How do you get a pre-school girl to sit still?

I found a nail salon does the trick.

I realize it’s a risky endeavor and it could have gone a completely different way. I was a brave future step mom to take that chance. This is where I use the tired old excuse; I only had one child to raise and with two in the mix – it’s difficult different.

For one, I was the youngest of four in my family and got excluded a lot. You are too little to go. This is for the big kids. Senior priority!

So, no, it’s not fun to be left behind and that is how it came to be that I took a pre-schooler to the nail salon.

Come to find out, giving your feet a bath is a lot of fun. I became a bit concerned when they did the six-year old’s feet first. In fact, I was almost finished with my feet and hands when a nice lady (finally) came to see Bridget. She sat bathing her little tootsies all that time. Was she completely still? No. But she hadn’t gotten up. She didn’t need to go potty or get a drink. In fact, she only asked once when it would be her turn. A minute later, there was a smiling face, completely charmed by her pudgy little toes and fingers.

Oh the girls were given top-notch pampering. Foot soak. Heel scrub. Lotion massage and lots of smiles.

“Do you want a flower?”

“Yeth.” Bridget nods watching every move she makes (and scarily) not twitching all over the place. I was turned from my chair towards her. She would glance at me and just beam her million-watt smile.

I was amazed and very proud of them both.

Truthfully, my first nail salon mani/pedi was about two years ago at 37 years of age. What an experience. I’ve been hooked ever since.

When all was said and done, the drying was the hardest part. It’s easy to be still watching water change colors in a foot spa, but to be still with hands flat under a blue (black?) light….well, that’s something else. But we did it. And yes, there are a few smudges. It’s not perfect and that is why salons charge waaaaay less for the little people.

We celebrated our salon success with ice cream. I lived to tell the tale. We are not even banned from the place. It killed an hour or so and was a GREAT afternoon.

Princess preparation part one – complete.


Bridget’s toes.


Bridget’s toes and hands.

And maybe just a little advice if you take a six-year old at the same time; a young pro on her second visit who can pick their colors and talk to the nail technician themselves. They might just pick tiger toes. Oh yaaaahh…

Happy Monday! Rawrrr!

Feel Good Friday

I saw this meme a few weeks ago over at Erika’s place and I just fell in love with it. Happy I can do, and I promised, I would take part one day soon.

Now…… *drumroll please*……..it’s time.

I’m a little torn between writing about what really, really makes me happy or the five things that make me happiest this week. Well, since I can throw the really, really happy thing into my five things – I am going with that, and yes, I am ONLY listing FIVE things. HA.

  • The freeway. I know. What the heck? Well, for the last two years I have driven a beautiful three lane street with lots of traffic lights. It was like driving Miss Daisy suburban style. Zoom. Zoom. Stop. Zoom. Zoom. Road rage on your bumper. Stop. In two years, I hit all green lights (6 miles) once. That was pretty cool, but now I drive the freeway to work. It’s all go, all the time (on accident-free days). I go against the traffic and it’s not very often an accident clogs up the road. I LOVE IT. I just get to drive and it helps me think and prepare for my day. Then, at the end of the day, it helps me to wind down. Something about not stopping and starting and just letting the freeway roll away all the stresses. It is my meditation.
  • I cleaned Jason’s house. Not just dust, but I mean I cleaned out drawers and stuff. Feeling at home much? Do you know what was so wonderful about cleaning and making space? I was nesting. I was finally preparing my home. That meant a lot to me, to reach that place of peace and love, where I know I belong. Finally!
  • TV this week. I rarely watch “live” TV. But I found myself folding laundry at my new soon-to-be home watching America’s Got Talent and Last Comic Standing on Tuesday night. I had NO idea I could laugh that loud. Thank goodness Jason was in class and Sydney was in Mississippi, or they would have thought me MAD. HA HA HA HA HA! (oops, that was kinda loud)
  • Cooking chicken in the rice steamer. Oh joy! It’s truly the little things with me. I SWEAR, I am terrible at cooking. I’m a-skeerd. Especially, of cooking chicken, and not getting it cooked all the way, and then getting sick. PLUS, I had never used the rice cooker before. Had no idea how to use it. Gee, I know it’s not rocket science. Cooking is just not my thing. But I did it. I googled a recipe and made nice garlic seasoned chicken breasts steamed in some water and olive oil. It was incredibly delicious and you know what? I’m proud of myself. Yay.
  • My last FAVORITE happy moment of the week and includes my happiest moment/place of all time. THE BEACH. Any beach will do and we just happened by Galveston on Sunday. Now, Galveston is not my favorite, but it will do in a pinch. I could sit and watch the ocean, hear the waves, feel the sun on my skin, with toes dug in the sand EVERY day. In my former life, I was a mermaid. I just know it. It’s home. It fills me up. This visit was more special than just a regular trip, since it was the little girls first time to wade into the ocean and revel in all it’s beauty play in the surf. I think it’s safe to say, they might have been mermaids too.

Please enjoy my happy day with my mom, Jason, and the girls, as we re-visit our Sunday – on the beach.

Yo, Where my apps at?

Where my apps at? Yo.

Where my apps at? Where my apps at? Where they at?

I got pride in i cause my apps are pretty fly.

But where they at? Where they at? Yo.

Ahem, excuse me, I’m channeling some Swagger Wagon and if you haven’t seen this yet? You gotta. It is too cute.

Now, see my issue is real. My iPhone is in requisition to an almost four and six-year-old. They have ways that you don’t realize. One second you’re holding your iPhone; Tweeting, and Facebooking. The next thing you know, with a nod and a wink, it spins away slipping right into their greedy outstretched hands. As if they used their MIND. Suddenly little grubby fingers are tapping away like iPhone pros. Tap, tap, tap, circle, finger point thumb. Huh?

