC, which I think is pretty dang good considering my lack of genuine caring about them).

I have never watched a zombie movie (and I'm not even sure I could name one without some Wikipedia referencing). 

I have never even played Super Mario Brothers.

Yep, I am a total poser when it comes to being geeky. 

Luckily I'm really used to "faking it" in life.

(Like right now, as I pretend to be a blogger.....)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oh, The Irony: Anniversary Edition

Today is my 4th wedding anniversary.

It doesn't mean much when you're in the middle of getting a divorce.

And ironically, I didn't think of it until I saw the facebook rush of everyone wishing my sister-in-law happy birthday and remembered that her birthday had been commemorated at our rehearsal dinner.

Yesterday was also the 5th (happy) wedding anniversary of some of my favorite cousins, who have given me some good natured grief over the years for making them spend their first anniversary attending my wedding.

So, a slighted belated happy birthday to Rachel and happy anniversary to Holly and Eric. I hope yesterday was an awesome day for all of you.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find something to use my crazy straw on.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blogging 101

I have come to realize a serious downfall in the 'just write whatever you want and call it a post' approach to blogging.

And that is I do just that, and ramble for a bit about whatever happens to be on my mind right then.

(Like now, as I ramble about the lack of discipline and focus in my blogging....)

And although this approach has the nice aspect of a personal journal flavor and allows for cutesy videos to be posted on whim for relatives across the globe, it comes with downsides.

Mainly, a complete lack of disciplined writing on my part.

BlogHer (a convention of big shots in the female blogger world) was last week, and the reason I know about it's existence at all is because many of the writers of the blogs I follow were invited to it. I mean, I already KNEW they were some seriously awesome bloggers since I was following them, but I also started to feel just a teensy bit left out watching some of the cross blog interaction going on between some of my favorites.

So I started thinking about what it would take to get invited to BlogHer.

And quickly concluded that I have no idea the process used to select the various writers.

BUT, I am quite certain that a key component involves some seriously kickass posts getting generated.

I have stopped generating blog posts for the sack of only posting daily if I have no ideas or no time or no energy to get it done, and was surprised that I only seem to be missing a few days here and there and am much happier with what I'm posting up instead.

But I'm still not writing anything truly spectacular. As much as I love over-analyzing the merits of different bumblebee costumes, it's just not generating amazing revelations or even an above average level of humor.

And I think it is because I have no real glaring motivation to do so. I am a specific assignment/hard deadline person when it comes to generating work (or so I like to think), and most of the time that serves just fine for functioning in the world.

But not so much for free-style blogging.

So where I do go from here?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Costume Concerns, 2011 Edition

If you were following this lovely little blog last year, you may recall the great blogging debate I had with myself over what to make my children for Halloween.

You know, last August or so.

And it's that time of year again!! Well, at least it's that time of year costumes start popping up in stores, and since I would still rather browse hundreds of overpriced dress-up rags rather than do something productive like folding laundry, you, my dearest readers, get to come along for the ride.

First up, let me forewarn you that even though there hasn't been a blog post about deciding costumes since last October, it HAS been a hot topic of discussion here.

Kristina has gone through quite the list of what she wanted to be. Pirate, elephant (costume made by Daddy), bumblebee, princess (generic), pink flying unicorn (that really flies), bumblebee (again), Rapunzel (from Tangled, with wig), pink dinosaur, Buzz Lightyear, bumblebee (so she can sting people), lion, butterfly, bumblebee (yet again) and as of today (for the first I heard of it) mermaid were all on it for some length of time. Some I was a bit more discouraging of than others based on general availability, but it was her tendency to change her mind sporadically on whim that has me worried the most.

Now, back on her most recent bumblebee choice, I was getting rather excited by the prospect of dressing Adrianna up in a nicely coordinating flower costume (and even playing with the idea of me going as a gardener/beekeeper along with them!), and then became absolutely excsatic (no really, I do mean jumping up and down and squeeing with glee excited here) when I (quite accidentally, I assure you) stumbled across Gymboree's newest costume line.

What could generate such excitement? Why, nothing short of absolutely adorable perfect little tutued bumblebee AND flower costumes!

And although the girls have not had Gymboree costumes in the past, I have observed things like the very key bumblebee tights selling out in lightening speed in past years, so I went right for loading up a shopping cart with those goodies.

And then looked at the total.

$133.75 IS a rather ridiculous amount to be spending on costumes for my children (and that doesn't even include the undershirts (or like, snowsuits) I'll have to pick up as well since we live where it's COLD at the end of October right now and not in places like Oklahoma where Kristina almost got heat stroke her first time trick-or-treating) with money being as lacking as it is.

And really, if I'm going to go on a crazy credit card shopping spree, it really should be for things like that good pair of khaki work pants I've been eying (and maybe some non-toe-blistering cute shoes to go with) that fall much closer to the need category than a yellow and black striped tutu.

But it's such a cute black and yellow stripped tutu! And the flower one is just precious!!

My mother recently commented after I had been complaining about the truly abhorrent amount of crap people buy at Target that I never was much for consumerism, with perhaps the exception of clothes for my daughters.

And she is very, very right.

