Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quick Click

I have found myself missing my former life as a journalist. But, thanks to the internet, I have found my outlet. Of course my deep, insightful piece of published journalism is about... rolls. But it's something right? And if you go look at it, my little counter goes up and that is just an awesome thing to behold.

Anyway, click here for all of the breaded wisdom I have to offer. Enjoy!

They published my other one too!

Silly but fun, and fiction in case you missed that.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Five... No Make That Seven Hair Cuts Later

Scarlet was not blessed/cursed with the copious amounts of hair her mom came into the world with. It has been a slow process for her whole head of hair to finally make an appearance and then grow. While in the waiting process, I never really felt the need to cut the little hair she had. Which is why Scarlet is just now getting her first full hair cut.

And, let me tell you, it was definitely time.

One week, bald. The next week, hair to her shoulder blades. Ponytails only last until nap time and we all know how fun combing out a ratty mess of long kid hair can be. Scarlet and I were both ready for her summer 'do.

I made an appointment with a lady in the ward who has a little salon down the street. I was actually pretty excited about the occasion, such a fun moment for mother and daughter. That was until dad ruined everything.

My husband has many strong opinions about pretty much everything. Even after five years of knowing that, he still catches me completely off guard all the time with opinions on issues I really didn't think any man gave even a passing thought.

"Three year old don't need to go to a salon. That is something you only get to do when you're like a teenager." He announced three days before the upcoming haircut.

They don't? Well then who cuts their hair?

"I do," he informed me. "I know how to cut hair."


Haircut #1 - So, the next day, Jon pulled out the large, orange handled office scissors and asked me to wet down Scarlet's hair.
The garbage bag was her idea. She really didn't like the idea of any hair touching her.

Now, Jon blames it on the timing. He only had about 20 minutes to complete his creation before he had to jet off to mutual. But, honestly, it was never at any point headed in a good direction.

I asked for a nice, simple bob. He decided to start the front layer at the length of her bangs. So already my chin length style started at about mouth level. He then proceeded at a down angle from there. When he finally ran out the door, we had two straight lines from mouth to ear and then a lovely U shape in the back.

Really, just awesome.

Haircut #2 - I took over with my non existent hair cutting skills and tried to salvage as best as possible. It was not very good. But, it was pretty straight, did not resemble a mullet in any shape or form, and would hopefully grow out quickly.

At least it was done... or so I naively assumed.

Haircut #3 - Ignoring all warnings, threats, and common sense, Scarlet decided to take a whack at the whole hair cutting frenzy.

You can imagine I wasn't the happiest mother on the planet. But, she did manage to keep the damage to the less conspicuous back of her head. And really, it was my fault. I'm sure she couldn't help but think, if dad can be allowed to take a whack at my hair, it must be open season to anyone with a pair of scissors!

Haircut #4 - I never had gotten around to cancelling that salon appointment so Scarlet and I headed in that afternoon to survey the damage. A quick moment of gratitude to all trained hair cutting professionals. Please, keep us forever from attempting our own hair cuts and continue to save us from total humiliation when we do.
She really did like the hair. I had just informed her it was nap time after we took pictures. Turns out it is impossible to smile when sleep is coming shortly.

Haircut #5 - Rhode also got a new summer hairdo. Jon handled this one as well. One haircut, ten minutes, no problem. Boys really are easier.

I meant to take a better picture than this. He had just taken a major dirt face plant off the slide. It was too funny not to document. So, if you can manage to look past the dirt and snot face, you can admire his little boy buzz.

I really thought this would be the end of the blog entry. I HOPED this would be the end of the blog entry. Sadly, we still have two haircuts to go.

Haircut #6 - Scarlet is going through a boundary testing phase at the moment. While under the ruse of going to play outside, she slyly stashed a pair of scissors out with her. My friend Cynthia walked out to check on her own daughter to catch Scarlet holding something behind her hands and sporting a very guilty face.

Then she saw the hair.

I came downstairs hearing, "Kacey, you might want to get down here. Scarlet has something to show you and you won't be happy about it."

Haircut #7 - I trimmed up the thrashed clumps of hair poking down from the front of her hair and we ended up with this.
While curling her hair for church I realized just how many lengths of hair she actually has going on right now. It's going to be a long time before Scarlet gets the long hair she was hoping to achieve with her last cut.

