Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Princesses Have Arrived

It is once again that magical time of year when small people are turned into goblins and ghouls and are let loose to terrorize their neighborhood under the quest of obtaining ridiculously quantities of sugary treats.

Or in some cases, the small people become licensed product characters and have the unfortunate fate of being given organic kale chips as an alternative to the more traditional snickers bars and popcorn balls.

But hey, it's Halloween.

May your day be filled with cute frights and so much sugar you're ready to puke by the end of it (but not so much that you're actually puking).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

School Pictures

Things to add to the list of why it's totally not fair to have a big sister because she just gets to do everything: school pictures.

Things to add to the list of why the baby of the family is ridiculously spoiled: Mommy is taking her to her very own private portrait session on her day off from work instead of keeping in her preschool so she can do selfish Mommy things (like napping) out of guilt over her not having any professional photographs taken within the last 2 years.

Monday, October 29, 2012

What NOT to Say to Someone Getting Divorced

Many people have genuinely good intentions, but don't always know the right thing to say.

Don't worry, those moments happen to the best of us. 

Many people are surprised when they first learn about "big news" things, and don't always think their immediate responses through very well.

Unfortunately sometimes the mouth opens before the brain can click on. 

And some people are just socially inept morons.

Oh yes, yes they are.....

So here are some basic guidelines I have come up with for dealing with people going through a divorce (or really, any big personally challenging time period in their life where socially inept morons often have the overwhelming urge to open their mouths).

You're welcome. 

Take their lead on how they want to talk about their ex. If they aren't trash talking them, you sure as hell better not be. On the other side, if they want to curse the filthy bastard to hell and back, by all means, dish it up with them and recognize this is not the moment to be "fair" and pointing out "good qualities". This is a very personal thing, and how they think about their ex will change as the work through the stages of grief divorce. The last thing they need to be doing is feeling like they have to defend their ex because you, their supportive comrade, is ranting and raving about how much of a selfish idiot they are.

I mean, they probably do agree with you to some extent, but loyalty is a funny thing sometimes.

Words aren't always necessary, or even wanted. Empathize a basic sympathy (ie- "oh hon, that's gotta be tough") and then just give them a hug or otherwise sit close with them in silence if they aren't talking right then. Sometimes the silence does more good than the most expressive soliloquies detailing how their ex is a jerk. If they need to talk, they will speak. If they need to cry, their tears will fall. You don't need to do anything more than being there, presence is enough.

I cannot emphasize this one enough. Sometimes, the best friend is the one who knows when to just shut up. 

Don't ask divorce-specific questions. There are two types, the juicy details and the philosophical reflections, and they both SUCK are hard to answer. I don't care how much you want to know all the inside gossip, it's none of your damn business. And asking existential questions like "why" or "couldn't you guys try to work it out?" do nothing more than make the person being questioned feel bad because they can't answer them.

No one can. Why does any marriage fall apart? If the fact that the couple is getting a divorce is widely known public knowledge, you better believe it's past the 'working out' stage.

Bring them ice cream sundaes.

It's my signature move to help people when they break up with a boyfriend, get fired, or otherwise have a notably crappy day.

Don't quote scripture or other cliche sayings. I mean it. There is NOTHING like the stupidity of "everything happens for a reason" and "time heals all things" to make all that pent up anger at the world get channeled to you, the unsuspecting (and perhaps moronic) well-meaning friend. Sometimes life just sucks. Sure, in 5 or 10 years it probably won't suck any more, and maybe they'll have the distance and perspective to look back and be like "oh I'm so glad I got divorced from that moron, my life turned out so much better" but they certainly don't have it right now (and there's also certainly no guarantee they will have it then). The closest thing you're allowed to utter is something very basic like "it'll get better", but then preferably only if you've actually been through it and actually know that, otherwise you still might get called on talking bullshit.

You want know one of the most comforting things anybody ever said to me regarding my divorce? It was one of the slightly older gals at work telling me that her husband (who incidentally is also a Target employee) is hubby number 3. It was that simple. A small smile, and that sentence followed with "it'll be ok" did more for me than anything else could. It gave acceptance to the part that sometimes marriages don't work, understanding that right now it's really fucking hard, and hope that a failed marriage doesn't mean a life of being alone and unhappy. Nobody else gave me that, and it was what I so desperately needed right then. 

