Cut It Out!

cool-cartoon-747317     I had to take my kids for haircuts yesterday, which were long overdue.  We always go to one of those salons for kids, you know, where they sell boatloads of toys to terrorize and torture parents into buying them as bribes.  Anything to keep a kid from throwing a fit! Luckily for me, my kids have always been completely fine with getting their hair cut and have never once put up a fight. (However, that’s not to say I haven’t been suckered into wasting money on a random toy or two along the way.)

     When the kids were younger, my husband used to be the one to cut my son’s hair.  The poor child is a victim of a head full of cowlicks, so he is usually sporting a very cute buzz cut.  My husband used to do an o.k. job trimming him up here at home, but then I started noticing that my son had random long hairs here and there about his head.  Plus, I hated having to clean up all the hairs from the chair and floor afterwards.  I eventually fired my husband’s services, and now, my son joins my daughter at the foo-foo kids’ salon.  He loves it, because he can play Spongebob Nintendo games the entire time he’s getting groomed.

     My daughter has an amazing head of thick hair, so she has been going to the salon since she was two.  We keep it in a short bob, which needs maintenance about every five to six weeks.  It’s not the easiest style to cut, because you have to have a very steady hand to keep it from being uneven. On occasion, we’ve gotten all the way home to realize that it’s completely lopsided.  We’ve had to get back in the car and drive all the way back to the salon, which is a total pain in the ass. My daughter has also been blessed with the most gorgeous highlights that I’d give anything to have myself.  She just loves to tell people that God gave her highlights, and Mama has to pay for hers. Awesome, but true!  She has definitely got some good hair, and the stylists are always trying to do funky things with it after a trim. Yesterday, I gave in and let her have some kind of glitter crap sprayed in it.  Of course, we now have glitter strung about our house everywhere as a result.

     I must say that I have to give props to those kid stylists.  We have been in there many times and witnessed other kids put up a knock-down, drag-out fight prior to getting a haircut.  And then, once they are finally transferred to the super cool little cars that serve as styling chairs, they wiggle and flail around like fish out of water.  But, somehow, those ladies seem to be able to keep calm, cool, and collected enough to trim up the little devils in a timely fashion.  I thank my lucky stars that my kids have never put me or any of those stylists through that kind of madness.  Guess you’ve gotta be grateful for the little things in life sometimes.  

     How do your kids react to a visit to the barber shop or salon?  Do you have to bribe them with candy or toys to get business conducted? Is a glass of wine a standard requirement for you afterwards?


Lemolade Stand

jkn0305l     My daughter has been bugging me for weeks to have a lemonade stand, so I finally let her set up shop this past weekend.  I had stopped at the grocery to buy cups and pink lemonade and to get a bunch of ones and quarters while the kids were in camp on Friday morning.  So, when they came home, I announced the big surprise and watched my daughter jump up and down with excitement.  My son, as expected, didn’t really get too hot and bothered, because he only really ever has the Wii on the brain anymore.  I forewarned him that if he didn’t help to sell the lemonade, he wouldn’t be able to actually share in the profits.  It made no matter to him, though.  He was all about getting in his daily allotment of video game time.     

     My daughter immediately got busy making a rather cryptic-looking sign to advertise her product, making the “M” and the “N” in the word “LEMONADE” super tall and super skinny and with the lightest colored crayon she could possibly find.  It would’ve been next to impossible for anyone to actually see what the sign said.  Oh well, I figured people would get the jist of it.  We’ve only ever had one other lemonade stand in the past, and my daughter literally yelled “LEMONADE” at the top of her lungs throughout the duration of the entire thing, only, back then, she couldn’t pronounce the “N” in the word.  So, she was walking up and down the sidewalk yelling, “LEMOLADE” over and over again.    

     We dragged the little card table and chairs up from the basement, attached my daughter’s indecipherable sign, and positioned it on the corner sidewalk in front of our house.  I gave her a shoebox with six dollars in quarters to start with.  She was finally ready to bring in the big bucks. Unfortunately, we picked a rather dead part of the afternoon to have a lemonade stand, and most of our neighbors were either at work, at camp or at the pool.  I must’ve explained this fact to my daughter about two hundred times.  She was beyond bummed that she wasn’t just raking in the dough.  Some of the cars that drove by seemed to be either in a big hurry or just completely in their own little world.  I was beginning to get frustrated with people, because it is just a general rule of thumb that you should ALWAYS make a point of stopping at a lemonade stand.  Didn’t anybody read “Life’s Little Instruction Book”??!!  I will say, though, that the few people who stopped at first, were more than generous, giving her a whole dollar for a twenty-five cent cup of lemonade.  After about an hour or so, some of the neighborhood kids finally started coming around, and we ended up going through four pitchers of lemonade!  I even talked my son into coming out and getting in on the action after a while.

