Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Safety scissors can indeed cut hair

I like to believe that I don't take much in life too seriously. I try to find humor in everyday occurences. I like to laugh at the craziness created by life with two little ones. Let me emphasize ... I LIKE to do that. Just because I try to do this, well, it doesn't mean I am always successful.

See, there are some days the chaos of living in a house that I can never seem to keep clean drives me up a wall. There are some times when just looking at another load of laundry to fold and put away will put me over the edge. There are some days when the whining and fighting in the backseat of my car makes me yell, "STOP FIGHTING!" in a voice that is entirely humor-free.

Then, there is a day like today. A day, when I simply could not find an ounce of humor in the situation. When I called Cory sobbing so hard he was sure an ambulance was on its way to the house to pick up a critically injured child. I am sure, one day, far in the future, I will laugh about this. I'm sure, one day, this story will be told with hilarity around the dinner table. I'm sure, one day, this story will indeed be reflective of the title of this blog. Oh, but today is not that day.

Today, I discovered that turnaround is a bitch. Or something like that. Remember when Charlotte cried inconsolably at her first hair cut? Today, I was the one to turn on the waterworks.You see, today, my four and a half year old decided she wanted to play "haircut lady." I will pause to let you imagine how that sweet plan could have possibly backfired. Doesn't take much imagination to figure out how it all went wrong, huh?

It all started so innocently. I was busily cleaning up the chaos of Christmas, and the girls were quietly playing in Molly's room. I, naively, assumed they were playing Barbies or baby dolls. (They had received quite a few of those for Christmas, so I thought that was a safe assumption.) I'm vacuuming away when I hear Molly calling to me. She proudly paraded Charlotte to the top of the stairs. "Mommy, do you like Charlotte's hair? I did it." I glanced up and thought she had just been brushing it (It never occured to me that she would cut it!). I absentmindedly nodded and continued vacuuming.

A couple minutes later, I hear Molly calling to me again. I'd finished vacuuming, so I turn off the machine and wheel around to face my two precious daughters. Immediately, my eyes land on the right side of Charlotte's head, and what used to be her adorable little bob haircut. Only, now, her hair is laying in multiple different length chunks all along the side of her head.

"WHAT?!?!?!" I screamed. "Did you cut Charlotte's hair?" I question Molly.
"Did you cut Charlotte's hair?"
"Don't lie to me, Molly. Did you cut Charlotte's hair?"
"I cut Charlotte's hair."

At this point, I promptly burst into tears. Then, of course, Molly starts crying. She knows she's in trouble now. Charlotte, of course, is blissfully unaware of the tragedy that has befallen her head of hair. She is smiling and happily playing with Barbies and baby dolls.
The side view of the hatchet job.
And, front on.
It was right about then that I tried to call Cory and explain what had happened. Apparently, my blubbering wasn't exactly understandable because he thought I said Molly had cut Charlotte. He had images of bleeding and ambulances. Once he finally figured out I was talking about a hair cut, he was immensely relieved. And, not offering the sympathy needed in this moment of familial tragedy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Santa Overload

The other day, while driving in the car (where all the best conversations happen), I got a stumper of a question from Molly.

"Mommy, how many Santas are there?"

I panicked for a second, then calmed down enough to ask her why she was asking. She explained, "well, we saw Santa today, but the one that Penelope is sitting on in her Christmas card has glasses like Papa, and the other Santa had glasses, but Santa today had a different kind of glasses."

Well, first off, I was impressed that Molly had those keen powers of observation. I'm not sure as a 4-year-old, I would've noticed that some Santas wear certain glasses while others wear a different kind. And, second, I really hope we're not overexposing Molly to Santa. I don't want to give her too many opportunities to second-guess the very existence of the jolly old elf. I'm sure it's easier to not catch the inconsistencies in Santa when you don't actually see the man all the time.

As it is, Molly's already seen Santa from far away once, sat on his lap twice, and talked to him once on the phone. She's told him what she wants three times, and explained that she's been a good girl three times. She probably thinks that Santa is having lots of "senior" moments, forgetting that he's already been told the same thing over and over and over.

