Thursday, October 17, 2013

My dog is a picky eater

Nellie is a pretty good dog. But one thing that irritates me is that she does not eat at her bowl in the kitchen.

Easy-to-clean tile floor
Instead, she scoops up mouthfuls of food and eats in the living room.

Dog food on my CARPET
She's good about cleaning up the pieces that spill out of her mouth, but I DON'T WANT HER TO EAT ON THE CARPET! The other day I caught her carrying food to her eating spot. I moved quick like a bull fighter to block her way. I told her NO. I asked her to please eat on the tile. I pulled her  back to the tile. I was determined to put a stop to the nonsense. I lost. I gave up. I gave in. I took a photo.

I didn't want to have to do it, but I think I'm going to put her on Maybe that will teach her.

Also, I think it's weird that she doesn't like most dog treats, but she LOVES sandwich bread. We don't give her other people food, but we use bread as a  reward and to teach her tricks. She is crazy for it! I once gave her a piece of her favorite bread that had been left out for a couple hours, and she wouldn't touch it. What a picky eater!

And another thing. She only eats mini chunks, even though she's big enough for the regular chunks. We tried to switch her, but the bigger chunks fell right out of her mouth and made a mess on the carpet. Sigh. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I No Longer Fear Mariachi Bands

I recently visited a Mexican restaurant called Jalapeno Loco near the Milwaukee airport. To my horror, it was mariachi night. I wouldn't say I have a Mariachi phobia, but they make me awfully uncomfortable. I take pride in my diverse taste in music. I like rock, indie, pop, folk, country. But Mariachi? No gracias! I tried calm my nerves and shouted to my coworker, "Are they too loud, or am I too old." Then, "I really just want them to stop." The next thing I knew, the happy musicians finished their unusual rendition of Roll Out the Barrel (only in Milwaukee) at the table next to us. And there they were, surrounding our little table for two, looking at us expectedly.

Flashback to my last real-life experience with a mariachi band. It was during my college years on a family trip to Tijuana. We were eating at a touristy restaurant with an authentic Mariachi band doing their thing. I felt like the best way to deal with them was to ignore them. My dad enthusiastically waved them over. And then looked to me for a song choice because I had studied Spanish. I froze and couldn't think of anything. It was terribly awkward, and I've avoided Mariachis ever since that day.

But on this more recent experience in Milwaukee, my manners proved to be stronger than my distaste in Mariachi. Without thinking, I spoke to them in Spanish. I don't usually use Spanish, even when I know I'm talking to a Spanish speaker. For some reason I feel like it is condescending or that it looks like I'm trying to show off. I was nervous and it accidentally came out like a side effect of my fear. Well, it turned out that they were delighted to hear a gringa like me speak their language. We instantly bonded! 

Like a horrid moment from my past, the band asked what we wanted to hear. I said I actually liked their rendition of Roll Out the Barrel that they had just finished. I could see them roll their eyes at one another. We settled on a Chilean folk song that was fun and not at all awkward. I'd actually like to hear them again sometime!

Virgin = Vegetation = Vegetarians

One of the consequences of going to Digitour was that the girls had to do homework on our way home from Chicago. Here are a few snippets of our conversation.
Gwen: Mom! It says PUBERTY on my homework!
Gwen: Yeah! It does! pu-ber-ty. Weird, right?
Me: What subject is it?
Gwen: It's math, mama. I don't get why it says that.
Alli: Gwen, that says property.
Gwen: Oooooh! (pause) What does property mean?
Gwen: I know how to spell virgin.
Gwen: Virgin. I know how to spell it.
Me: WHY?
Gwen: Because I do. It's v-e-g-e-t-a-t-i-o-n.
Me: Gwen, that's vegetation.
Gwen: Oh, ok.
Me inside my head: PUH-LEASE don't ask what virgin means!
Then later...
Gwen: What are some vegetarians around our neighborhoods?
Me: WHAT? Let me see the paper. Gwen, that says vegetation. It's not the same thing.
Gwen: I know, but I call it vegetarians.
Me: Vegetarians are people who don't eat meat. Vegetation is plants.
Gwen: Eh! Close enough.
Stubborn kid!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I don't need help in the bathroom

It's been FOREVER since I posted, but I happen to be in a writey kind of mood today. I broke the kids out of school this week and road tripped to the 2013 Digitour concert in Chicago. I'm not big on pulling the kids out of school, but it was just a day, and I decided it would be a good memory for us.
Digitour is a concert series featuring several teen Youtube stars. Some of the youtubers sang cover popular songs. A group of popular British and a South African stars interacted with the crowd and participated contests like best bum and best makeup applied by an audience member. It was a family-friendly show, and totally worth the drive.
Traffic was horrible, so we got to the Riveria Theater in Chicago right as the show was starting. I dropped the girls off and found parking. I went directly to the bathroom when I finally got inside. It's been a while since I've made it out to an urban hotspot, so I had forgotten about the ladies that set up shop in the bathrooms and work for tips. They provide a tray of things you might need, like mints, candies, band-aids, aspirin, etc. In this case, they were also handing out paper towels because coincidentally, the paper towel holders were all empty. Hmmm...
It's an uncomfortable and unnecessary service, don't you think? I never know how to treat them. I generally avoid taking anything from them and don't leave a tip. I don't want to be rude, but it feels like a scam. No one really needs help in the bathroom. However, I feel guilty when I think about how I must look to them. I obviously have enough money to splurge on entertainment. And then I think about the bathroom helper, a person who has somehow taken a path that has led to earning tips in the lady's room.
So, there I was trying to avoid making eye contact, and a tough-looking bathroom worker said to me, "Oh, girl! Those shoes are FIERCE! If I saw you on the street, I swear I would BEAT YOU DOWN and take those shoes right off of your feet!" And her friend nodded in agreement.
"I...uh...thank you!?" as I scurried away to meet up with the girls.

We headed into the theater that was bursting with teenage hysteria. As we settled into our seats, Gwen tugged on my shoulder and shouts over the concert, "MOM! I HAVE SOME CANDY!" Sure enough, she held up a wrapped roll of Smarties. My first panicked thought was that she'd found it under her seat, but then she proudly announced that she got it from a lady in the bathroom. Oh dear! I guess it's a good example of how we see things differently as we get older.  
It turned out to be a great night overall. Emma and her friend, Nina, loved the whole thing. Loved isn't a strong enough word. They actually cried! Alli thought it was too loud. Gwen cried because she was too hot, but afterward said it was awesome. I was able to make it home safely, shoes and all. I know we'll all look back on the night as a fun adventure.

I'll end with a photo of Caspar Lee and Marcus Butler crowd surfing in bubbles.