Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kristina's Trampoline Saga

My parents got Kristina a little trampoline for her 2nd birthday.

She has spent MANY hours jumping on it over the years and loves it dearly.

However, in recent months she started lamenting that her trampoline was getting a touch, well, small....

Don't worry sweetie, Grandma and Grandpa got this.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Dropped the Cake

No really, I did.

In the most literal way possible.

And I felt REALLY horrible about it, you know, once I stopped laughing at just how horrible it was.

But perhaps I am getting ahead of myself...

You see, last week there was a combination graduation/birthday party for a couple of my coworkers.

Everyone was very excited about it, mostly because of the keg, but also just because it's that celebrating time of year and many of the bottom level of Target employees were there.

(Remember, the Team Leads and Executives have to have separate parties, because there can't be cross-rank-fraternization in the futile class Target management system.)

(I heard their barbeque that night was also quite nice, but I suspect it was probably not nearly as amusing as it did not contain cake at all, much less an epic dropping of such.)

My first concern upon hearing about it was whether there would be cake. Cake is very important to some of us, after all, and the birthday/graduation reasonings behind the party are also occasions where cake is often served.

Thus when I learned that there had been no previous plans to procure cake, I was more than happy to volunteer for the task.

And was quite pleased with the extremely cute and chocolatey result.

[Note: do not let Marty get the cake unless you want it to be CHOCOLATE]

Now the cake did end up being larger than I had anticipated (full sheet = really damn big), and a result of the size was also rather heavy.

However I had successfully manhandled the thing out of the grocery store, into my car, out of my car, and into the party house while wearing heels without issue (because I'm really badass like that), so I didn't think too much of it's size and weight beyond affirming that yes, it was a really damn big cake.

Everyone was making lots of jokes about whether I should be allowed to have a sharp knife to cut it once a general consensus was reached that it was time to cut the cake, but nobody thought that I shouldn't be allowed to pick it up after drinking several cups of beer.

Which is how it ended up on the floor in epic cake-dropping fashion and not cut into lots of delicious neat little pieces as I had intended.

And after further pondering about the incident, Cassi and I came to the conclusion that I was not, in fact, overly tipsy at the time for had that been the case I undoubtedly would have sat myself down on the floor with a fork right then and proceeded to eat my delicious cake in a ridiculously un-socially-acceptable fashion.

But I certainly don't need to argue away the perfectly acceptable "I was drinking" excuse for just being clumsy, therefore everyone is allowed to draw their own proportion-of-Marty-drunkenness conclusions.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Adrianna's Method

Kristina is a talkative child, who has always used speech to engage people.

Adrianna still doesn't talk much at all.

However, that does not mean she's not equally engaging or successful in her ability to get people to do what she wants.

This past weekend she took the opportunity of having Cassi's husband Josh and his semi-random friend who also happened to be there Brad to play on of her most favorite games ever. 

But what I thought was particularly clever was how she got them to play it with her.

She's 2 and a half, and she didn't say a word. She merely grabbed Brad by the hand, dragged him over to Josh, grabbed Josh's hand, and started to jump.

Neither of these men have children, but they certainly picked up on what the game was quickly enough and were very indulgent of Adrianna's want to play it.

(Thank you.)

Which makes me think she'll do alright in life.

She may never TALK to people like Kristina does, but she will be just as successful (if not even more so) at keeping the world wrapped around her adorable little fingers every step of the way.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pinked Hair

My roommate from college, Cassi, came out for a quick (and looooong overdue) visit over the Memorial Day weekend.

We had lots of fun just hanging out together, but the part of the visit we were both looking forward to the most was my BRILLIANT idea of putting pink streaks in our hair.

Neither one of us had ever gone about that sort of hair coloring before, so I had made a quick pre-visit consultation with a girl I worked with at Target who has had various colorings of incredibly awesome My Little Pony hair the entire time I've known her.

Her directions were detailed and incredibly helpful, as she covered everything from the bleaching process to what brand/color to get, and we were VERY happy with the results all things considered.

(By which I really mean we had already been enjoying adult beverages and were really just proud that we didn't screw anything horribly up during the process.) 

I was a little concerned going into it about just how it would turn out and how much I would like my hair colored like that (I really am a total wimp about doing stuff to my beloved locks), and I also wanted to keep it relatively hide-able on that very slight chance that I should actually manage to get an interview for a professional position that might think slightly less of my professional qualifications with pinked hair.

