Saturday, March 30, 2013

Terrified of Turtles: An Adventure in Dawinism

Last week Adrianna and I went to pick up her big sister.

It's been spring break here, so Kristina was spending a few days in the only school age child care program less than a 40 minute drive from our house an awesome nature program here in Nederland where they did all sorts of cool stuff like snow shoeing and a field trip to the museum.

However, on this particular day they were running just a little bit late getting back to the school from their daily field trip of awesome fun, so little Adrianna and I got to hang out in their nature room for a while.

In a somewhat futile attempt to keep her from completely destroying the little gift shopy area, I tried to get Adrianna into the animal room where they have all sorts of horribly creepy things like living giant tarantulas and scorpions and lots stuffed dead furry carnivores. 

I had a moment of excitement when I saw this so conveniently placed on a table pair of turtles inside a small plastic bin for feeding, thinking that THIS was just the way-less-likely-to-give-me-the-creepy-crawly-creeps sort of distraction we needed right then.

And then I tried to sit Adrianna in the chair at the table.

Yeah.... so, turns out Adrianna has a deep seeded highly irrational fear of.... turtles.

Or so I gathered when she started screaming and wouldn't let me put her in the chair and ran to the other side of the room when I set her back on the floor.

(I probably should have been expecting one of these 'quirks' to surface eventually after her sister and the various Disneyland/Santa Clause/costumed mice incidents.)

(Clearly the delusion of "well maybe this child will be more.. um..... normal...." just needed to meet Reality.)

But you know what Adrianna did like? The bear pelt with taxidermy-ed head.

So, to recap...


Bear with large open jaw full of teeth? Favoritest thing ever that she was super sad couldn't be brought home with us. Turtles in plastic tub on the table behind her? Scary as shit and not to be trusted.

My child may or may not be eaten by the local wildlife this coming summer season.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Making It Worse

One of my absolute favorite parts of my current position at Target is the part where I get to make a huge mess out the store.

Mind you, I also have to clean it all up, but there is something ridiculously liberating in the act of throwing everything from an entire aisle into a huge pile in the middle of the floor as fast as you can.

However, there is definitely a moment before it starts to get pulled back together where everything just looks completly trashed. Which is ok, a necessary accepted evil of the 'fixing' trade so to speak.

Today I did that to my bedroom.

I pulled everything out of my closet and went through (and got rid of) most of it.

I went through the piles of stuff that had been left in front of the closet because I wanted to put them into the closet but couldn't because of the other stuff that was in there, and then packed up moderate amounts back into the closet.

But somewhere along the way I somehow made everything into something much worse.

Much, much worse.

And in the "now there's so much shit piled on my bed I can't even think of going to sleep tonight until I clean it all up" sort of way.

This is not a good place to be in.

And I'm still completely boggled and how I cleared out and packed up so much stuff to have ended up with way MORE just hanging out in my room.

Clearly my grasp on physics is worse than we thought.

Now if you'll excuse, my creative writing exercises must be postponed until such a time as I can find my beloved pillow when needed.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The House Hunting Saga Continues

For those of you just tuning in (hihihihi!!), the Marty house hunting saga has been going for a couple of years at this point.

Standard procedure: I find a beautiful house I want, envision I can somehow actually manage to buy it through some truly spectacular small works of fiction regarding my employment/paycheck/marital status, and then fall madly in love with it while day dreaming of life livin there.

......And then reality comes along an smacks me upside the head again, and I get super mopy for a few days/weeks about the whole situation.

But! I think some actual progress is being made.

Like, in the world connected to reality, even.

(Crazy shit, I know.)

My official debt is almost non-existent.

I've spoken to several mortgage people. They've given me some counseling on cleaning up the rest of my credit score (turns out divorcing can have some nasty trailers on the finance front), and one even was willing to give me an official pre approval for a real mortgage.

With that pre approval, I was able to finish and turn in my (over an inch thick) application to the Boulder Affordable Housing Program. I've already completed the classes for it, and *should be* totally good to go in the program once they finish processing the paperwork.

I applied for a down payment assistance program and a 4to1 matched savings program for those looking to purchase a property, and will be spending my Thursday evenings in May in classes for that.

And I've come to the slow and painful realization that RIGHT NOW what is the most important priority to me is reducing commute time. I am -done- driving in and out of the mountains 6 (7,8,9...) times a week. I'm am done clocking that many hours of my life doing nothing but driving between stuff. I am done having my kids going to shool in a different city than I work in. I am done putting that many miles on my car. I am done spending that much money on gas every week.

And so it means the sort of house I will realistically be able to have is changing to meet these priorities. A condo, or maybe a town house, with horrid HOA fees is just how it will have to be.