Unless you are going through the exact same situation, please don't tell them how whatever your-totally-not-the-same situation that you presently have in your life is just like theirs. It's not, and your poor attempts at fabricating similar life experiences don't help when stated in the manner of "oh I know just what it's like."

This one is also very important to apply to situations like deployed spouses (no, frequently taking business trips is NOT the same, unless they are being shot at on their way to the conference center) and single parenting (again, working opposite shifts is certainly hard, but NOT the same thing as being a single parent). 

When all is said and done, someone getting a divorce mostly just needs acceptance from you of whatever stage they are in so they can accept it themselves.

Or a sharp ax, good alibi, and a pig farm.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sleepy Snuggles

One of the girls' occasional special bedtime routine additions is when I let them snuggle together after stories before they have to go to sleep.

Every night, Kristina asks if they can sleep together. On the nights they get some snuggle time (read: on the nights they haven't been deliberately annoying each other for the past hour, and subsequently driving me nuts from needing to referee every three seconds), I tell her if they fall asleep before I come back to turn off the light I'll let them stay in the same bed.

Some nights, they try really, really hard to convince me of their sleepingness.

Do you buy it?

Nope, not asleep in the slightest....

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Theory vs. Reality: Target Overtime

In theory, accruing some overtime at Target doesn't sound terrible.

In fact, it almost sounds like a big exciting treat, as I regular manage to accidentally accrue 40.02 hours for the week, thereby hitting overtime for .02 of an hour, and thereby getting in trouble.

(Occasionally I even remember to sit through those scoldings from my boss without rolling my eyes....)

So when the powers that be in Target started offering up overtime to employees like a forbidden fruit (you can get paid time and a half! That's your normal shitty hourly wage, PLUS another half a shitty hourly wage on top of it!!), I took it.

Which is how I ended up working from 9:30am to 11:30pm yesterday. Well, that and the part where both Market closers called in that day and the store was already swamped from it being Halloween weekend and college students are just fucking insane and... yeah...........

I was doing good with it until I hit right about the 12 hour mark, then the going started to get real painful real quick.

And I totally could have done that exact same fourteen hour day again today if I had wanted to! Somehow, that little extra cash didn't seem worth it anymore........

I was tired. I was tired of being nice to snarky people. I was tired of cleaning up after spoiled college students who were dumping random crap all over the store. I was tired of doing physically demanding work with aching legs and blistered toes. I was tired of running up to the check lanes every 20 minutes for backups. I was tired of taking phone calls to tell people that no we don't have sombreros, we're sold out of spiderwebs, and I don't even know what that movie character reference is but we probably don't have the costume for it because A) our selection of adult costumes was rather lame in the first place and B) all the good shit was gone as of last week. 

So I went home. And I have a whole 10 hours before I have to be back on the clock again!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Failings of October

So, some of you may have noticed it's October here.

Well, actually it's almost the end of October at this point.

Which is really bad, since my children still don't have things like pumpkins...

But they do have Halloween costumes!

Did I end up making them? Well, no.... but sometimes buying stuff is ok too!

Ok ok, it may have been a combination of laziness, lack of excessive amounts of free time on my part (dude, I did years not getting sleep for these children, now I am all about being like "stay up late making a costume for you? eh, I actually feel like a hot shower and pillow snuggle right now..."), and a deep down desire to have nice store bought costumes for my kids as it is somehow a mark of better parenting on my part which I miss 98% of the time with the hand-me-down-holey-kneed-questionably-fitting-poorly-matching clothing galore that makes up the vast majority of their wardrobes.

Also, I may have irrational guilt over my personal lack of buying them stuff more often which may or may not be directly tied to my serious lack of larger paycheck. 

BUT THE POINT OF THAT WAS... they do have their (very nice brand new store bought) Halloween costumes!! Therefore, I have not completely failed them on being a parent for the month of October.