(Although for the record, I probably wouldn't enjoy working in an environment that was ridiculously anti-pink hair. And it's not like I have much for professional qualifications anyways. But hey, I'm still pretending it's a possibility that I might care about such things one of these days.)

And I succeeded almost a little too well, as it really does hide away in amongst the rest of my hair, and so I've ended up spending a LOT of time looking at my head in the mirror trying to figure out how to wear it to best show off the pink at work this coming week. 

So here you have it, the successfully tested expert advice about how to dye dark hair bright pink, according to Dana:

You need to get a bleaching kit, and apply it to the hair you want to be pink. Make sure not to rub it in to your scalp, or else it will burn. Leave it in for about 20 minutes, and see how light your hair has gotten. You want your hair to be a yellow color, not orange. Don't leave it in for over 35 minutes. Then, wash it out, apply shampoo, towel dry, and add your pink. I suggest buying Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink (that's the color I used, and it fades really pretty). Leave it in for about 20-30 minutes, and apply heat for about 5 minutes. Wash it out with cold water and apply conditioner.

Mine came out ever-so-slightly spotty, from a few places not getting bleached quite as equally as would have been ideal and then the pink not covering quite all of the bleached hair evenly, so I would just add a note about making sure coverage for both steps is very even over the entire length of hair. 

Another interesting note, mine turned Kristina blond in the initial 20 minutes while Cassi's never quite got all the was past the orangey shade in 40, so apparently not all dark brown hair reacts the same to being bleached. And then we came out the exact same shade of bright pink despite the difference in bleach color when the dye was applied.

I am very intrigued in seeing both how fast it fades and how redoing the process without a second set of helpful hands would go, and thus plan on staying pink streaked for the next few months at least.

(Or you know, until I otherwise having strong motivation to be unpink more brunette in my appearance.)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Kristina's Preschool Graduation

Last week Kristina had her official Preschool Graduation.

It was very adorable (and I didn't even cry during it!)

Kristina getting her diploma

OTR Graduates 2012, Future Nederland High School Class of 2025

It seems like a really big deal to me, the idea that we have made it through those first 5 years.

They are some LONG years, and this is a big milestone for us, and may only be surpassed by the morning she actually walks out the door to Kindergarten.

The graduation ceremony was preceded by the equally adorable annual Spring Program, where Kristina's number was being the  "Lady" on the back of a crocodile.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why Working at Target will Bankrupt Me

Working at Target is very convenient at times.

It's REALLY easy for me to do things like listen to the voicemail my mother left asking me to bring home orange juice as I'm getting off work and to then just grab a carton on my way out the door.

But it also means there's more temptation and opportunity to spend money there.

The little Pizza Hut/Target cafe has recently started carrying churros.

Lets just say I *may* have been eating an order of churros a day since discovering that awesomeness, and that I don't really want to think too much about how they probably have the nutritional value of a doughnut (or two) and are undoubtedly going straight to my ass while also guiltily adding to the amount of paycheck I'm not putting into my savings account. 

Not to mention my Starbucks-hot-chocolate-a-day habit I've firmly established myself into....

But those aren't even the worst of it!

Yesterday I decided I needed a new dress.

There is a big graduation/birthday party combo being put on by several of my coworkers (I've heard lots of talk of a keg being involved) tomorrow night, and I realized that I just don't have much for sexy summer clothes these days.

However there certainly wasn't much for an opportunity to go shopping in the two VERY BUSY days in between when I assessed my wardrobe and when I needed to have something to wear.

Except for my lunch break.. at Target..... with all those Target dresses....... right over there.................

And once I remembered I needed to adjust sizing if shopping from the juniors department, I quickly became the proud owner of a brand new cute little strappy sundress.

(And two packages of M&Ms, but those are for another story.)

Had I been working any other job (besides women's fashion retail), I wouldn't have had the opportunity or overriding inclination to make that new dress happen. But because I was at Target, it totally could.

And then I get all conflicted about personal happiness and finances... but it's like, finances are actually ok right now. There totally is the money on hand for me to buy these sorts of small indulgent purchases this month. The only motivator not to just spend lots of money is the idea of needing savings to accumulate for things like maybe someday moving out of my parents basement. That's an abstract long term hypothetical goal, vs. the immediate and very real "hey I like that dress" want that can be given instant gratification.  

