June 30, 2009

Sometimes We Run Fast

This past weekend, Henry and I entered ourselves in a local 5-K race. At age four and a half, Henry didn’t fully grasp the concept of exactly what a 5-K entailed. I was clued in on this fact when Henry repeatedly chanted in my face, “I’m gonna beat you when I go faster! I’m gonna beat everyone in the face!”

Whoa, wait a minute. Did my son just say he was going to beat everyone in the face? Indeed he did.

You can imagine the nerves I had leading up to the race. My son had a plan and it involved one of two things; 1) He would run really, really fast, or 2) He would run really, really fast and quite possibly give an innocent by-stander a black eye for no reason.

Here’s my little athlete on race morning.

Notice the sleek styling of his running outfit. He insisted that he wear his Superman shirt because it would make him "go real fast". In hindsight, having him dressed in such vibrant colors was a good idea, because once the race started, my little boy just took off, full-bore leaving me behind. I used his brightly colored clothes and his white tuft of hair bouncing up and down to keep track of him.

Just after we arrived at the athlete’s starting area, Henry noticed the organizers had booths of fruit, bagels and donuts set up for the racers. Instead of opting for a healthy choice, my little man double-fisted a pair of glazed donuts.

As Henry stood around with white pastry glaze stuck to a large portion of his face, he noticed some nearby racers stretching their legs out to prepare for the race. Not wanting to appear like a rookie, Henners quickly followed suit. Here, Henry does his interpretation of "Crane with Donut".

I'm not sure what this move is.

I'm REALLY not sure what this move is.

After Henry was all limbered up, he and I spent the next little bit trying to look menacing in the hopes that we would intimidate the competition with our pre-race posing.

Unfortunately for us, no one really took notice. Henry and I spent so much time trying to psyche out the competition that we never heard the starting pistol sound and didn't begin running until a good two or three minutes after the actual race had started.

The rest of the race was fairly uneventful. Unless you count the times Henners stopped mid-stride, turned around and shouted, “Hurry Mommy! You’re being too slow!” or the time he ran along side the police escort car that was flanking the racers and warned the officer, “Don't you arrest us!”

All in all, my little man did a super job in his first race. Not only did Henry run almost 2 miles on his own, he never once beat anyone in the face. My cute parents even drove all the way down and joined Jeremy and Reese to sit on the side of the road as spectators and cheer him on as he raced by. Of course, once he saw them sitting there shouting and clapping for him, he mistook them for the finish line and ran up to them and announced, “I WIN!”

Jeremy and I believe that all Henry needs now is a little guidance, more practice and a trainer/agent who is willing to take the fall in the event an unfortunate blood doping scandal surfaces.

June 25, 2009

It's Your Birthday

Dear Lover,

Today is your birthday. You’re thirty-four years old and I’m happy to say that I’ve loved you for eleven of those years. The time before that? Meh, you were sort of on your own. I get a kick when you tell me that I’m the best thing to happen to you in the past ten years because before that time you continually remind me that “a lot of cool stuff happened” to you.

Really, Jeremy? I seriously doubt it.

Did anyone shave your head hours before a major family function? Did anyone lock your keys in the truck with the engine running? Twice? And with whom did you secretly watch The Hills?

Jeremy, thanks for being such a wonderful, compassionate, hilarious and wicked hawt companion. If it weren’t for you I would have never heard the phrase, “You must have misunderheard me.” Also? I would never know where my phone charger was hising or exactly where the Yankees sit in the MLB standings. Obviously I can’t live without you.

Honey, I’m sad that we can’t be together today to celebrate your birthday. Apparently your client meeting in Colorado scheduled months ago for this very day takes precedence over the subway sandwich I offered to buy you for your birthday lunch. Maybe it’s better this way. Since we work in the same office, during work hours it’s important that we maintain a professional rapport with each other and keep the physical contact down to the occasional elbow bump as we pass each other in the hall. As an aside, I sincerely apologize for the time I accidentally called you “Lover” when I paged you for a marketing meeting. My bad on that one.