I know they're overpriced. I know Halloween costumes don't matter nearly to the degree I like to think they do. I know living vicariously through my children's tutus makes for a rather pathetic life.


My bank account says otherwise.

(My bank account often makes me sad.)

So, I did NOT succumb to the urge to buy them right then (or even just now, when I re-added them to the shopping cart to get the exact price), but rather took careful stock of my proceeding options.

I could (probably) squeeze enough out of the next couple of paychecks to cover the costume costs (assuming I can continue to dig up enough hand-me-downs to ensure my not needing to actually buy my children clothes for the upcoming cooler months) by Halloween. But then there's the big gamble over how long the largest toddler size tights would be available when funding was, and the still very valid point of kinda sorta almost needing other things to come out of that money (how much do I like shoes? I suspect I like tutus more.....) and that lofty goal of accumulating future savings and all.

I could spend the next two months scouring the interwebs and store sales for the best half-priced knock off bumblebee and flower costumes. I'm vaguely remembering Target usually having Halloween costumes. I could probably manage to get something at a discount when it's also on sale, that really might be a frugal way to go. Frugal is good, right? And lets face it, I'm certainly going to be seeing every single costume that store has many times in the month of October if school supplies in July and August is any judge, I might as well plan on using that exposure for good (instead of the usual evil: how will this help me take over the world? approach).

Or I could *gasp* attempt to MAKE my children Halloween costumes. Now this option does scare me a bit, since I A) Don't sew and B) Have no idea how to make a tutu. Also, I'm not sure whether I'd really be saving much cost wise when it's all said and done (at least not compared to the 'buy Target costumes on sale' plan), since fabric and the ruffley tutu stuff and whatever magical glue I would use to assemble them all cost money as well. I do distantly recall myself being crafty once upon a time, long ago... but that was when I didn't have children. I'm leery to take on decorating a birthday cake, creating TWO costumes from scratch would be biting of a lot in my humble opinion.

And none of these actually address the issue of her changing her mind!!

Today Kristina totally abandoned the bumblebee I thought we were fairly set on and went for a mermaid! A mer maid!!! Do you KNOW how skanky all those costumes look? Not to mention details like going from "gee, I think I could make a bumblebee by gluing yellow stripes of felt onto black sweats" to "uuhhhh, how do I make a fish tail??" real fast!

I'm also rather glad Adrianna can't really talk yet and I don't feel particularly guilty just picking something for her this year.

But next year.... next year could be quite the challenge if I have both of them going at me with an ever changing list that I still must logistically and financially coordinate.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Discovery of Hotpockets

Working at Target has come with several under-advertised perks.

Like an ever increasing distaste for rampant consumerism (children's Halloween costumes excepted, of course) and a new found hatred for plastic drawer storage units.

(Do you KNOW how many of those stupid things I have to put out a day?? And the college rush hasn't even happened yet! I can just see the landfills full of them when they get destroyed in 6 months... and people in Boulder are whining about needing more renewable electricity than Excel will give them. Bah! Should be whining about cheap semi-disposable college student furniture instead.)

But even better is their food days, when the break room magically fills with all sorts of awesome things.

There was pastry day, where I learned I still have no self control when it comes to Hostess. There was candy day, where I learned I have no self control when it comes to fun sized M&Ms and Skittles packages. There was cookie day, where I learned I have only marginal self control when it comes to Oreos. There was popcorn day, where I learned Target brand microwave popcorn isn't very good, and I DO have excellent self control in regards to not stuffing my face with crummy popcorn.

And then last Wednesday there was Hotpocket day.

I had never had a Hotpocket before, as they are often pricey and some small part of my brain actually knows what the nutrition label most likely says. But culinary apprehension was quickly overcome when the other readily available option was a marginal looking slightly smooshed peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

And besides, a quick rummage through the two break room freezers turned up a plethora of pepperoni pizza Hotpockets. Frozen pizza, although not the best pizza in the world, is usually deemed quite edible to my still-eating-like-a-college-student palate. Therefore, frozen pizza in an encased rectangle should make an adequate lunch.

And they were surprisingly good. Like, really really good. Like, I may have consumed three between my lunch and afternoon breaks and only briefly considered grabbing another one on my way out for the day.

But then I started thinking on the drive home, there were WAY more flavors than just pepperoni pizza crammed into those freezers.

What if the breakfast ones are just as good?? And the Leanpocket (aka "healthy") ones? And I know there were some with all sorts of weird sounding ingredients, which beyond seeming counter intuitive since it's still just a Hotpocket irregardless of whatever cheddar and broccoli or barbecue meatballs combination gets into them, but hey, I like barbecue....

This could be a very bad discovery depending on what exactly that nutritional label does say.

Dare I look? Dare I count how much horribly delicious fat and sodium I undoubtedly consumed? Dare I look at the price on them? Dare I buy more??

ps- Do you really want some pepperoni pizza Hotpockets now? I sure do....

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Artist in the Making: Family Portrait

Last week Kristina drew this delightful family portrait of us.

She was happy to explain to me who everybody was as she drew them (which I conveniently added in as labels for you all), and even remembered to give most of us fairly advanced people representation characteristics, such as arms and hair.