But hey, at least I resisted the urge to shop for new matching shoes on my afternoon break!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dealing With Turnover

Target has a pretty high turn over rate of employees, and that has been hard for me at times.

(Because I'm freaked out by stuff outside of my control I adapt slowly to unexpected change and find unstable environments stressful.)

I had been there for less than a month when two of the core In-Stocks people (and incidentally, also the people who had been training me) quit.

The first person I felt like I had actually befriended, the ever awesome bike guy Jeff, also left shortly thereafter (but then came back a few months later), only adding to that personal feeling that everyone just leaves.

(Although they also, sometimes, come back.) 

Countless others have gone or are going in the last 10+ months that I've worked there, friends and acquaintances, people I was sad to see leave and those whom I was secretly glad about, some I felt the absence of immediately while others I didn't notice for weeks (or possibly even at all). 

Last week I found out my boss's boss had simply quit the day prior. Like, to the degree that I wasn't ever going to see him again. The only thing that made it slightly better was that my boss was as surprised about all of it as I was (and totally found out about it from me texting him about it, as apparently there is NO communication between people at that store).

And then yesterday I learned that my buddy Adam (you know, the fire fighter one who also has astutely grasped Marty's chocolate eating habits) had quit.

This one has been the hardest for me on a personal level.

First there's the part where he just didn't show up to work at all on Sunday much less bother to acknowledge my concerned inquiries about his absence (a "hey fucker, why the hell aren't you at work?" voicemail totally counts as a concerned inquiry, right?), and then I still only found out he had quit from a generic facebook post he made saying "good bye Target!!" and all additional details I knew were merely gleaned from facebook stalking conversations going on between him and other former coworkers.

Because he still hadn't bother to directly tell me what was going on.

And this is where it gets really hard, because it become me thinking "but... I thought we were like, buds......" and being very confused by all of it, where not only has he totally dumped 3 opening shifts on me this week that are going to suck due to his sudden absence, but that he also blew me off entirely as a friend by not telling me any of it.

Going forwards continues to have that exact same double whammy in it, where my team is right back to being way understaffed which often corresponds to me having crappy days (geez Marty, why can't you just do the work of three people already??), on top of the part where he was one of my favorite people to hang out with during my lunch break with who just won't be there any more. 

But there's also the part about what do I say to him when he posts a comment on my facebook page about pitying a coworker on her way to Target. Do I point out how that's also somewhat of a jab at me since I'm still working there? Do I mention how he actually hurt my feelings by saying it was a completely worthless 9 months he spent there? Or the part where he was an ass by not telling me directly that he had quit?

No, I don't.

I make a joke about something none-personal, and just let the rest of it go. He's my friend, who I want to see succeeding at life. And for him that means leaving Target behind right now.

Good luck Adam, I'll miss working with you.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Challange Excepted: Bookly Drinking

Some like to say that you can't make a drinking game with books.

(I suspect those individuals haven't done enough reading.)

But I am up for the challenge!

Most drinking games are fairly simple (which is because intoxicated people suck at complex strategy and remembering basic rules), and focus on increasing alcohol consumption in an amusing and group-including way.

Which is where getting the books involved gets a little tricky.

Sure, you could just make it a read-aloud deal, and then apply the same "every time Emily Dickinson is depressing take a sip" or "every time someone unexpectedly dies in Game of Thrones take a shot" or "every time Jean M. Auel spends more than a paragraph describing a single plant chug until the plant description is done" as are seen with movies and songs.

But that's not how most people do books.

(Although admittedly, Wuthering Heights would have been MUCH better in my high school English class had we associated drinking with it.)

And although doing the book club drinking buddies thing would actually probably be a lot of fun for me, it's still not quite the same as what I'm trying to prove here.

So, how DO you do a drinking game with books?

I propose this:

You begin by all bringing a favorite book (or like, a piece of literature which you have previously read) to the party, and write down 5 common themes to merit drinking (ie: every time Hamlet is fucked up simultaneously confusing/tragic/self-reflective, take a drink) to go with that specific book. Then you distribute them at random, sit in a circle, and start to read/drink. The first person to finish their allotted alcohol wins.  The person who keeps reading after the game is done is probably me gets double prizes.

Any takers? Anyone at all??