     All in all, they made a total of about $14 dollars.  Two of those dollars were mine, though, since I let them keep some of the change they started with.  I had to remind my son again that he wasn’t going to get to keep as much as my daughter.  She was the one who worked the hardest and, therefore, deserved the most money.  Surprisingly, he easily accepted this, and the two of them happily raced upstairs to stuff their piggy banks.  I would say that the lemonade stand was an overall success.  Seeing how people respond to two cute little kids selling something on the corner makes me wonder if I need to start peddling more often.  Maybe I should park them on a corner every weekend — we do need a new sofa, oven, washer, dryer, etc. Hmmmmm……



     Like many people around the world today, I find myself feeling sad with each and every Michael Jackson song that comes on the radio.  I can’t believe that he’s completely gone at the young age of fifty.  I know he led a weird and questionable lifestyle later in his life, but I choose to remember the MJ that I idolized as a kid.  I completely thought he hung the moon back in the day and listened to his albums over and over in my room.  That famous Thriller poster hung proudly on my door, and I stared at his face (pre-surgery nightmares) every single day.  So many of his songs bring back very specific memories of my childhood, and I am sad that he can no longer showcase his extraordinary talent.  

     I remember in elementary school when MTV was just a luxury that only a select few were even able to get on their old-school t.v.’s.  We had to wait in anticipation for award shows like the Grammy’s on regular tv to catch a glimpse of our idol.  I remember seeing him moonwalk for the first time, and I about peed my pants.  I’d never seen anything like that before in my life!  It was crazy to think someone could move like that.  I stood in front of the mirror for hours trying to replicate his moves.  Everybody wanted to dance like Michael, but very few could.  Everything about him was magical, right down to that white sequined glove.  I even had my friend’s mom make me one of those gloves, so that I, too, could try to moonwalk in style.  

     In sixth grade, a group of girls and I even made up a whole dance to “Off The Wall” for the school talent show, but, sadly, we lost to another group of girls who danced to “Thriller”, complete with zombie costumes and dried ice.  Guess we couldn’t quite compete with all their special effects.  And when it came time for our big sixth grade graduation dance, the school hired a Michael Jackson impersonator to lip synch a medley of songs.  The guy looked and danced just like MJ, and all of us girls went completely wild.  One of my friends and I even chased the poor dude into the boys’ bathroom.  We had Michael mania, and there was just no stoppin’ us!   

     Watching all of his unbelievable videos on t.v. over the past couple of days reminds me of just how incredibly out of this world he really was.  I want my own kids to know his music and to see his performances, because he was such an inspiration for a large percentage of EVERY type of music that’s out today. On the way to drop my kids off at camp this morning, every single song that came on the radio was a Michael Jackson song.  I told my kids I’d teach them how to moonwalk later this afternoon.  RIP, MJ — your music will always be a part of me….



     Last night I went with my husband to a Hornitos tequila-sponsored work event. Just the word tequila should tell you a little something about how I’m feeling today. I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, and there seems to be a little man in my head that wants to keep hammering away as loud as he possibly can. Nevertheless, today was the day that I had scheduled my twins’ six year physicals at the doctor’s office — not exactly the best timing.

     I had forewarned my kids that they would have to get a shot, because the older they get, the more they are freaked out by needles. They were very apprehensive about the whole appointment right up until the time the pediatrician came into the examination room. Then, they suddenly transformed into two little wild animals.  I don’t know if someone slipped them a goofy pill or what, because they were all kinds of hyper-crazy. Now, our pediatrician is pretty funny, but they were laughing hysterically at every single word that came out of his mouth.  You would’ve thought that Chris Rock was in the house.  It was all fun and games until the nurse came in with the dreaded needles.  I then had two little wild animals stuck to me like glue.

     We finally came to an agreement that my daughter would go first. The nurse had to clean her leg two different times because my daughter kept grabbing her leg to keep the nurse from poking her.  I finally just had to hold her hands and legs down, and the nurse successfully administered the shot.  Surprisingly, my daughter only cringed and cried for a second or two, and then she was fine.  My son, however, was NOT having any part of it. He wouldn’t even sit on my lap to have his leg cleaned.  He just kept repeating over and over, “I DON’T WANT TO GET A SHOT!!!!”  I can’t really say I blame him, because who really does want to have a big pointy thing shoved into their muscle?  Still, though, it had to be done, and the nurse was starting to get a little impatient.  We finally got him to sit on my lap, but then he wouldn’t hold still.  He was wobbling, wiggling, and kicking so much that the nurse thought she was going to have to get another nurse to hold him down on the examination table.  As a mother, I most certainly didn’t want to have to go that route, because I knew that would not only terrify him even more, but it would also break my heart to have to watch it. He eventually settled down enough for her to convince him to close his eyes, and she poked him, wham bam, thank you ma’am.  He shed some tears and over-dramatically limped the whole way to the car, but we made it out of there in one piece.  My mental jackhammer, however, had kicked it up to full volume by this point.  