(Yeah yeah, I ended up bald. But that's ok, because she forgot to give herself arms.)

She also made all of us happy! Now, to the average layperson viewing this masterpiece, the individuals portrayed may not look particularly happy, but let me assure you that those are in fact her renditions of smiling faces. Her frowning faces are clearly upside down horseshoe in appearance, and these are definitely not those. Plus she said we were happy when I asked, so that means we are.

She is still drawing Adrianna how I drew her into the family as a newborn, but my comments to her about this and Adrianna's no longer newborn-baby-wrapped-in-a-blanket present state were rebuffed with an artist's self-superior flair, so I'm assuming she knows what she's doing purposefully portraying her little sister as the perpetual baby of the family.

I anticipate this one being a main display piece in the childhood collection of her presidential library, and plan on taking steps to preserve it accordingly.

You know, once it's turn on the fridge is up.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sisters in July

Yeah yeah, so much for me remembering to post this on the last Wednesday of the month... meh, their cuteness shall distract you from my forgetfulness!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mail Call

I have a life long history of being a total sucker for getting mail. 

When I was little, I created a construction paper and masking tape mailbox which hung on my bedroom door and into which my indulgent mother occasionally put notes, junk mail, and the rare but ever exciting card into.

In college, I checked my little box every time I went through the commons, which as the building also held things like the cafeteria and snack bar this ended up being a minimum of two or three times a day.

When I was living in my little condo in Iowa and had a post office box I checked it every time I was driving home, and then would get irate if Peter had collected the mail while I was at work.

Even when we were living in NY I would brave rain and snow once or twice a day to stick my head out enough to see into the mail box tied to the front steps rail with leftover Christmas ribbon.

(Mailbox explanation: So the original house door had a mail slot in it but then we put a new front door which didn't come with a mail slot and Peter was deployed so I totally had to figure out how to put in a mailbox all by myself and it was the end of November and Christmas ribbon seemed like a great "right now" fix which lasted for the next year+ we lived there. Because my Christmas ribboning skills are AWESOME.)

And now... well, now I don't check the mail. Now the only mail that ever comes for me is the student loan statements and credit card bills. Now I sigh and grudgingly collecting the stack that appears for me before tossing it somewhere to open later. Now I wish I still had the enthusiasm to put up a construction paper mailbox on my door with the eternal hope for something exciting to arrive.

Now I am an adult. And it kinda sucks.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Birthday Anticipation

Kristina has been all about the birthdays the last few months after being invited to several parties for little friends of hers.

And so, I succumbed to her presumption of having a party and went about finding her the cutest economically priced birthday party theme possible.

(Ok, it was fun!)

However, at the last minute when I was getting it all together to order, I started feeling guilt for not consulting Kristina on what she wanted. After all, she will be turning 4 and certainly has an opinion about much of life, I really should let her voice it about her own party, right? And really, does it matter to me which pink theme she picks out from the discount party supply website? Ok, I'll wait and ask her tomorrow.

But you know what? SHE picked out one of the original two I had selected for her! So, I totally wasn't too far off on my 'picking out what my child would like' radar, which makes me feel pretty good.

And then a week later the magical box of birthday supplies appeared! Kristina was very excited to see all the pretty pink butterfly themed paper products (although a bit disappointed in Mommy for ordering balloons in colors additional to pink), and is eagerly anticipating handing out invitations.

Now, I just have to pick a date/time/place for her party, get the low down from the preschool teachers on which little friends to invite (planning for 6 total friends (so there's gift bags for her and Adrianna), and I know three she wants attending at the moment), and make a pink cake.

[Since pink cake with pink frosting was what she told me when I asked her what type of cake she wanted (thinking something like "chocolate" would be her answer), I'm really glad red food coloring is easy to use.]

And then have a midlife crises on realizing my little baby is going to be FOUR! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Working at Target is just like Being Mommy

There are some striking similarities between being a Mommy and working at Target.

For example, you are expected to know where everything is at the drop of the hat.

Mommy: "Where is my ridiculously tiny dollhouse size baby bottle? Purple pacifier? That super special rock I told you to put in your pocket last week?"

Team Member: "Where are international to US plug converters? Zip ties? That sticky paper stuff my grandmother puts in drawers and kitchen cabinets?"

You are expected to magically fix everything.

Mommy: "My bug bite itches, make it stop!"

Team Member: "My camera's broken, fix it!"

You are expected to know everything about everything.

Mommy: "What sound do kangaroos make? Why do babies toot? How come girls can't grow beards?"

Team Member: "What is the country of origin on this fan? How waterproof is this car cover? What is the difference between these two facial moisturizers?"

You are expected to react to everything with patience and understanding and to somehow always make them happy.

Mommy: "Sissy chewed on my favoritest toy ever and now it's all slobbery and icky!"

Team Member: "I want your box. I don't care if it's against company policy, let me talk to your manager!"

Yep, employment really isn't all that different from parenthood, as you spend much of your time taking care of needy selfish creatures with a smile even when all you really want to do is start banging your head against the wall, so I came into this business far more prepared for it than I thought I would be.