Ok fine, I'll just go find a book club with a generous wine policy to join like a normal person.

The Incomplete Blogger

I have been having a ridiculous amount of trouble finishing up blog posts lately.

And I have no idea why.

I have over a dozen that I've started in the last week, that are just sitting there.... ideas unfinished, thoughts undone, writing unedited.


(Pssst! Feel free to jump in at any time with the rest of this blog post.)

(No really, just go for it.)

(But make sure it's pretty awesome and/or epic. I have standards, you know.)

(Well, you might not know if you've only stared reading recently, as this isn't much of a standard to beat.)

(But still do try to make it awesome. I'm a big fan of awesomeness.)

(You know what else is awesome? Pancakes. I love me some pancakes.)

(Also, chocolate.)

(And ponies, don't forget ponies!)

(Where was I again?)

(Oh right, you were being all awesome and finishing my unfinished blog post because I have no idea what I'm doing these days.)

(Also, could you bring me some socks? My feet are cold.)

(And blistered.)

(It's kinda sad, I've started alternating which shoes I wear to work to get blisters in different places.)

(Oh right, I was going to write a blog post about that.)

(And how my weird desire to only wear size 9.5 shoes instead of 10 just might not be worth it.)

(But see, I probably wouldn't finish it anyways....)

(So, could you just go ahead and write that one?)

(And the one about drunken photographers? And maybe even that little anti-suburbia rant I almost managed to do yesterday?)


(You're awesome.)

(You know, assuming the post you write for me is actually awesome and all....) 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An Update on Blogging Life

So the Blogging thing has been a bit rough lately.

Between ending up needing to take down some of the posts I published, not publishing some of the posts I've written, not generating as much new material from lack of time/creative energy, and not spend nearly as much time as would be ideal doing blog maintenance in the first place there just hasn't been very much great stuff going on over here this month.

(Don't worry, I feel sufficient guilty and neglectful about that fact already.)

Also, I don't know if you noticed as I may or may not have forgotten until three days afterwords, but back the first week of May was the two year anniversary of my keeping a blog.

(And it simultaneously seems like "that long already?" and "oh my god how come it feels like 10?") 

I've been really wanting to do a massive blog overhaul for the last 6 months, like even to the point of putting it on it's own website just like I'm a grown up blogger and everything, and back in March I even had some fleeting hopes of being able to do the big unveiling on 2 year anniversary itself.

Obviously it hasn't happened yet. Like, at all. But someday.... maybe........

And with some of the concerns over what I am blogging, I've had to do a lot of personal reflection over what I want to be blogging about in the first place. As cute and adorable as my children may be, I cannot maintain a blog devoted solely to pictures and stories them.

(Well, I probably could, but I don't really want to.....)

So there's lots of restructuring and blog work that needs to be done, on top of the general idea of just writing posts. And it all takes time... there isn't much of that, sadly enough. Probably because I'm getting almost old and have decided I REALLY like getting a pretty standard 7 hours of it a night, but that's just they way the world goes sometimes.

(I turn 27 in less than a month, and that number is sounding practically decrepit to me at the moment. Prepare yourselves now, when I hit the big 3-0 I may have a small (and early) mid-life crises.)

((Which I would actually be ok with, so long as it only involved buying a bright pink Mustang convertible and not poorly chosen tattoos during a very drunk trip to Cancun.))

I have also started thinking that I really should figure out what I'm doing job/career/life wise. Working at Target is fun, but I'm definitely starting to feel the grate of being entry level retail, and as much as I like to think that any day now a promotable position will open up and they'll slot me into it, it really could be another year before that actually happens and I'm not sure whether A) it'd be worth it and B) if I could make it that long beforehand without going insane first.

(We had to fill out the Best Team Survey last week, and one of the anonymous questions was "how long do you plan to work at Target?" and I ended up staring at it for several minutes being completely unsure of how to answer such a simple thing. And then the answer was really depressing.)

Oh, and I'm starting to suspect I really might need to get a sorta legit plan in place for moving out of my parents' basement eventually. You know, before I find myself turning that dreaded 3-0 and still being on our long term grandparent "visit". 

But that also takes time and thought and life inspiration. And much of my life is still very much just getting from one day to the next. So feel free to throw out some awesome ideas of what exactly I should do from here, because right now I really don't know.....