Because I want that under 5 minute commute time more than I want a pretty front stoop and basement. By a lot, even.

And what makes this whole process even more self-reflective is when I pause to try and remember is such priorities as a big back yard were ever really mine. And if they weren't, why has it still mattered to me for so long?

There is a vision inside my head of the sort of home I should be raising my children in. But see, nothing else has come close to lining up to this vision so far, so why the hell should it matter is the house itself is as far off as being a single parent and working entry level retail have been?

I think it's fading though. Took much longer than it should have, but fading and morphing into something that might even be real (like a mortgage with the salary I actually make right now).

And that is pretty damn awesome.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Read it Again

Books come in many different shapes and sizes and styles to me.

Most I read over and over again.

Some I read again and again because I love the story and getting caught up in the characters and worlds which are not my own.

Some I read again and again because there is so much story and so much book it takes me several times to finally catch all the little details and everything pulls together.

Some I read again and again because I always have forgotten the beginning by the time I get to the end.

Some I read again and again because I don't want the story to ever stop.

And finally, some I read again and again because I need to hear what the book is saying more often than I would otherwise.

Some books I read slowly, wanting to linger in the story as long as possible.

Some books I read slowly because they are challenging reads; the language doesn't flow well, or the vocabulary is old English or the spoken language is a little too "as it sounds" to be easily understood.

Some books I read fast because I want to know what happens next.

Some books I read fast because I've read them before and want to get to my favorite part.

Some books I never finish because I don't like how they are ending.

Some books I never finish because I get bored or have trouble staying interested in the story.

And a very few books I regret reading entirely.

But see, none of that matters beyond the part where I read books because I enjoy reading books, and the people I feel the most pity towards are the ones who never learned how to enjoy a good book occasionally.

May your life be filled with a full bookcase and the time to linger as you will in it.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

After Ever After

Because sometimes, you've seen the princess movies just a few too many times.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kid Shaming

It was bathtime.

The girls had been playing nicely together in the bubble-filled tub, and kept begging me for just a few more minutes when I tried to take them out.

Alright, I conceded for the second time, but just 2 more minutes before bed.

As I was grabbing towels to pull them out with, Kristina started to holler at me that there was poop in the bathtub.

I quickly went to investigate, and saw a very small little pebble being fished out by my extremely-turd-vigilant daughter.

It didn't look like anything more than someone hadn't wiped well before getting into the tub, so the brief moment of panic subsided as I started to help her out of the tub.

That was a mistake.

As a mother going on 6 years I should know that when feces are involved the panic is nearly always warrented and that it will undoubtedly get worse before it gets better.

Every so often I forget such lessons, and therefore was genuinely surprised by the massive pile of shit Adrianna had deposited in the tub which I hadn't seen until I was getting her out on account of the bubbles.

But this story gets even more horrifyingly awesome.

See, she had deposited a load roughly half the size of her body mass directly on top of the drain plug.

This detail of course means I could not drain the water from the bathtub without first removing a fair portion of the poopies. Except that, for those of you unfamiliar with the finer details of feces consistency, it's not that easy to fish out of sitting water on account of the water soluble nature of its structural makeup.

Good times, good times my friends.

Eventually, enough crap was removed so I could at least drain the tub. And then realized the tub was having some "clogging" issues.

......... I can't imagine why........

Yep, it wa an awesome night.

However, during all of this I came to a brilliant and inspired idea.

You know the website dog shaming? People post pictures of their dogs with little signs confessing the horrible things they have done like eating dirty underwear and stealing the Thanksgiving turkey out of the oven.

I want to creating a kid version of it.

It can totally start with my child being captioned with "I like to poopie  in bubble baths".

Other prime examples include:

"I like to eat my own boogers"

"I take my baby brother's teething toys and chew on them until they break"

"I hide mom's cell phone and car keys on purpose"

"I only say bad words when grandma is around"

"I like to comment on strangers' weights really loudly in public"

"I bite the boob that feeds me"

"I like to flush matchbox cars down the toilet"

"I tried to eat the hamster"

"I broke the lamp and said the dog did it"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

When Winter Comes

I spied this piece of Kristina artwork hanging up in the hallway outside the Kindergarten classroom last week.


For those of you not fluent in Kindergarten, it says [When winter comes] I go sledding with my mom I go sledding in my y[a]rd.

Damn straight you convince your mother that sledding with you is awesome fun until she remembers how much wet-ass-jeans suck and turns back into a grouchy grown up.

To make it even better, she drew a picture of me and her on a pink sled and what I'm assuming are snow hills (or rocks perhaps?) that were shit on when the unicorn of happiness flew over, hence their rainbow nature.

