Wednesday, August 20, 2008

No Kitten for Us or We Aren't Good Enough For Those Kittys

So last Saturday, we decide that it is time we got Samantha a kitten. She has been asking for a kitten every single day for almost a year. She ends almost every sentence with, or works in the following phrase: "when Mommy and Daddy get me my kitten". As in, "I love peanut butter, it's so sticky, when Mommy and Daddy get me my kitten, the kitten won't want to step in the peanut butter because it's paws would get sticky like my fingers." So, we finally caved and decided we were ready to commit to a kitten. I looked online and found a kitten fair going on at a local pet store. I got Sammy all ready to go and pick out her new kitty. We got to the pet store, oohed and awed at all the adorable little kittys. We picked a few favorites. I was ready to shell out $85-$120 bucks for any one of them. (It was disturbing that the cutest ones cost more, but thats a different post). The Cat Lady let us hold a few, let my daughter fall in love with a few. Then she asked me if I wanted to fill out an application. I said, "sure!" thinking that they just need some contact info to put me on a mailing list to solicit future donations. Boy, was I wrong. Do we own or rent? You rent? Well, we will need a copy of your lease and we will need to speak to the landlord. Do you ever imagine a situation when the cat will be outside? You do? Well, you will need to sign this contract that states that you will be held liable if the kitty ever gets outside. Cats only belong inside, for thier entire life, and never, under any circumstances, can a cat ever step paw outside. Do you have screens on your doors and windows? No? Well then, we will need to do a home study, bring the kitty into your home environment to see if it will do well in your home. Do you have any other pets or small children? You do? What's that you say? You have a baby boy at home? Oh my! Well then, we will have to meet him and see if he is compatable for cats. And, under no circumstance would we let a kitten live with an 18 month old boy. You will only be able to adopt a cat that is over a year old. You thought you could take a kitten home today? Well, that is not possible considering your living situation.

Now, I am a pretty even keeled person. I like to use logic and apply it to these type of situations. But when I looked down at my sweet red headed three year old and saw the tears streaming down her face as she came to the realization that we were not going to take home Jake or Buddy or Tabitha, the only thing I wanted to do is rip Cat Lady's eyes out, or something of that sort. But alas, the only thing I could do is take Sammy by the hand, lead her quietly out of the pet store and tell her that although we will get a kitten someday, we couldn't take a cat home today. Then I reminded her that we got to pet and hold about five kittens. Her face lit up. She smiled, and said, "Mom, I loved petting those kittens! They were so cute! Remember when that orange and white kitty was chasing the feather on the stick? That was so funny. When you and daddy get me a kitten, we will have a feather on a stick, and we will play all day with it...." Crisis averted...for now.

Monday, August 4, 2008

$70 Haircut?

I have always gotten my hair cut at places like Fantastic Sam's or places that have "family" in their name. In the past, I would have been shocked if the chain that I got my hair cut at charged more than 15 bucks. I had never gotten my hair cut by the same person twice. The gals who usually cut my hair barely speak English and talk on their cell phones while cutting my hair in a nonchalant, I couldn't care less kind of way. They usually spend about ten minutes on it, and then send me on my way.

For the fourth time this year, though, I have shelled out over $70 bucks for a simple haircut. Well, maybe not that hair stylist is Carlos, an ultra hip, maybe gay, nice as can be hair genius. My salon is not just a simple salon, it is a shrine to all things beauty and hair. I have to spend an hour getting myself ready to go to the salon. The clientele is hip, rich, and beautiful. Everyone has a designer bag, designer shoes, etc. I always drag out my one cool Coach handbag (thank god for Carol and her gift giving ability). I do my hair as best I can, (I had to pull the stickers that Matthew put in it on Saturday) put on lots of makeup, and make the drive to the salon. There is always a wait to see the "stylist". I don't mind the wait though. They make me a cappuccino, or offer me cucumber water. When Carlos emerges, I am greeted with a smile and a hello, and then he gets to work. He has a tool belt that contains like fifteen sets of scissors and other various hair tools I know nothing about. He spends a good 45 minutes cutting my hair to perfection. Then he styles it as I watch his every move in an attempt to remember how to make it look this good myself.