     I popped some more Tylenol and, as promised, took the kids to a little restaurant where your food is delivered to your table by way of an electric train. After some burgers and snow cones, the doctor’s office was but a distant memory.  Just wish I could say the same for my headache and that tequila….

Multiples of Three’s


     You know how they say bad things happen in three’s?  Well, in my house, they tend to happen in MULTIPLES of three’s!  It’s the whole snowball effect — everything breaks at once, goes wrong at once, or just sucks all at once.  

     In the past month, we have had our ice maker, sprinkler system, dryer, and oven all break one right after the other, as well as a rather large tear in the corner of our sofa cushion. And, anyone who has dealt with repair work knows what a huge pain in the ass it is to have to clear your whole day to wait around for these people to show up. And, wouldn’t you know that we just so happened to miss the warranty time period by a few weeks time with each and every one of these issues.  Translation:  we need to grow more money trees in the backyard.

     As if these things were not problematic enough, my husband was in a car accident on his way home from work last night.  He was supposed to be picking up the goods to make a Mexican dinner here, and I needed to add one more thing to the grocery list.  When I called him, he said he’d just been in a wreck and would call me back.  I had no details other than that he wasn’t hurt.  I sat on pins and needles waiting to hear back from him and having to dodge questions from the kids, because naturally, their little sponge-like ears picked up on our conversation.  The first thing my daughter asked was if Daddy was playing on his phone when he crashed his car.  I must say that she’s very intuitive because this is an issue I’ve bitched about to him many times over.  I, myself, have been guilty of texting while driving in the past, but I’ve tried to be better about it lately, especially after seeing some pretty disturbing results of the dangers of doing just this.  I’m constantly harping on my husband to lay off the phone business while in the car.  When he finally called me back, it turned out that he actually WASN’T using his phone, and some woman turned right in front of him at an intersection.  

    And, as usually is the case, the drama of the situation didn’t end there.  My husband told me that I’d have to pick him up at the police station!  He didn’t realize it, but his driver’s license had just expired a couple of weeks ago, and the insurance card in his wallet was also expired by a few days.  I guess it’s standard procedure that they had to take him in the back of the squad car to the station and have him bond out.  (And, by the way, I didn’t even know what that meant until last night.)  I decided to ask the teenage girls across the street to come over and stay with the kids.  I didn’t think dragging them along with me would be such a good thing.  I could just see them going to camp the next day and telling their counselors that they picked their daddy up at the police station last night.

     So, now, in addition to all the other crap for which we’ve had to shell out money lately, I’m sure we’ll have to pay some kind of deductible AND deal with the hassle of rental cars, insurance, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that no one was physically hurt — that is obviously THE most important thing.  But, why is it that it just had to happen on top of all the other freaking catastrophes? Did someone put a curse on our house or something?

     What types of domino effects have happened in your world?  How do you handle a big pile of problems all at once?  Maybe you know something I don’t know….

Me And My Shadow

me and my shadow     My kids had their first day of camp yesterday, and when they came home, they were beyond beat.  I tried to talk them into meeting some friends at the beach for a bit, but they wanted nothing to do with that plan.  So, my son opted for the cool air-conditioned house and the Wii, and my daughter opted for following me around like a lost puppy dog.  I needed to plant flowers in the backyard, so I decided to ask my daughter if she wanted to help me.  Now, it must be noted that my daughter LOVES helping others.  However, her idea of “helping” is a lot different than my idea of helping.  

     It all started out well, with her helping me pull the mangled-looking pansies out of their planters.  She’s very into collecting flower petals that she can press in one of her books in her room, so she was psyched to add some pansy petals to her collection.  She must have about a trillion dried-up petals by now.  It was then time to add some more soil to all the pots, which was right up her alley. The kid loves to dig in dirt.  The problem was that her aim is not quite the best, and rather than adding more soil to the pots, she, instead, added more soil to the ground and everything BUT the planters.  Another mess to clean up — just what I needed.  I had to just grin and bear it, though, because after all, she was just trying to spend time with me and help.