She is now fully aware that any further haircuts will lead mom to allow dad to cut her hair again... Rhode style.

On the bright side, it will probably be ANOTHER three years before it grows out long enough to have to cut it again.

Hmm, three years is suddenly not sounding long enough.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

California, Here We Come

Mom: Scarlet, come on back in the house so we can go potty.

Scarlet: No mom, I don't have to go potty.

Mom: Come on! It's roadtrip time! You have to go potty before a roadtrip. It's the rules!

Scarlet: No mom, this is MY trip! It is my trip, right mom? Or is this brother's trip?

Get it? Rhode trip?

We took off for a few days in California right after the birthday weekend. Jon and I donated our day of service and scored two free passes to Disneyland. We had a very interesting service opportunity, it was a bit more publicity stunt than actually, you know, helping people. But three hours for two Disney tickets and two ugly but free t-shirts, who's complaining?!

Since Scarlet didn't officially turn three until Wednesday, we took advantage of her still-two-year-old status and planned to hit the park on Tuesday, when our whole family could get in free. So, on Monday, we spent some time with Jon's sister Krista and hit the beach.

But first, we met this lovely creature.

My kids are way tougher than I give them credit.

We had a beautiful walk down the beach. My kids were in heaven.
Rhode was torn between his need to show me the water and the birds. "Wa wa!" "Bud!" "Wa wa!" "Bud!" The excitement threatened to overwhelmed him.
After a good night's sleep we headed to the park to start our fun packed day. Did anyone else know the park opens early for the people staying at their hotels and not for the rest of us poor saps? You did? Well, you could have told us. Our Disneyland day started with a lovely 45 minute wait outside the front gates. There is nothing our two children love more than waiting.

I couldn't help but imagine our wait outside the front gate was a sign of bad things to come. We were soon going to be asking our children to wait in line after line for some promised form of entertainment.

To all you people who stayed home from Disneyland that day, keeping the lines anywhere from manageable to non-existent, I owe you. Big time.

We started the day on the carousel. It became the most requested ride of the day. Nothing better than coming all the way to Disneyland to have your kids begging for the ride you can go to at home just down the street.
After the carousel, we made the HUGE mistake of going on Mr. Toads Wild Ride. I knew it was a bad idea, but I couldn't remember why. It occurred to me about halfway through when we crashed into a train, died, and traveled to the hot and devil-filled place that maybe this wasn't the best ride for small children.

Scarlet held a brave face for the ride but afterwards was wary about all "cave" rides. Rhode was stuck under the safety bar on Jon's lap so he got a front row seat to all of the terror. He didn't take it well.

But a trip on Dumbo and teacups lightened the mood considerably.

Scarlet talked nonstop about meeting her favorite Disney characters, until she actually got the opportunity. I was so excited that Mickey, Goofy, and Pluto were at the entrance as we walked in.

No, there will not be any adorable child with character pictures to follow. She assigned herself a personal restraining order and could not venture within 20 feet of any character. No amount of persuasion made any difference. Even later, as we walked past the unmasked Alice in Wonderland, Scarlet still maintained a strict distance.

I didn't realize the severity of the situation until we attempted a trip to Toon Town. Mickey's house was line free so we assumed he wasn't home. We had a nice little tour of the facility but Scarlet was still a little hesitant about the whole thing. Even when we reached Mickey's movie studio, there was no one so we walked through the last set of doors without worry. Scarlet's worst nightmare come true in the form of suspenders and large black ears.

One sight of the large mouse sent her into a hysterical crying fit right back out the door we had just entered. Jon spent the next several minutes persuading her to walk by Mickey so we could actually leave. She finally resorted to being carried out with her eyes closed. Thank goodness I didn't waste money on a signature book.

Even knowing all we knew, we still attempted a trip to Fairy Hollow. Scarlet loves tinkerbell. I was really hoping that if any character could convince Scarlet they weren't there solely for the purpose of torturing her, it would be tinkerbell.

This was one of the only lines we waited in all day. When we arrived at the first fairy, Scarlet was interested and, for about a second, was willing to stand somewhat close to the orange fairy.