I mean, I may have still marginally failed them for their lack of jack-o-lanterns, but I really suck at carving them, and it already snowed! And I'm pretty sure there may be some more failing to come, with a lack of personal motivation to take them trick-or-treating in the snow, but really, I work at Target, can't I just buy away their disappointment with enough buckets full of candy brought home with me??

OOOH! Idea!!! Maybe Halloween should be more like Easter, and all I have to do is hide candy all over the house for them! I like this idea. This idea does not require me trekking for miles along snowy and muddy mountain roads in the dark and cold to reach a few houses to beg for candy when they probably don't even have any on hand since nobody trick-or-treats around here.

[Note to self: see if Target has those miniature plastic pumpkins to fill with candy and hide in a similar fashion to Easter eggs.]

[Note to self: make up good story about the Great Pumpkin hiding eggs pumpkins for them and/or be prepared to convince children that trick-or-treating isn't what they think it is.]

[Note to self: get lots and lots of candy. If all else fails, just start throwing it at them.]

On a positive note, I am brave enough (after I absolutely epically failed to find a reasonable priced version to buy) to try and make a piece of my own costume to wear to work on Halloween. I keep reminding myself that once upon a time (in a land far, far away....) I was almost crafty with stuff like fabric and glue. Somehow since then, I've developed a crippling complex of my inability to do much of anything (see also: why I am still working at Target), which makes me incredibly hesitant and scared of trying.

But tomorrow morning I have a date with a fabric store before work, and I have every hope that the creative pixie dust they sprinkle around in there will take over my psyche and I will instantly be filled with the confidence to say "sure I can do that!!" (while still hopefully keeping track of the sanity that reminds me how much better I am at glue than sewing no matter how cute their sample sewing projects are).

The Compliment of Online Dating

I've realized something over the past few months.

I really like having my okcupid profile. Not because I'm fostering high hopes of tripping over Prince Charming, nor am I any more active on the dating scene than I was before (hehe I even said that with a straight face! Now if you need me, I'll be over here typing on my computer....). But because I keep getting the same sort of compliments that keep my interest in blogging.

Oh my fucking god that is THE BEST PROFILE I'VE EVER READ. THE END

You actually, genuinely made me laugh. Not a chuckle or pitter patter, a deep loud laugh. Thank you for that. Anytime you want to have a drink it's on me.

You like smiling? And plotting to take over the world? Ermahgerd, ME TOO! 

I saw you on here (and our whopping match percentage, not that I take this website all THAT seriously) and started reading your profile, and I must say a couple things. A) I love your writing style. I too am a writer and I would love to check out your blog. You have voice, and literary charisma. :) and B) I felt like I was watching a 20s coming-of-age drama flick when I read your description. That's not supposed to be mean, by the way. I liked it. I can picture Zooey Deschanel playing the lead.

Your profile is brilliant...although I'm getting so conditioned to asking how many 14ers you've climbed and if you have a good sense of humor I am not sure what to do with an honest profile... 

 Oh my, you are adorable.

Your profile is frightfully real. I give a lot of credit to someone that can be real, be vulnerable for everyone to see, make me laugh.. all in all just entertain. Your profile entertains. I can hardly say that about anyone else's profile.

I find it truly interesting that you plan to take over the world, yet consider yourself a hero, rather than villain.

Very interesting profile. Once I started, I could not stop reading ;) 

You had me right up until My Little Pony, and then you lost me a little. But then you did the dinosaur thing and it all got better. Oh and I did clap a bit as well.

You quite honestly wow me with your literary ability and intelligence. 

Apparently, I am a total sucker for being told I'm smart and/or hearing praise about my writing.  Eh, I suppose there are worse things in life to occasionally be vain about....

Monday, October 22, 2012

Like Mother, Like Daughter: Earrings

Some of my more dedicated readers may remember my post last year about Kristina getting her ears pierced.

Which ended up being a ear being pierced.

Which ended up being taken out as soon as we were home, and therefore her left ear is very much without earring hole now.

I was slightly disappointed in all of this, and not only because of the huge fit at the mall. You see, I had a bit of a thing for earrings in my early elementary school years, and getting my ears pierced was just HUGE for me. And I wanted to share that with my little girl.