I feel like a goddess walking out of that place. I sometimes get compliments. I feel like one of those hip, rich, beautiful women in the salon. I forget that in less than an hour, one of my kids will inevitably vomit, spit, or smear yogurt or the dreaded peanut butter in my perfect goddess hair. I forget that if I take a shower my hair will never look the same, because as hard as I try, I cannot recreate what Carlos does. But damn, those few minutes feel good. So, is a $70 haircut worth it? Yes it is.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Movie Review - Summer Blockbuster

I took Sammy to see the Space Chimps, the highly acclaimed hit of the summer. While the acting skills of the main character were lackluster, the plot was filled with twists and turns that left some audience members on the edge of their seats. Nevermind that Sammy and I were seriously the only two people in the theatre. But I digress. The movie began with a bang, literally, with Ham the space monkey turned circus act being hurled out of a cannon at warp speed. The audience gets a glimpse into the primate soul when Ham grasps for the moon, which seems just out of touch. Talk about foreshadowing. Ham grapples with the fact that he will never live up to his grandfather's legacy of being the first chimp in space. The ensemble of actors were perfectly cast, and Curious George ain't got nothin' on this group of chimp actors. The climax of the film is complicated enough so that even the toughest critic will be satisfied. With space aliens, rocket ships, volcanoes, three suns, and a beast, the film was nail-biting to say the least. With lines like, "chimp my ride!" and "chimp-a-licious", this type of screenwriting comes once in a lifetime, and audiences would be remiss to miss this chimp flick. Man, I cannot wait for awards season!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Livestrong Challenge Inspires

Well, believe it or not, I ran/walked in a 5K to benefit the Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Foundation. My dad and my friend Jason love to bicycle, and they did a challenge in Oregon last year, and this year a bunch of us formed a team and raised over $11,000. What was most inspiring for me, though, was how many people have been touched by cancer. When I sat down to write on the "In Memory Of" portion of my jersey, I was able to list off 7 people in my little world. There were others, but I could not fit all of them in. When I was tired during the race, a "Survivor" would pass me, and I would think to myself, "what the hell am I doing!? Move it on along sister!" and I would subsequently move my ass a little faster. There was a mom with a baby in a stroller and two little girls who were in the 5K. All of thier jerseys said "In Honor of Daddy". That made me go a little faster too. This whole scenario makes me want to appreciate everything I have a little more. It all makes me want to live a little healthier, a little better, and yes, it makes me want to live a little stronger.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Moner Visits!

My bestest friend in the whole world is coming for a visit, I am very, very excited. She is bringing her adorable boyfriend, and we will have a great long weekend at the ranch together. I have never, without a doubt, had more fun in my life with anyone else. We met when we were 18 and freshmen at college, while pruning a tree. Such a strange way to meet a friend, don't you think?
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Ben is 30