She didn't last long enough to get a clear picture, but a picture nonetheless.

Then, we got to tinkerbell and the boy fairy from the movie, the one that looks like Zelda. Once she came in view, Scarlet timidly watched her from behind a giant mushroom. I was gearing up for one great moment as Scarlet met her favorite make believe person.

Hopes were up, then they were thrown on the floor and stomped on a little. At Scarlet's turn, tinkerbell made eye contact and Scarlet threw herself to the floor and began to crawl toward the exit in a state of panic. Yeah, that is not embarrassing at all by the way. It took us a few too many times, but we did learn our lesson and steered clear of all magical beings come to life.

With only one stop to nap at the hotel, we had a full day of Disney and I am pretty sure we hit everything we could ever want to see. Doing Disneyland with kids is a whole different experience. For example, after all my years of Disney going, I had never rode the train around the park. Did you know you go to the Grand Canyon and travel back in time to the dinosaurs during your short trip? I sure didn't.

Scarlet, who skipped her earlier naptime, crashed in the stroller on the way to dinner. But Rhode the trooper made it all the way through our late night dinner. We met up with some California friends, the Mercuros and their daughter Zoe.

Rhode pulled out some of that boyish Nielsen charm during dinner and, before we knew it...

He can't help being so good lookin'.

So, now we can officially check Disneyland off the 'list of things you should do for/with your kids." So what if there is no chance of them remembering anything about this trip 5 years down the road? It has been captured and blogged, therefore it counts. So, enjoy the memories while they last kids!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

No Longer a Baby, now a Child

Turning three was a big milestone at our house for our Scarlet K Nielsen. She left the things of her baby days behind and became an official kid.

We honored this special coming of age the Saturday before March 3rd with a few special peers.

Jane W., Bennett S., Scarlet, Zion M., and Blaze S.

The rite of passage included the traditional gift giving.

She received virtual preschool, transforming mind-rotting computer playtime into very useful learning time. Increases intelligence in children and decreases guilt in lazy moms. It's a winner on all sides.

Yes, the gift was from me.
The child also can now recognize her true role as princess/beauty queen.
Gifts of lip gloss, princess wear (pictured above) and makeup set were perfect for increasing the ever growing vanity of the coming of age child.

Now that she is no longer a baby, she can appreciate and even show gratitude for all she receives.

And with new baby dolls and her very own momma sling to cart them around, she truly has embraced her new phase of life.

The celebration include a traditional handmade, slaved-over feast of chicken mcnuggets, french fries, and cupcakes for dessert.

The food offering was acceptable to all participants of the festivities, especially the birthday girl.

And then, the true coming of age moment.

To really let go of her former self, Scarlet had to sacrifice the remaining symbol of her babyhood, the pacifier.

To help her along her journey, we enlisted the help of the beloved paci fairy.

Now, you may not have heard of the paci fairy. it may be because you are not a true believer in the world of fairies.

It also may be because I made her up the day before the party. One can never know.

The paci fairy serves a very special purpose.
1) she collects pacifiers from all big kids
2) she gives collected pacifiers to babies soon to be born
3) as a token for the big kid generosity, she leaves a gift

Scarlet was prepared for the fairy's coming and promptly collected her pacifier when the time had come. Then, as witnessed by family and friends, we tied her pacifier to three colored balloons. When mom saw the paci fairy fly by, we released the pacifier up to her awaiting arms.

The balloons traveled up and up, but suddenly, they changed course. Instead of floating away into the air, they were mystically shifting directions and heading for the front yard.

The birthday girl and friends followed in hot pursuit.

Upon reaching the front yard, the pacifier was gone. The fairy had done her work and rewarded Scarlet with a very special gift.
Don't look too closely or you just might see the paci fairy checking in on the festivities.

The nights to follow were difficult for the new big girl. There were tears, abandoned beds, and subsequent punishments. Once, in a moment of weakness, Scarlet confessed to her mother, "I am just sad because a new baby has my paci and I'm a big girl but I want it back!"

But the mourning was brief and now she relishes in her new phase of childhood. Her parents were so impressed with her maturity, they took her to the most magical/overpriced place on earth. Story to follow soon...