Hells yeah little girl, you draw on with your awesome rainbow loving self, making snow white is SO overdone.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Keeping and Care of Marty's Hair

Scrubby scrub scrub with shampoo that must not make my damp hair smelled like a wet dog rolled in a fruit salad.

Liberally smear with conditioner that must match the shampoo kind even though I use it way faster and am always at awkward unmatched quantities in bottles. A serious lament of my showering life.

Conditioner soaks into hair while I do exciting things like brush my teeth and almost fall asleep standing up.

Rinse. Try to the avoid the eyes. Am successful about 60% of the time.

Wring hair like professional washer woman in towel.

Wrap hair in towel until I feel like dealing with the rest of the keeping of the freshly washed hair.

Towel falls off of hair. Reapply every 3 minutes until decide I'll just go brush my hair out.

Look at crazy mess of wet hair in mirror. Decide I'm not ready to brush it yet.

Ignore hair for next half-to-three hours.

Decide I really must brush it now.

Brush hair with most coveted hair brush in the world. Also, only hair brush I haven't broken yet. 

Contemplate how much of my soul I would have to sell to get a new hair brush exactly like my old one.

Mourn the trials and tribulations I've gone through in the past two years while looking for a new one exactly like the old one.

Pray that the part where a third of the bristles are now missing doesn't start affecting it's effectiveness any time soon.

Eventually get most of the tangles out of semi-damp hair.

Twist hair into a bun for sleepy sleep time.

Wonder, not for the first time, if I am the only one in the world who cannot sleep without their hair securely tied back.

Ignore knowledge that my hair is nearly always falling/already fallen out by the time I get up in the morning.

Ponder whether I'm bad-ass enough to pull off a vintage-style sleep cap. I'm good at being sexy like that.

Attempt to brush hair.

Discover nasty snarl.

Steal daughter's No More Tangles spray to remove snarl.

Brush hair.

Pretend it's curling pretty just the way I like it while ignoring the perpetually frizzy ends and wild look that seems to be it's trademark curlability.

Attempt to pull back front part of hair.

Put approximately six dozen bobby pins in hair.

Curse the bobby pins and their lack of sufficiently holding my hair.

Swear I'll remember to get some more super grippy clips one of these days.

Ignore knowledge that my last one broke the better part of a year ago.

Place a few more bobby pins and I finally declare hair in a presentable state.

Put elastic hair band on wrist for sloppily pulling hair out of my face when it gets annoying in an hour. Also, for eating.

Hair falls out of bobby pins before I finish driving to work.

Glance at the more wild than ever state it is in, and decide I'm going for that au-natural look today.

Look at people with pretty neat big bouncy curls. Wish somebody could teach me and my hair to do that.

Give up completely and put hair in sloppy ponytail for second half of work shift.

Decide my hair needs professional help.

Go to salon and put in purple highlights. Purple highlights make everything better.

Surprisingly hair remains as wild as ever. But now with more purple. Or fuchsia, depending on who is speaking and their color spectrum judgment. But I like thinking it's purple.

Continue to ponder whether it is my hair itself or if I'm just lacking some serious grooming skills/products.

Hope my blog readers will comment with full hair-taming tutorials. Or at least with what sort of put-in-hair product might be helpful to make it go from the trademark wild-and-crazy look to something not wild and crazy at least some of the time.

Decide that if that is unsuccessful I will turn the whole thing purple. Nothing makes wild hair better like making it purple. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Leadership

They did it.

They finally scheduled me for my Team Leader (mid-level Target store manager) district interview for tomorrow morning.

Now please understand, the interviews aren't directly linked to a promotion, but rather more of a 'pre-qualifying' measure.

So basically, I go through this interview of extremely scripted questions ("tell me about a time you.....") and rehearsed answers, which they use to get a feel for my personality over the phone.

Yeah, I don't get it either.

However, the part that I do understand is that this is a pass/fail sort of thing, and that there is no way in hell I'm getting promoted without passing it.

(I think I may need to work on my scripted personality some more.)

Anyways, I've been alternating being hyper excitement (yay it's finally happening!), pessimism (remember, I'm still not promoted after it, and can hang out 'on the bench' as they like to call it for another year), and panic (would you like another dose of crippling stage fright and stranger anxiety? yes please).

My most recent 'stuff to go over pre-interview' session including the comment "and if you don't pass, we'll just keep prepping and you'll go through it again until you do pass or until you say you want to stop".

Oh goody. Groundhog day style of promotability.

But see, the questions I'll be asked are from a packet which I've had for months. The stories I'll be saying have been carefully cultivated to include the most possible Target happy words and repeated so many times I'll probably be muttering them on my death bed. 