My brother turned 30 last week, which officially makes me almost 30. The weird part about that is that I am o.k. turning 30. I don't fear it, or look forward to it, instead, it is just a number for me. I think that I feel this way because I don't have, like many friends my age, anything big looming over me. I am lucky enough to be settled down, married, and have two kids. When I look at old pictures like this, though, I have to admit that I am feeling a little old. My brother Ben is two years older than me, and we had that sort of childhood that most kids dream about. We lived on a ranch our whole lives, played outside barefoot all day, built forts, played army, had pets, and had parents that loved each other. We ate dinner as a family each night (after holding hands to say grace), and went to church every Sunday. The standout figure in my childhood, though, is Ben. We played hard, fought hard, and loved each other as much as we annoyed each other. He was the inevitable leader of the four kids, and because of that, was always the coolest. We wanted to be doing whatever he was doing. He would make us swords, take us in the hills, and lead us through adventures. I remember us all laughing and roughhousing, running around wild until mom called us in for dinner. When we reached high school, though, we began to grow apart. He joined the Army after graduation, and although I acted like I did not care, I remember crying harder than I had ever cried before. The world as I knew it would never be the same. Ben was gone. I had never gone more than a few days without seeing Ben, and now he was across the country in some boot camp. I could not believe that he had actually gone. I missed him terribly. He was stationed all around the country during his Army years, and served in Bosnia for an entire year. He was gone that Christmas, and our holiday was not the same. We just could not seem to celebrate with all of our hearts the way we were used to. His duty to our nation was finished shortly before the Iraq war was started. He sustained a head injury during training. I remember my mom calling me to let me know that he was in the hospital with a brain injury. I was shocked, and scared. Around the same time that I met John, Ben had come back into my life, this time as a friend. I prayed that he would be alright. After a few years of recovery, he seems back to normal aside from his horrible headaches. He is married now, and although we don't get to see each other as much as we would like to, I feel closer than ever to him. Ben has a sense of humor, and an outlook on life that I wish everyone had (although I am not sure if "naked on a beanbag eating Cheetos" is a joke just anyone can pull off). He can laugh at any situation, and can talk with an open mind with me about any subject. He is smart, adventurous, helpful, and caring. Oh yeah, and he is still cool. I believe that he, like my other brother and sister, share the experience of our childhood, share the same type of heart, and share a love that is so deep that nothing could disrupt it. I love my brother, I thank him for his service to our country, and I thank him for making my childhood so special. Happy Birthday.
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Monday, June 30, 2008

Goat Chasing

We took the kids to a petting zoo over the weekend, and Matthew could not be more excited to chase the goats all around the "petting" area. I use the term petting rather lightly here because petting to Matthew apparently means screeching at the top of your lungs and chasing after the petrified goats. Sammy could not care less about the actual goats because she decided that she was a goat and climbed up on their rocks to better get into character. It took us a while to get her out of goat character and off the rocks, and luckily she finally turned back into her regular character for the day (Rarity, the unicorn pony from My Little Pony, who lives in Ponyville with the rest of the Ponies, but actually has magical powers, get it right dad) in about ten minutes. The zoo was great, they both loved the prairie dogs, although Matthew really wanted behind the glass at each exhibit. He sort of has a temper, ahem, and does not really like it if he can't do something he has his heart set on. Gee, he must have, ahem, gotten that feature from John. So needless to say, we had to keep them moving from animal to animal, and luckily there were only about ten animals. It is our favorite zoo ever.
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I Love Toddler Tummies

Samantha had her first ballet class the week before John & I left for Jamaica. The dance studio I found for her is in the basement of a local mall. Little did I know that I had enrolled her into a ballet class that featured moms that conjure up visions of Texas cheer leading, Olympic gymnastics, and the ever fearsome stage-mom. The classroom features a one-way mirror that the moms clamor behind to watch their toddlers run around pretending to be ballerinas. Right before they got started I thought that I would go in to tell Sammy that I would be right outside (behind the window) and one mom stopped me to say, "you shouldn't go in there to say goodbye because she will start crying." She looked at me like I was crazy for even thinking it. I just kind of smiled and went into the room to say good-bye. She did not cry, imagine that. When I returned to the one-way mirror room, a mom had moved my purse from the chair I had been sitting in to the floor. She looked up and said, "Sorry, but I always sit in this seat." Again, I just smiled, wondering what the hell I got ourselves into. For the following 45 minutes I tried to focus on Sammy running around having the time of her life instead of the ensuing creepy conversation between the other moms. To put it into perspective, at one point, I swear to god, they discussed little girl tummies. They talked about how they could not wait until each of their little girls lost her "toddler tummy". One mom said, "Don't worry, my four year old's tummy is finally flat. I think it happens when they are three." Seriously, I had to take a deep breath, whisper to myself a few Seinfield serenity nows, and pray that my internal monologue would stay deeply internal. Then I just watched my most adorable three year old, with her most adorable little tummy, dance like the princess she believes that she is.
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