     Next came time to put in the new flowers.  This was all fine and dandy until we came to the last window box on the garage.  It’s located above a bush that seems to be the party spot for all the bees, and my daughter absolutely flipped her lid.  For some reason, she is completely TERRIFIED of bees this year.  Every single thing that buzzes by her head is assumed to be a big, bad bee, causing her to scream bloody murder and cower behind me in fear.  It could be the world’s smallest living gnat, and she will go ballistic, thinking it’s going to sting every square inch of her little body.  The crazy thing is that her brother is the one who’s been stung twice by bees and could care less about bugs whizzing past him.  It’s like my daughter’s decided to be scared for the both of them or something.  

     After calming down Miss Paranoid and cleaning up the dirt garden she created, we finally got all the flowers planted and watered.  And they look pretty darn good, if I don’t say so myself!  I felt guilty for being annoyed with my daughter, because I know she just wants to do whatever she can to hang out with me.  Guess when you’re a parent, you get more than one shadow — in my case, I have three….

Last Day at Grammy’s

     We left the grandparents’ house in such a frenzy over the weekend, that I didn’t even get a chance to blog about the adventures of our last day there.  You may recall that the visit started out on a bit of a sour note, and in true Nucking Futs fashion, our final day of the trip was no less uneventful.  When it rains in my world, it doesn’t just pour — it MONSOONS!!

     My daughter had been having allergy issues throughout the entire visit, and on our last day, she started complaining that her ear was hurting.  She has been prone to ear infections in the past, so I feared that a trip to the doctor’s office may very well be in our future.  We had planned to go to the pool that day, since the temperature was supposed to be near 100!  My kids absolutely LOVE the pool, so when my daughter started complaining and crying about her ear after swimming under water for a couple of hours, I knew that the day was about to take a turn for the worse.  

     My only option at that point was to take her to one of those walk-in clinics, which I despise with every fiber of my being.  They are always crammed full of sick people coughing and breathing their illnesses all over the place.  And when we got there, it was as expected — full of miserable-looking people, all slumped over their chairs in the teensy tiny little waiting room.  I wanted to hold my breath and scrub my hands the minute we walked in the place.  Rather than squeeze into the middle of this petri dish of germs, I decided to take the kids and wait outside in the sweltering heat. After all, we were still in our wet bathing suits from the pool. 

     Despite the heat, the kids were happy to be outside, at least in the beginning. We were told that it would only be about 30-45 minutes, but after an hour and fifteen minutes, the kids were not so chipper anymore. They were forced to use their imagination to play with the only things around — the dirty, nasty landscaping rocks mixed in with a bunch of cigarette butts left behind from some rather lazy smokers. The kids were playing soccer with the rocks and, naturally, got into a fight, that resulted in my daughter falling and scraping up her knee. We had to go back inside the germ box and ask for a bandaid.  After some hysterical tears and boo-boo fixing, we went back outside to wait some more, only to have my son then announce that he had to poop.  So, again, we had to go back inside the virus tank for him to conduct his business.  I was really getting aggravated at this point. It’d been almost an hour and a half!  

     After I’d asked about three thousand times, they FINALLY put us in an examination room only to have to wait some more.  My kids were about to tear down the walls out of sheer boredom.  When the doctor nonchalantly strolled into the room, I had absolutely no nerves left whatsoever.  He examined my daughter and immediately began filling out prescription forms — four to be exact!  I asked if she did, in fact, have an ear infection, and he said that it wasn’t really a full-fledged ear infection, but that he thought it most likely could turn into one.  I knew I didn’t have much brain power left, but even still, I couldn’t help but wonder why on earth my daughter needed FOUR prescriptions for an ear infection that she didn’t even have yet!!  I immediately called her regular pediatrician’s office after we finally got out of that hellhole to ask if all these medications were really necessary. They said that the guy was basically just trying to cover his ass. They said not to give her all of them and just see how she felt. Her six year check-up is this week anyway, so if it actually does turn into an ear infection, her doctor (who actually knows what the hell he’s doing) will be able to identify it properly.

     After leaving the two and a half hour adventure at the walk-in clinic, we then had to go and retrieve my bank card that an ATM machine had decided to eat the day before.  (Like I said, no dull moments in my world!) The bank was jam-packed with people, and my kids were absolutely looped by this time after being cooped up for so long.  I knew that none of us were going to have the patience to wait for anything, so I asked the first person I saw in the bank if she could go to the back and get my card. While I stood there waiting and my kids ran around like crazy, my daughter decided it’d be hilarious to lift up my cover-up and show the entire bank my black bikini.  The man a few feet from me whistled through his missing tooth and said, “Damn, mama!”  I wanted to die.  

     Luckily, that night, my parents had planned to take us out for dinner to a Mexican restaurant near their house.  All of the day’s problems slowly drifted away with each sip of my margarita on the rocks.  And so concluded our trip to the grandparents’ house.  Guess we rolled into town with a bang and rolled out with an even bigger explosion….