If I don't pass, it's because either a) I froze and couldn't remember my recitation or b) my artificial personality wasn't deemed good enough.

Which means further prepping is all about being better rehearsed in my rehearsed personality and delivery??

But it's ok, because I totally got this the first time around. Right? Right!

Right...??

Wish me luck (and composure and a good hair day and lovely articulation with quick (work-appropriate) wit).


Friday, March 8, 2013

Dinner Date

I often pick the girls up from school on Fridays, as a combination of usually having the day off and needing to keep up with Kristina's Kindergarten Enrichment CCAP swipes (KE is the afternoon care provided by the school for a cost since her actual kindergarten class is only a morning session, and CCAP is the Childcare assistance program (aka welfare for parents) we receive on account of my marvelous Target salary not being all that marvelous to raise 2 kids on, and the program requires a card swipe not dissimular to a credit card machine to record the days she attends up to 10 days in the  past. The more you know...).

Last week we also had a few errands to run in town (which you know, I totally could have done before picking them up if I had remembered about them ahead of time and/or not been sleeping), and Kristina being the thoughtful child who often thinks with her stomach inquired whether we could go out to dinner during the middle of our hustle and bustle.

As I couldn't remember the last time any of us stepped foot into a place which served food that wasn't McDonald's, it seemed almost sorta tempting to me too (and that was even before Adrianna added her voice to the 'pleeeeeaaaase' pleading coming from the backseat), so out to dinner we went.


The Rocky Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery is by far my favorite restaurant in Nederland, and for having 'brewery' in their name a remarkably family friendly to go in my opinion (do see the kiddy menus, crayons, and kiddy cups for their kid sized beers chocolate milks?).

And the girls behaved beautifully (score 5000 parenting gold stars for me!), with the only hiccup at all being when Adrianna went to take a drink of my water and dropped the glass, and it even spilled onto the floor at that (vs. onto me or my food, as Murphy often likes to make happen).

But you know what was even more amazing from our dinner?  

I enjoyed it. Genuine, unadulterated enjoyment.

It wasn't the opportunity to get out the house, or to eat the food that wasn't prepared by me and/or consisting of previously frozen chicken nuggets. And it certainly wasn't the influence of other people, as it was just the three of us at our little table.

It was my children. I enjoyed spending the time hanging out with my children. We had conversation that was fun and interesting. We laughed over simple antics. We enjoyed and ate our food. We each had our very own world's smallest dessert brownie and scoop of ice cream at the end, and left without anyone in tears or screaming or unhappy (which is huge in of itself on the parenting scale). 

(Ok, there was a brief second of almost unhappiness when I had requested to box both of their leftovers in separate boxes so they could each have theirs to carry and then they put both of them in one bag and Adrianna tried to walk off with it, but both girls stopped and listened to me and were able to use their words without having a complete meltdown over it *cough Kristina does that sometimes cough*, and we were able to quickly make things right again in the world by pulling Kristina's box-of-half-a-cheese-quesadilla-which-is-like-a-hundred-times-better-than-the-ones-mommy-makes-at-home-according-to-her-even-though-it's-just-a-freakin-cheese-qusadilla out of the bag so she could carry it herself.)

I think there are two huge challenges people in general face with the world: being able to enjoy the company of one's self and being able to enjoy the company of one's children.

And this dinner fills me with hope and optimism about life with them going forwards.

They are getting older. They are turning into real people, who sometimes manage to even be real people who aren't whiny or demanding or bratty. Things like air travel really might transition from an exhausting feet of motherhood to something kinda sorta not so bad. I might actually want to take them on a vacation someday just to spend time with them, and all of us might even enjoy it.

Crazy! Just crazy!

And yet, so unbelievably awesome.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Divorcevarsary

Last week was the one year mark of my divorce being finalized.

I had been a bit apprehensive about the day itself (after all, it's the sort of date you can't ignore once you remember what it is even though you wish you hadn't), and had even gone so far as to consider slightly outrageous acts such as sending myself a disgustingly large bouquet of flowers at work in honor of it.

Somehow though, the super public display of self-affection got sized down to telling myself that I can go buy one of those fancy chocolate cakes and eat the whole thing by myself if it's a crummy day, and even that went by the wayside when I was to tired to be bothered with the trip to the bakery when I got off of work.

So ultimately I did not celebrate it in any way outside of my own mind pondering how best to celebrate such an event beforehand. Which you know, is totally fitting considering the marriage it ended never had a damn thing done for it's wedding anniversary either. 

Maybe I'll get myself flowers and cake for that if it's a day that is still hard this summer...