But when you come home tonight you’ll see the cake the kids and I made especially for your birthday. Of course Henners and Reese couldn’t agree on a unified design for your cake so it will be sort of a “Dora the Explorer meets Spiderman” theme. Just what you wanted, I know. Sadly, you will have missed out on the inevitable frosting fight and a spirited battle for dominance of the electric beaters. (Spoiler Alert: Reese will undoubtedly win.)

In love with you always,


P.S.: I would have called you today to wish you a Happy Birthday but my phone is dead and I can’t find the charger.

June 19, 2009

Young Love...No, Really, Really Young Love.

Henry has a girlfriend. It’s true. At the tender, young age of four, he claims he’s found the girl he wants to marry. Jeremy and I have laughed this off for a few months now telling him that he’s nowhere near ready to get married. “Give it until you’re eight,” I tell him. “If you’re still in love with this girl, then I’ll start looking at dates and venues for your wedding.”

The girl who has stolen his heart goes by the name Keely. She’s four. She likes playing dolls, the color pink, sunsets and long walks near the playground. Her turn-offs include spiders, boys who are pushy in the lunch line and vegetables. Apparently, this Keely is sweet on Henry too. Jeremy and I have talked with the preschool teacher to make sure their relationship is cruising at a G-level rating only. We can’t have anything moving too quickly. Everyone knows you wait until Kindergarten to really settle down, don't they?

Thankfully, according to their teacher, Henry and Keely occasionally eat lunch together and hug each other hello and goodbye. At four, I guess that’s the extent of a torrid love affair.

Today, I was at the pre-school picking up the kiddos. Have I ever told you how much I love picking the kids up at their school? All the children instantly recognize me when I enter the building and shout at the top of their lungs, “It’s Henry’s mom! It’s Reesie’s mom!” They all come a runnin’, circle around me and yell whatever is on their little minds at that moment.

“Henry didn’t share with me!” a blonde girl shouts. “Today we ate watermelon!” a boy named Josh announces. One time, I swear I heard Cade, one of the smaller boys in class shout, “Those shoes really clash with your handbag, lady!”

Tsk, tsk. What does a four-year old know about fashion?

Today I was standing outside Henry’s classroom door. Not wanting to draw any attention my way I hugged the doorframe and signaled to Henry that it was time for him to go. Normally, I walk right in the class but my pants weren’t fully pressed and I’m sure Cade couldn’t resist pointing out my pants faux pas.

As I waited for Henry to grab his backpack I noticed a woman inside the classroom standing next to Keely and thought to myself that this must be her mother. The pair eventually made their way out into the hall I introduced myself as the woman who fights with Henry every morning to make sure he brushes his teeth and wears clean underwear. Debbie, as her name turned out to be, let out a loud gasp and her eyes widened to the size of saucers. “It’s about TIME we meet, don’t you think?” as she hugged me tight. “I think our children love each other!”

Debbie and I then held a twenty-minute conversation, sharing what little details we knew about the kids’ ongoing “relationship”. I knew immediately Debbie was my kind of gal. She could she talk and talk and talk (like I do) and she was genuine and warm and thrilled that our children were close friends.

I allowed myself a silent sigh of relief when it was confirmed that Keely is equally as smitten with Henry as he is with her. I just couldn’t bear to nurse the broken heart of my little boy if Keely decided not to be his friend. Honestly, I have my own issues to deal with at the moment. Monday it’s my turn to be “Class Mom” at school and I'm completely stressed out. It's imperative that I sport a snappy outfit that ABSOLUTELY KILLS in order to keep Chase, the tiny fashion Nazi, where he belongs - quiet and stuffed in the back of the classroom so he doesn't just how long overdue for a pedicure I am.

June 17, 2009

I'm Blogging About a Lunch I Was Invited to Because I Have a Blog

So remember a few months back when I had my first face-to-face meet up with a blogger? Remember how I kicked my shoe off in her face and made her look at a dead cockroach? Well, this past weekend I had my second blogger meet up and I have to say, it went about the same.

The lovely Kristina from Pulsipher Predilections (she’s a big deal, yo) hosted her third lunch for local Utah bloggers to meet, eat and cackle out loud about how hairy David Hasselhoff is. Okay, that last bit about cackling about the Hoff’s hairiness might have only been me.