The first time we saw Santa was back right before Thanksgiving when we went up to the Legends Christmas Tree Lighting. Santa flew in on a helicopter. We already had to do some quick thinking to explain the helicopter vs. sleigh phenomenon. But, luckily, he was far enough away that you couldn't see if he had glasses, or what type of those glasses they were.

The next time we saw Santa this season was at Molly's Christmas dance show. She actually danced really well and loved being on stage. Then, the surprise guest at the end of the show ... Santa!
Molly explaining that she wants a desk and a Barbie car.
Yup, Charlotte was terrified. Molly took over and told Santa that Charlotte wanted a baby doll.
Then, we had Molly's preschool Christmas performance. All the precious little preschoolers sat on the chancel and sang adorable Christmas songs, complete with hand movements and bells. Made me cry just thinking that she was going to be too big for it next year. Or, it could've been the fact that 50 preschoolers were ringing bells, trying to stay on rhythm. Anyway, she did a great job singing, and the surprise guest at the end of the show ... Santa!

After explaining (again) that she wanted a desk and a Barbie car.
This Santa got bonus points because he gave her a gift right there.  A new book!!!
So, for now, Molly accepted my explanation that Santa just has different glasses and outfits, just like Mommy wears glasses sometimes and not other times. She seemed to take that at face value. We have one more time to see Santa at Papa's Rotary breakfast on Friday. Who knows what kind of glasses that Santa will be wearing?!?

 Let's hope the sweet, innocence of believing in Santa lasts for a while longer. And, hey, at least she doesn't have an older brother to ruin it for her like I did. That's gotta give her one or two more years, don't you think?

PS. I have a video of her talking to Santa on the phone that is pretty darn funny, but I cannot figure out how to get the video from the camera onto the computer. We're keeping our fingers crossed Santa drops a new flip cam down the chimney along with the desk and baby doll.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Top That

The other night at dinner with some friends, we started talking about movies of our childhood. I'm not really sure how the conversation even began. What is it about movies or TV shows from childhood that can bond people and bring up such happy memories? Everyone immediately starts sharing which shows they loved or which movies their parents wouldn't let them watch. Which ones they watched continually and which ones they were forced to watch by their sister.

So, we were drinking, talking and reminiscing about which 80s movies we had or hadn't seen. It soon became clear that I have seen every girly 80s movie made. Well, the good ones anyway. Apparently, I'm a connoisseur of girly 80s movies. Is there such a thing?

I don't know if there is, but I do love me some classic 80s movies. Nothing can put a smile on my face faster than flipping through the channels and finding a showing of Dirty Dancing. Especially the dance lesson montage scene. Or 16 Candles? Who didn't want to sit with Jake Ryan on their glass dining room table and blow out the candles on their 16th birthday? Um, I know I did.

One of my friends hadn't seen Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Are you kidding me? I do believe that is sacrilege. How can you not have seen that bastion of 80s awesomeness with Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt and Shannon Doherty? Classic.

But, one of my favorite movies from the annals of 80s moviedom is actually a lesser-known Hollywood production. Shockingly, despite the awesome singing, dancing and rapping throughout the movie, not one actor "broke out" after the movie. And, not so shockingly, only one of my friends had seen it. Here goes, with full confession, one of my favorite 80s movies of all time is ... Teen Witch.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Vintage style

So, a few months back, I got a phone call from a girl who works at my old company. She prefaced the conversation with, "I know this seems weird, but ... " She then went on to explain that for this year's company Christmas party, the owner of the company had an idea. He wanted to invite some former employees to attend the party. The theme of the party was "vintage" both for dress, and, apparently, for guests. Seeing as how I am already having a tough time with the whole getting older issue, I had to gulp a couple times before accepting that I was considered "vintage." But, once I got past that characterization of myself, I thought it could be pretty cool.

Considering it has been 4 and a half years since I worked there (I just have to add one day to Molly's age in order to figure out how long I've been gone), I wasn't sure if it would be weird or awkward. But, Cory and I both worked at PlattForm, and we still know people who currently work there. So, we thought it would be fun to get a chance to catch up with some of those people. Cory's company doesn't have a big holiday party, so there was no competition there. Plus, it was free food and drink, so you know Cory was on board.