However, I do have a second little girl, who appears to be making eyes at the big fancy earrings every bit as much as I did judging by her re-purposing of happy meal keychains.

Yep, Adrianna just needs to get big enough to actually ask to go get her ears pierced, and then I can live out my little-girl-in-earrings dreams through her...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Red Flannel Plaid Family Matching Award

It's hard to say for sure, as I've only been mildly interested and/or accidentally aware of the Super Family Matching holiday outfits for a few years now. But.... I think they're getting worse.

Or is it better?

Eh, I'll let you have your own opinion on the matter, as I'm sure some people aren't quite as fond of making everything (or in this case, everyone) ridiculously matching.

However, I'm sure we can ALL appreciate the top contenders this year for the Super Match Award, being done in the season's best Holiday Red Plaid Family.

Personally I'm rather ridiculously fond of the Red Flannel Plaid Family from Hanna Anderson. It has a nice aspect of "mountain casual" to it, while still appearing incredibly cheesy soft. And the shade of red makes it particularly festive. OR I've become so brainwashed by Target I have an unknown underlying preference for the color now. However, there is no Mama red flannel plaid, so it is technically disqualified by in the inability to have EVERY family member looking equally..... um..... plaid.

Gymboree did include a red plaid dress for the Mama in their Festive Collection, and therefore, the award for the seasons best Holiday Red Plaid goes to them. However, their particular choice of plaid isn't my favorite, and it's just... not flannel? Too picture perfect and not actually wearable? I don't know, something about it just doesn't appeal to me, even though it scores high marks for the required cross family matching aspects. Perhaps I'm spending too much time surrounded by real people and not all day staring at stuff I want to buy on the internet, as clearly my personal priorities seem to be slipping. After all, isn't the ultimate goal of life to achieve that picture perfect family to take a perfect picture of to convince the world that your life is calm, orderly, and above all ridiculously well coordinated?

The Wooden Soldier can ALWAYS be counted upon for over-the-top sibling coordination (also, tasteful use of smock for those like Rachel to appreciate), and they get a special honorable mention for their Christmas Dreams sleepwear collection. The overall plaid effect is a little lacking, and again, there is no coordinating parent plaid present.

But they do have a matching doll nighty... I'm pretty sure there are very few people who would happily buy coordinating pajamas for the whole family INCLUDING THE DOLLS.

And I'm pretty sure I'm one of them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Our Trip to Arizona

After my roommate from college, Cassi, came out for a brief visit last spring, the two of us started coming up with all sorts of exciting plans to hang out more.

(Dear Friends: why must you live in different states from me? Didn't you know? It's highly inconvenient for us hanging out.)

And we actually had several awesome possibilities for this fall, including going back to Iowa together for a wedding of a couple we went to school with and our 5 year college homecoming celebration.

However, what Cassi wanted to do more than anything else was to use my children as an excuse to go Trick-or-Treating in the super quaint town (or so she said, I might argue as it is the size of a regular city with two Walmarts and a Target) she moved to last year where the Victorian houses in the main downtown area are compensated by the city government to go all out just for Trick-or-Treaters.

As the mountains of Colorado aren't a particularly fun place to go Trick-or-Treating in anyways (Dear Mom: I'm sorry I gave you so much shit because you didn't want to hike miles around our neighborhood so I could get a few measly pieces of candy in the really dark and really cold. I understand now. Also, wanna take your adorable grandchildren Trick-or-Treating this year??), I thought this idea sounded absolutely perfect (and maybe even an annual tradition in the making).

However, her and I forgot to TELL one little party about our awesome and very important plans.... her husband Josh. Who then booked a surprise trip to Disney World for them with another couple they're good friends with leaving October 31st.


Ok, new plan! Cassi's birthday is the month prior, she can come visit Marty again in Colorado so we can go see Avenue Q at the Boulder Dinner Theater and Awolnation down in Denver and have lots of fun that way!

And THEN somebody had to go getting herself into a "delicate disposition" (wink wink nudge nudge) where her supervising medical professional said she couldn't travel right then.