Anyway, like any other blogger out there who is getting ready for a meet up with another blogger, I was super nervous. Would they like me? Would I make an ass out of myself? Would my hair sit right? I was hoping all signs would point to YES.

I believe there were close to 30 lovely blogging ladies lunching Saturday and everyone was wonderful and so much fun to talk to. When I reached the banquet room at the top of the stairs, I made an immediate bee-line for one of my favorite people, Green Jello from May You Lead An Interesting Life. She claims she saw me first because my poofy hair preceded me by about four seconds. Four seconds, Green Jello? Really? All the rain must have matted my hair down a little. Typically, with weather permitting, my mane has a six second lead on me everywhere I go.

Here’s a picture of Green Jello and me with wide smiles and full bellies.

Here’s Green Jello with admitted lurker and stalker of Green Jello, Val of the South. She blogs over at Livin' la Vida Utah!. She’s awesome. She made me laugh. Then I challenged her to a drag race on I-15. Wisely, Val declined. She claimed she had errands to run. I claim she was chicken.

Here’s Kristina shouting at me that she’ll cut me if I post this picture of her online. Oh Kristina, you are so funny. When you weren't looking I rummaged through your purse and aside from a pair of tweezers and a Kenny Loggins Greatest Hits CD, you're totally harmless.

Here’s a blurry picture of Green Jello, me and the hilarious S of Lady of Perpetual Chaos. (I swiped this image from Kristina's site.)

I’m so glad I was seated near S as I’m pretty sure she could be a stand up comedian if she wanted to. You know how people tell you stories about their children and sometimes you’re all um, yeah….uh huh….okay, are you done now? Well not with S. She had the wittiest way about her and I left wanting to hear more of her tales but I was fearful she would get nervous, call the authorities and have a protective order issued against me if I kept up with all the questions. And folks, I just can’t have another one of those blemishes on my record.

Here’s all the ladies that attended the lunch on Saturday. Kristina and Green Jello both claimed to be giants and quite tall, but, um hello! look where the line peaks at its tallest. It begins and ends with my hair. And if you were paying attention from earlier in this post, you would recall that my hair was matted down from the rain.

One of the more unlikely highlights of the lunch was when two women approached me when they heard that I was a friend of a “famous blogger”. They were giddy like schoolgirls as they probed me with questions about their cyber crush, Captain Dumbass over at Us and Them.

Girls: Are you really friends with him?
Me: If the money’s right.
Girls: Is he really that funny in real life?
Me: No. Not even close.
Girls: (blank and horrified stares)
Me: You know? I don’t even think those are his kids in the photos that he posts. And the bald guy? I hear he’s just one of those stock photography models. No one really knows who the Captain is or what he looks like.

I spent the rest of the lunch dropping his name randomly into conversations in the hopes that my one-degree of separation from greatness would earn me a free pasta lunch, but all the Captain’s name brought me was a second refill on my lemonade.

As a side note: I contacted the Captain yesterday (can you hear the squeals all the way from Utah?) to tell him just how far reaching his fame had become. During the conversation I inadvertently offended him by referring to him as a slightly older, okay really older, version of a Jonas brother, but with way less hair.

The Captain seriously has no idea how big the Jonai or his bald head are in our fair state.

June 15, 2009

I Believe That Children Are Our Future...When it Comes to Deceit

We’ve tried hard to not spoil our children. Strike that. Jeremy has tried hard to not spoil our children. I’ve focused my efforts on teaching them that “What happens at Target, stays at Target…or at the very least in our car trunk until mommy can find an opportunity to sneak your new shoes and your new toy into the house without daddy finding out.”

My children still have yet to learn the fine art of hiding purchases from my husband. Reese, our almost 2-year old, I totally understand. She’s too young to grasp the concept and she gets so worked up when she has her little hands on anything shiny or pink or anything that vaguely resemble shoes. (Ladies, can I get a witness? Also, Captain Dumbass, can I get a witness? I bet he looooves shoes too.)