Now, because my current job involves changing diapers and finding lost blankies, I don't get a whole lot of chances to get all gussied up. Every once in a while, it's nice to put on some heels and sparkly jewelry. And, there was the added bonus of the party having a theme. Vintage. I could totally roll with that. I love me some vintage style. Not that I wear it on a regular basis. I am definitely not hipster enough to do that. But, give me the right opportunity, and I am all about it.

Luckily, I had a connection. But, it's a secret connection. So, I can't tell you where I got to borrow my gorgeous dress from. But, it is truly vintage. 1958 Dior. Yes, you read that right. Amy got to wear a designer dress. Considering The Gap is about as designer as my everyday wardrobe gets, this was pure heaven. And, don't worry, I avoided the red wine and marina sauce. There was no way I was going to risk spilling anything red on the cream silk.

Cory went for the Mad Men vibe with a skinny tie. And, yes, that is a hat on me. I LOVED it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Running from traditional Thanksgivings

I've always loved Thanksgiving, even if it does sometimes impede on my birthday celebrations. There's just something about the colors of fall and the warm and fuzzy feelings of walking into a house with the smell of turkey and rolls wafting toward your nose. And, even though I love the traditional meal served at my mom's house, most of my childhood memories of Thanksgiving are not all that "traditional." My dad was in the army, so we spent many of our Thanksgiving meals eating in the cafeteria on post. They would decorate the whole place, make it all festive, and serve a TON of food, buffet-style. Nothing says Thanksgiving like an army cafeteria, right? Well, I really loved the food, anyway.

So, my childhood memories of Thanksgiving weren't "traditional," and now I get to make up more traditions for my own girls to remember when they are all grown up. This year, we actually started what I hope will be a new tradition. We got every runner in the family out to run in a Thanksgiving 5K on Thanksgiving morning. Obviously, running is a huge part of my life, and it's always fun when you can get a huge group out for a race. We even met up with the Rahimian family, who were also there for the race. We got to see tons of people in costume and got a little exercise in before the big meal. We all had a great time. Ok, I had a great time. I'm hoping everyone else did, too. And, I'm hoping we will continue it every year. I guess it's not "traditional," but I have good memories of the army cafeteria, so hopefully the girls will have good memories of the Thanksgiving Day 5K, too.

The whole family crew.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Non-Grimm Gingerbread Houses

I've never been a fan of the Grimm fairy tales. Molly received a giant book of them when she was little. While reading them to her, my mind is constantly spinning, trying to figure out an easy way to change the endings so everyone doesn't die. I know, I know, I'm sure I'm being an overprotective, sheltering mom, but I just can't get on board with reading my 4-year-old daughter stories about her favorite princesses complemented with gore, blood and death. I just can't stomach explaining why Cinderella's step-sisters would cut parts of their feet off in order to fit in the golden slipper. I already have a hard enough time answering the "Where's Nemo's mommy?" question.

One of my least favorite stories is Hansel and Gretel. I mean, really. Two starving children are abandoned in the woods and lured to almost certain death by the appeal of a giant gingerbread house covered in candy. They do manage to escape the evil witch's plans, and instead push her into an oven, but still. The entire premise is just disturbing. First the children are abandoned by their parents. Then, a house made of candy is turned into a torture chamber while the witch prepares to EAT the children. I mean, sure there's a lesson about not touching what doesn't belong to you, or not taking candy from strangers, but really, must the story be so graphic?

Maybe I'm particularly bothered by this story because, throughout my whole childhood, my family has made gingerbread houses during Christmastime. My mom would make the houses, then each child would decorate their own house with candy galore. We invited our friends and had every type of candy, marshmallows, cookies, crackers, and frosting to choose from. Each house ended up looking completely different, despite pulling from the same pile of decorating goodies. I always loved to decorate the yard, best. The teddy graham fence was a favorite of mine. Personally, I never chose to eat the candy off my finished house (I spent way too much time creating a masterpiece), but I don't believe that children who do eat their candy should be punished by being pushed into an oven by an old witch. My own, humble opinion.