Alright, take three! Marty and the girls will get a flight at the last minute to go out to Arizona to visit Cassi at her place over her birthday!

Ok, it might not be quite as exciting as some of our other plans, but hey, at least we get to hang out and make squeely noises together over teeny tiny baby booties (wink wink nudge nudge).

And a hop, skip, and airplane ride later we were re-acquainted with summertime and Cassi (and Josh, I suppose, but I think his biggest role was probably singing the Muppet Song to entertain Kristina in the car).

Their house had lots of fun things for the girls to do, like chalk in the balmy not-below-freezing-plus-wind-chill morning. 

And video games

(Kristina REALLY liked Fruit Ninja.) 

And cat climbing structures.

And a telescope.

And ice cream.

And blue rocks.

And some barnyard animals.

Ok ok, that last one might not have been actually AT Cassi's house. But you know what was? A bacon covered pork loin dressed in crescent rolls in the shape of a suckling pig.

(More on that later, I promise, as it was DELICIOUS. I mean, ADORABLE. I mean... um....... adorably delicious??)

So even if it wasn't the trip we originally (or even secondly) planned, it still came off with flying colors and was lots and lots of fun for all of us.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Why (Not) of Lawschool

People still ask me sometimes, usually after I make the mistake of mentioning my plans for life back before I created a little life known as Kristina, but there is also the occasional person who knew me 6 years ago and thinks to ask about it every year or two, about why I don't go do Law School now.

And all I want to say to them is WHY.

Why should I go do Law School?

I wanted to go in the first place not because I thought I'd have that instant awesome amazing legal career I'd always dreamed about, but because I thought the school part itself would be fun to do. I had no idea what else to do at that point, and lots of Very Important People in the world have law degrees, so it seemed like a good box to check.

I took the LSAT (Law School version of the GRE) on impulse, but then I scored very high on it and going on to more school was a very respectable option and sooo much safer sounding than trying to do the real world.

So now, 6 years later, I never went to Law School, have had more than my fair share of dealing with the real world, and STILL am completely clueless of where to go in life career wise.

I think it would be fun to do more school. I think I would enjoy it, and excel at it (and so long as I'm picking up miscellaneous degrees, I wouldn't mind a MA in journalism and a Doctorate of Philosophy).  But I also think it would be very hard, and cost lots and lots of money.

The one thing I have managed to figure out regarding what I want from life going forwards is that I desperately want to buy my own house, and have been doing everything I can to get to a place where it is a viable option over the past year. And I think I'm getting really, really close....

But, going to get an advanced degree is all sorts of levels of expensive. There's the basic cost of tuition and class materials (I haven't been out THAT long, I remember how much those textbooks cost!), on top the part where I doubt I could be a full time student and continue to work full time as well (because I'm all sorts of slacker and like to sometimes sleep and/or see my children).

So if income were to drop simultaneously with expenses increasing, all that number crunching and long term financial planning I've been trying to do goes right out the window.

And then it comes back to why would I even want to go to school. "Because I think it'd be fun to do" doesn't cut it any more. And sure, I could always claim the career advancement bit, but it's REALLY hard to even pretend like I think there'd be a real chance of that when I got my BA nearly 6 years ago and have yet to use it for anything.

I JUST got my student loans paid off (in hopes that relieving that debt on my credit score will help my ability to get approved for a mortgage, re: long term goal of buying a house), taking out more at this point is such an incredibly soul crushing prospect.

And as for a career... places want experience. I have done lots and lots of job searching, and they want years and years of experience. I honestly feel that I would be better off to be able to say I worked at Target for 4 or 5 years and had these various promotions and raises than to quit to try and do something else. Which is depressing on so many levels in of itself, but it's also the state of the world today.

Did you know most major retail chains, including Target, require 3 years of management retail experience to apply to be a store manager? Did you know those people actually make very respectable salaries (the very unofficial talk is that the Boulder Target Store Lead makes over $100k a year) and are considered genuine professionals in their fields? Did you know they have real offices and everything?

So maybe retail experience isn't all that great, but it just might be SOMETHING to have on my stupid resume that might actually get me a not-completely-pathetic job someday.