I remember the first time I handled my iPhone. I tapped and nothing happened. Tapped harder, nothing. Tilted the pad of my finger to use the other side, nothing. Different finger, nope. Then I wiped the screen on my pants leg, tapped repeatedly and STILL nothing. TAP! Let’s not even talk about the scrolling, and enlarging. I’m not ashamed to admit, it took me a few weeks.

But these children, they just pick it up swiftly pecking away; no stops, no jerks – next thing I know – the younger one is watching Barney on Youtube (by the way this is GREAT at a restaurant before the food comes out). She also likes to press the Twitter app, for some reason the bird chirping gives her giggle fits. Tweet, tweet, tweet. Ha ha ha. Endless entertainment, I swear.

The older one started out playing Preschool word games; ABC phonics, Kindergarten words, Preschool Tap, and of course Tinker Bell’s Fairies Fly. Sweet right? I felt so proud giving up my precious iPhone for the education of a precocious child. You know what app she ended up on when I happened to glance over at her progress level? Slots. Yeah. Are we in trouble or what?

I thought FINE. If she is going to invade my app domain. I’ll show her. I started downloading some harder games. Simon says, Differences, and Wordsearch. The six-year-old found four matches on Differences in less time than I had found ONE. And Wordsearch? No problem. For one, she can read – really well. AND two, she discovered the clue button. Probably because she can read. She clues on the puzzle right away and gets the word highlighted in pink. Yeah, I no longer have high score on that one.

They play Checkers, Tic Tac Toe, Tap Tap Revenge, and Burpz (oh, that one gives us fits, sorry mom). But listen, I have more than just app issues. I have shame. My iPhone commandeered by a preschooler and a kindergartner. I think iPhone should make a CHILD device. Not iPad, not iTouch, more like iCan, because more than likely they can, and better than me. Or how about iGenius? iLittle? iAmtoocutetosaynotoo? iGiveup? idigress…

Surely there is some app that is solely mine. Own and mastered by just me. Uno? Nope, she wins that. Deal or No Deal? She loves to pick cases! But wait, I don’t think she ever got the million and you know what? I did. I totally did. Ohhhh yeeeeaahh..

Take that little iPhone geniuses!

So there ya have it, an app that is still mine. Well, that and WordPress, just wait til’ she hijacks that one and starts her own blog, Tales from the Swing Set, The real life confessions of a Kindergartner, or Musings of a Day Care Drop Out. I can already see her hits exceeding mine……

Look out world, it’s a whole new generation. Just give me my apps back.

Where they at?

iphone-3gs-hands-on

Festive Ride aboard the Jeep Express

Have no doubt, I will miss my Dad greatly. But I am not one to curl up in a ball until the hurt goes away. One thing my Dad’s life taught me is that, whatever storm you face, you have to keep going. He wouldn’t want me to stop living. He wouldn’t want me to stop laughing. He certainly wouldn’t want me to stop loving.

That said, will you join me? Would you climb aboard the Jeep Express? I promise you won’t regret it. It is a new tradition born out of an idea from Shell in your Pocket’s mini van express ride. I read her entry several months before Christmas and fell in love with it. I’m giving her all the credit because I couldn’t possibly think of something so creative.

I must saying starting a tradition requires a lot more effort than following one. First, you have to set the scene, have the props, then follow through with it all. Not easy to do with a three and five year old, who doesn’t quite get it, although I think next year they will catch on much quicker. This year, it took them a bit to warm up.

I set the scene by telling Molly the story of the Jeep Express. I said, “Sometimes during Christmas when the kids get their jammies on, and head to bed, they discover under their pillow a ticket to ride the Jeep Express. The Jeep Express has popcorn, candy, and drinks. It goes to see the Christmas lights.”

Molly decided she didn’t want to do that. She thought the Jeep Express would take her someplace scary. I had to convince her that Daddy drives the Jeep Express and he wouldn’t take her someplace scary, right? Then, she said didn’t want to go look at Christmas lights this year. WHAT???

Don’t worry I didn’t panic, I just went to look under Daddy’s pillow for a magical ticket. Lo and behold there WAS a ticket! It read Praire Lights one admission tonight only on the Jeep Express! (not that they can read….)

Now that pretty much did it, we began the great hunt for Jeep Express tickets. We found tickets under both of their pillows. We began jumping around the room, holding our tickets above our heads, dancing, and waving them around. YEAH! Tonight we ride the JEEP EXPRESS!! TOOT! TOOT! (good thing Dad drives a Jeep, wink)

The conductor (Daddy) took the tickets at the door. Inside the express they went, with their goody bags of candy, Christmas necklaces that blink, and warm fuzzy blankets.


The Jeep Express had to make one stop on the way. It was to pick up Sydney and Kyle, question was, did they have a ticket to ride?

Why yes! Yes, they did! Upside down and all. Off we go on the Jeep Express, which is not to someplace scary, but a place of festive wonder. A display of FOUR million lights, along two miles next to the lake. A place to transform Daddy’s Jeep into a junk food smorgasbord. You can eat, drink, and be merry. It was incredible. We had popcorn, candy, and soda. There were many exclamations, “Look at that!” “Wow!” It seemed like the more you looked, the more you saw something else in all the glow.

I think this new tradition will stick. As much as I miss my Dad, I can’t miss these opportunities to begin anew. Dad never remarried, maybe he was scared to, or maybe he never had the chance. I know had it happened, he would have been greatly rewarded. So Dad, this ones for you. Enjoy the ride.

The finale, which was who knows how many LED lights in a tunnel. Unbelievably, spectacular!

May your traditions burn as bright as you are this Christmas, and always. Thanks for riding the Jeep Express.