But Henners? What’s up dude? You’re 4 and a half years old. You should really know better by now. Oh don’t get me wrong, buddy, I know you get that you're part of a covert operation and that it’s super-dee-duper top secret and all that stuff, but WHY can you just keep it to yourself?

Just last week I rewarded Henners' good behavior at the grocery store with a cheap matchbox car. My son COULD NOT wait to get himself home and send his father cryptic messages for forty minutes straight about “something small and green that has wheels and goes vroom-vroom! and it's behind my back and mommy doesn’t want you to see it because it's a secret from you.”

So busted.

Now, I’m sure many of you out there are thinking I’m a horrible person for teaching my children to hide purchases from their father. But to those of you that think this way, answer me this: How will these kids ever learn the importance of befriending the UPS man so that that he leaves all online purchases on the side of the house instead of the front porch so that my husband doesn’t see them on the off chance he beats me home from work?

The trick of making nice all delivery the delivery men, I learned from my mother, an expert online shopper. Over the years, every UPS or FedEX man she’s ever had knew to bring her purchases all the way around to the back porch of the house. Well, they used to, that is, until my father retired and is now home most days. I imagine shortly after my dad retired and he was spending hours combing through his social security paperwork, my mom was frantically texting all the delivery men in her life with new instructions on where to leave her packages. Texting them? you say. Yes, texting them. She's that tight with the shipping and delivery men in her city. Not because her town is small or anything, but I'm sure the sheer volume of deliveries my mom has coming to her on a weekly basis keep at least two UPS delivery men very gainfully employed.

Soon my mom will find herself in a precarious situation. You see, she's a few years from retirement herself. And when that time comes, she won't be able to have her packages sent to her office and then hide the packages in the truck of her car and wait to sneak them into the house when my father's not looking like she does now. Where, oh where, will she stash her goods?

Mom, if you're reading this: I think I might be able to help you out. For a nominal “handling fee” of say, maybe a new pair of shoes every now and then, I’d be more than happy to be the “safe house” for your secret purchases. I see this as a win-win situation for us both. But mostly for me. Now, when my UPS man arrives with those beautiful brown boxes and Jeremy gives me the old arched eyebrow, I can look him in the eyes and half-truthfully tell him “Don’t worry Lover, it’s just another package for my mom.”

Any arrangements to keep your grandchildren from spilling the goods is between you and them. They are tough little negotiators. Their still blackmailing me for the time I gently kissed the garage door with the car bumper.

June 11, 2009

I Can't Believe I'm Not Bitter...About Things Other People Are Having Done to Them With Butter

Remember a few months ago when I entered a contest to become the official blogger at a local spa? Well, I didn’t get picked. I didn’t even make it as one of the five finalists. And the spa, the one whose name I will not say because they’ve already received enough free publicity and buzz from over 20 local bloggers, has yet to find the time to thank the participants or even notify those who were not selected. I discovered I wasn’t on the list from my bloggy friend Connie over at The Young and The Relentless. She didn’t make the cut either and had to hunt down the information from the spa herself.

Honestly, I wasn’t upset that I was not selected as a finalist. The decision was made the by the spa executives and they picked according to their personal preferences. My blog is definitely an acquired taste and I totally understand that not everyone is going to like everything I write.

You know, I can’t help but think the spa owners didn’t pick me because they were a little worried I would spend way too much time in front of the ladies room mirror lip syncing “Renegade” by Styx as I promised I would. Some people are so touchy. And by touchy, I mean lame.

I just re-read the first three paragraphs and I sound extremely bitter up there. Oh well, I’m leaving them the way they are. Meh, maybe I am a little on the bitter side. I’ll admit that on two separate occasions Jeremy and I drove by the spa and I shot that building dirty looks. Also, Jeremy may or may not (but definitely did) shout “SPA WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED, you can suck it!” as we sped by.*

But that’s it. I’m over it already.

Well, maybe not quite. As long as we’re coming clean, I might as well tell you that just this past Tuesday I typed up a false listing in the spa’s name on Craig’s List under the “Casual Encounters” section. Admit it, you’d do the exact same thing.

Stay with me folks, this is where my story finally gets interesting.