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Zoo Trip, Spring 2012

Last weekend I took the girls down to the Denver Zoo for the day.

It was the most beautiful weather one could ask for, and crowds were surprisingly minimal for being a fair weather Saturday.

And I even did the whole thing all by myself with no meltdowns, no lost keys/cameras/loveys, and no ice cream bribes.

[See also: why I like my children getting older]

I had originally thought to write a long narrative about what happened over the course of the day with the pictures as accompaniment, but now I'm liking the story the pictures themselves tell. 


I also attempted to get a few pictures of, say, my children LOOKING AT THE CAMERA (or really, anything that would provide a picture of something besides the back of their heads) while standing in front of the giraffe, but they have not been particularly well trained to pose as such and were far to busy actually looking at the animal or running on to the next exhibit to be bothered with Mommy's photography.

Also, despite a few pictures that might indicate the contrary, no little girls were bitten by geese.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Being Smart

I was discussing with several of the mid-to-high management people how much of the Target employee population breaks down into the two extremes of "too smart to be working at Target" and "too dumb to be working at Target".

One of them went off on how if people are so smart, how come they can't get their jobs done.

And his point does have some merit behind it. In fact, I often cited a similar principle to Peter about how he thought his college courses were so stupid and yet he was failing them more often than not.

But there was something wrong with this premises, especially when it was applied to working at Target.

And I couldn't figure it out well enough to articulate it right then, which is a prime example of why I like doing all human contact through the internet instead of sitting together in person, because then I can take 2 minutes to think of what it is I want to say, and the conversation waits for it. And there's google AND spell check, both of which are very important for me not to sound like a blubbering fool much of the time.

And now that I have figured out what it is I want to say about it, there is only you few devoted readers to hear it.

Oh well.

Being smart doesn't automatically make you really good at everything, especially not if you consider all the different ways to be smart.

Someone can be incredibly smart in their ability to remember everything they read.

They are not un-smart because they suck at algebra only slightly less than they suck at playing soccer.

Someone can be incredibly smart in their ability to solve problems and visualize new concepts.

They are not un-smart because they have trouble remembering popular song lyrics.

Someone can be incredibly smart academically from all their years of schooling and have earned numerous advanced degrees.

They are not un-smart because they don't know why their car is making a thunka-thunka noise every time they drive up a hill.

Someone can be incredibly smart in their ability to understand the world around them.

They are not un-smart because they lack all the social skills to successfully operate amongst people in it.

So I still maintain that someone can be too smart to work at Target, and still not overly successful at their particular job.

And Albert Einstein totally agrees with me.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Non-Baby Stage

Back in the day (by which I mean in that life before last when I didn't have children) I used to think I really liked babies.

Then I HAD babies. 

And realized maybe not so much.

See, I'm really liking the stage we're to now where every meal doesn't end looking like this, even when I let them feed themselves with minimal supervision.

Kristina and mashed potatoes, 14 months

I'm liking the stage where I'm not ALWAYS carrying around and/or otherwise holding a small creature.

Adrianna sleeping in the moby wrap at the park, 15 weeks
I'm liking the stage of substantially less poo-spolsions, and the subsequent cleaning up I would have to do.

Kristina jumped a poopy mess, 4 months
I'm liking the stage that doesn't involve lugging large cumbersome baby car seats around.

Adrianna in her carseat, 3 months, with big sister Kristina, 2 1/2 years
I'm liking the stage where I don't have to worry about having a special seat just to give my child a bath.
Kristina in the tub, 6 months

I'm liking the stage where the house isn't covered by large hard to move baby toys that take up three times as much space as the actual baby does.

(Although in full disclaimer, now the house is just covered by tricycles, toy kitchens, and trampolines.)

Adrianna in her exersaucer, 5 months
I'm really liking the stage where I get fairly reasonable amounts of fairly reliable sleep without needing to bring small children into bed with me.

Kristina napping with Mommy, 8 months

And I'm really really liking the stage where giving them delicious chocolate is a totally reasonable (and on some occasions, almost expected!) thing to do.

Adrianna eating Ghirardelli chocolate, 7 months

[AND on a completely unrelated side note, I also fixed the video imbedding from yesterdays post so now it should even, like, work.... crazy stuff, I know, but if you didn't watch the slightly off color awesomeness of Robot Chicken before you totally should.]