Law School would still be a fun thing for me to do. But playtime ended years ago. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stuff I've Learned from Working at Target

  • It's all about who you know. I have lots of awesome friends. Most of them have as little or less power in the Target world as me. Therefore, these friends are useless to my career, possibly even detrimental to it, and will probably ALWAYS be my favorite people in that whole store.
  • When good enough is good enough. I never had to actually zone shit until they moved me to Market, and even then it's really only on my one closing night a week that this is an issue. Being a perfectionist is NOT the way to go about making the shelves look pretty in an efficient manner. 
  • When in doubt, plead ignorance. I hear this is a good tactic for getting out of speeding tickets (at least for the populace with breasts) too. 
  • Cliques are every bit as important as they were in high school. Someone asked me which clique I'm in, it's the one that's not getting me promoted. However, I'd say overall I do get along quite well with at least a few people from all of the cliques (except for, maybe, the one that all the top managers are in.....). 
  • Red and Khaki can be as stylish as you want it. Some people really go all out with things like following pant trends and accessorizing. Others consider it a good day if they're wearing pants that have been worn less than 4 times since they were last washed. Some people do lots of fancy stuff to their hair, while others usually remember to wear deodorant. Yep, the Target uniform is what you make it. 
  • It's not fair, it's never been fair, and it never will be fair. Suck it up and keep on trucking. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself, after whining about the lack of fairness didn't get me anywhere. 
  • Other people are people too. It is hard to recognize that sometimes, but we're all just human, and can only really expect that from each other. 
  • When in doubt, drink energy drinks. Hm, I'm not all THAT tired today... eh, better chug a monster anyways to get my super fast fun and friendly on. 
  • Teamspeak is a horrible way to think, and thinking that way is the only way to survive. Which is really, really sad sometimes. But not as sad as the net employee energy drink consumption quantities done specifically to fulfill the Fast Fun and Friendly core role.
  • Inconsistent leadership is the model norm. Some moments you'll be treated like a small child, other times you'll be expected to totally just manage all sorts of crap way out of your normal line of work and/or what you've been trained for. Good luck guessing what will be expected from you RIGHT NOW, and woe to ye who guessed wrong! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chocolate, Chocolate Everywhere

Occasionally I have moments where all of a sudden I'm covered in chocolate and I don't even know how it happened.

Do you have those moments? I really hope so, because otherwise I'm not sure what this confession really says about me.

Other than the part where chocolate and I have a very unique and intimate relationship.

The other evening I managed to get chocolate all over my hand, my pants, my sweatshirt, and my car in the 5 minutes I was playing with my phone before going into a meeting. But it's ok, I like to go for that "super professional" look for stuff like meetings with the town politicians where I'm representing an organization that it trying to be looked upon favorably.

Did I say "super professional"? Clearly I meant "mommy" right there, and let me tell you, my kids got NOTHING on my own personal ability to make me messy.


This isn't going well, is it?

Let me start over.
A few weeks ago I had a few minutes in between when I got off of work at Target and when I needed to be at a Nederland town meeting.

(Nederland town meetings are truly special experiences, let me tell you what....)

I spent those few minutes sitting in my car looking at my cell phone, not thinking anything of it until I went to grab my sweatshirt to put on before exiting the vehicle.

Unrecognized by me at the time, a small tupperware dish that had held chocolate chips that morning was sitting nestled in the cup holder of my car, and now held some melted chocolate goo.

(I know, I didn't eat all of my chocolate chips before work. I somehow forgot there were still some in there? I feel very ashamed of this part of the story.)

Also unrecognized by me, when I reached over to the passenger seat to grab my sweatshirt, I unintentionally dragged the sleeve through this unrecognized cup of melted chocolate goo.

And still unrecognized by me, I subsequently dragged the chocolate covered sweatshirt sleeve across my upper right khaki pant leg, got the sleeve all over the side of my seat, the side of the passenger seat next to me, as well as transfering chocolate goo patches all over the sweatshirt itself while I orientated it to be the correct way up and pulled it on.

All of which was recognized by me as I went to step out of my car.... you know, to go the meeting.......... which was starting like, now..................