Yesterday I was running the final spell check on my Craig’s List revenge listing while rolling my hands together and doing my best maniacal Muawahaha! laugh when I noticed an email pop up from a stranger named Jodi. The first line in her email read: You don’t know me…and so I am sure this is bizarre that I would be contacting you….

People, if you ever want to get my attention, these are the exact words you should write or say to me. I also respond well to Listen up, Hooker!, but you guys already know that.

Anyway, as I read through Jodi’s email I discovered that not only was she was a fellow blogging-sista from Utah, but she was one of the five finalists in the spa contest. Jodi was so sweet and genuine in her email and I was absolutely thrilled that she contacted me. She wanted nothing from me other than to reach out to me, introduce herself and say nice things about Steenky Bee like, Your blog doesn’t suck that bad and I’ve seen way worse hair, I promise.

Well, as you can imagine, after Jodi poured on the sugar like that I was hooked. Had she called me a skank, I would have Googled her home address, driven to her house and kissed her on the mouth. But she didn’t so all I could do was check out her blog. Guess what? It’s adorable. Jodi? She’s even more adorable. I even read the post where she describes the luxurious Body Butter Drench spa treatment she received as one of the finalists. Judging from the photos she put up on her post, I’m almost positive she dropped off a load of laundry while she sautéed herself in trans fats. I’m not judging her. I would have totally done the same thing.

After reading through all the finalists’ posts I made some life-changing decisions.
  1. I decided against submitting a revenge listing on Craig’s list for free under “Casual Encounters” for the spa. It was a bad idea from the beginning and I’ve come to the realization that I must take the high road in this matter. As a result, my paid ad in the classified section of Salt Lake Tribune, the one where I advertise the spa in the “Escort Services Needed”, will be running next week.
  2. I made myself a heavily buttered grilled cheese sandwich because all the butter-talk had made me hungry.
  3. I am throwing my full support behind Jodi for the official blogger at SPA WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED.
So good people, if you have a heart, if you’re fond of butter or even remotely interested in reading about a stranger being rubbed down with a stick of butter, I highly suggest you go here and read Jodi’s clever post about her splendid spa day. Give her a vote. I know I will.

Also? If you can think of any clever insults to shout out the car window at the spa, let me know. I have errands I’m running in that neighborhood tomorrow.

*Jeremy never shouted anything at the spa as we drove by. Even though we both really, really wanted to.

June 9, 2009

Lessons in Love and Spandex

Hold on tight. The Steenkster is taking you back old-school for a minute. For those of you that have known me for a while, you recall that I used to put up posts with pictures of the kiddos and stories of our adventures as a family. Well, this is one of those posts.

Now before you go off thinking this is one of those posts, a post featuring some bland story about my kids at a park, blah, blah, blah...let me tell you two things:

1. No story about Henners or Reese could ever be bland.
2. No man should sport the spandex at a public park without good reason.

Sometimes cousins go to the park, hold hands and do stuff.

And then sometimes cousins just walk away.

Sometimes you're not even two year-old and your hand-holding cousins leave you with all the tall people over age 30. This makes you scared.

But you are only two and you are easily distracted. You spy a chunky, yet handsome toddler boy just across the way. You decide to make eyes at him.

The eye thing isn't working. The boy is too busy checking out his socks. You quickly grab a ball and use it as a prop and peek at him ever-so-coyly in an effort to gain his favor.

Okay, so now he's eating his socks. You are understandably grossed out, but remain undeterred in your quest to be noticed by him. Grandma swoops in and you use her as a "wing man" in order advance your position with the round mound foot fetish-having boy.

Okaaaaay. Granny is clearly not the babe magnet you were hoping for. Your off to try something else. You spy Aunt Karly, a single-ready-to-mingle twenty-something who's got the skills to seal the deal with the dudes. Surely she can throw you some pointers...

...as you use yours to dig. So. Busted.

My friends, the sock-eater and the nose-picker never made contact. Frankly, this strange dance was the highlight of my day at the park with family.

Unless you count this guy...

...which I totally do.

June 8, 2009

Guest Post

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