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Times Like These

Times Like These is a song by the Foo Fighters. It originally came out during my senior year in high school, and recently an acoustic version has been quite popular on my local radio stations.

I like to imagine my life as a movie-fied biography so I can place songs to a quick sequence of 6 months or a few years until I get to another part of actual plot development.

I also like to pretend my life has such things as plot development. It makes it much more suspenseful and exciting.

Plus I have a thing for how music instantly sets mood a thousand times better than even the best authors.

 I felt like this particular song was apt to my life when it started hitting the music scene 10 years ago, but it seems substantially more real to me these days.

It's times like these, you learn to to live again 
It's times like these, you give and give again 
It's times like these, you learn to love again 
It's times like these, time and time again......

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Adrianna's First S'more

Recently, my parents and I pulled out the fire pit for the grand experience of making S'mores with the girls.

Kristina had made them the previous autumn with her preschool (and ate so many of them this particular day that she promptly got sick and added some lovely barf to Grandma's porch steps), but it was Adrianna's first time with this experience, and she approached in a truly classic Marty curiously cautious way.

First, she looked at it skeptically, unsure of this new sticky combination.

Then a timid taste of the strange sticky creation that had transferred onto her fingers.

Next a closer look at the innards of the s'more beast.

And then finally, a complete discard of everything but for the chocolate (which was eaten greedily).

Furthermore, attempts at just feeding her a roasted marshmallow were equally unappealing, as she continued to be perplexed by both our repeated offerings of it and annoyed by our lack of just letting her eat chocolate bars.

Oh, and just for the record, no children fell into the fire pit during the making of this memorable experience.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Faking It: Mall Shopping

Through extensive study, I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of shopping malls fall into two categories: super posh and decrepit.

The decrepit malls aren't much of a concern, as you probably don't want to be in one anyways. However, if you do need to enter a decrepit mall, might I suggest a handy can of mace and some steel toed boots? It's all about the accessories, baby.

However, the super posh malls are both places you might actually want to go (they have the best kids play areas, after all) and require a different approach to have the proper image of yourself projected onto the masses of humanity.

And Adrianna is totally ready to walk you through it today.

Start with the clothes. You cannot consider stepping foot into a super posh mall without wearing a so-matching-it-hurts name brand outfit. Gymboree can almost be thought of as affordably adorable if you buy it in the off season when it's on super clearance with coupons. Also, check Ebay, some parents consider those outfits collector collection worthy sets and then try to sell them as such but most people still only see them as baby clothes and therefore aren't willing to pay the envisioned $50 for a used 2t cotton jumper, and you can sometimes snag barely used outfits super cheap. Sadly, adult outfits aren't as easy to come buy on a budget, but if you make your kids so well coordinated they could pass for the newest branch of the Korean Army, nobody will even notice your personal lack of designer jeans and overpriced sweaters.

Next you need some fancy headgear. Adrianna picked this particular hat out herself from our dressup clothes bin. A headband with a fake flower the size of her head would have also been a good option for her. For you, there's nothing like some super fake blond highlights to make you look like a super posh mall natural. I'm pretty sure they sell it in a can to spray on your head in the Halloween section this time of year.

No trip to the mall (or Target, for that matter) can possibly happen without a fancy drink in one's hand at all times. Star Bucks is the true classic, but fancy smoothies or other brands of coffee are also acceptable. Adrianna looses slight points with a reusable water bottle, but it's matching of her hat is almost enough to redeem it.

Finally, the credit card. It doesn't matter if you actually have money to spend or any intention of buying shit, you just need to look like you're buying shit and waving a credit card around is the easiest way to do that. Might I also suggest bringing an old Gap bag from home with your kid's extra outfit and diapers in it? You'll look like you are a main feature of that posh mall, without doing any actual spending. The Victoria's Secret bags are quite sturdy as well, so long as you don't mind the bright pink nature of them screaming SEXY UNDERWEAR from a mile away when you're really just using it as an extra diaper bag.

Yep, with a little prior planning you can totally blend into the posh mall atmosphere like a natural mall rat. Even when you're not.