Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Scandal: Santa has a brother!

Scandal will rock the North Pole when Santa finds out about his long lost European brother, Sinter Klaas. Yep, last night in the Tannerstein home, the truth finally came out, after god only knows how many years. Little (almost) 4 year-old Luca discovered the truth when he saw the resemblance between the two in a Santa advent calendar. He immediately made the connection: Santa had the same long white beard and red clothes as the Sint. They had to be brothers!

What a shame, I'm sure Santa has no idea that he has a brother and that this brother (who is considered a "saint") is delivering presents to Dutch boys and girls on 5 December. Not to mention he ALSO keeps a list of good boys and girls. This giving thing must be genetic...

But these two brothers couldn't be more different: Santa lives in the frigid North Pole and Sinter Klaas lives in sunny Spain most of the year, except for the 3 weeks he is visiting Holland. Santa has "little people" as his helpers and the Sint has hundreds of helpers dressed in clown costumes all named Pete. Santa is a world traveler and pilots the worlds only sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. The Sint hitches a ride on a steam boat to Holland and brings his white horse, Americo with him to get around while visiting. But I think the Sint is a more generous giver. His "Petes" fill the children's shoes with presents every night they set them out by the fireplace in the 3 weeks he visits. Santa only fills kid's stockings the one night he travels the world.

All this, of course, doesn't matter to Luca. The only thing that matters is that Santa is American and thats where his GranGran lives. So Luca has now claimed the North Pole as part of America.

So this works for now...Santa and Sint are brothers and both are keeping a list of who is naughty and nice...I love this multicultural thing...two months of threats that the Sint or Santa are watching!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weed Whacked Mama

Ok, so I was brave enough to go back to the naked spa for a second trip. Actually, I wasn't scared at all this time. I was perfectly relaxed and looking forward to an evening de-stressing in the sauna and bubble baths.

I was all prepared and ready to let go...until I was in the dressing room taking off my clothes. I just happened to get a glance of myself in the mirror. I was horrified. It wasn't my scarred up C-section belly or the lumps and bumps that made me gasp...No it was something much worse, and there was nothing I could do about it. And it was something I had complete control over! I had only managed to shave half of my girly bits.

Yes, I was lopsided and it was just at that moment that I remembered what had happened. When I was in the shower the kids were fighting, and in the middle of my task, I had to get out and settle the dispute. I guess I just ended up getting dressed and forgot. Typical.

So here I was at this fancy naked spa with my mother-in-law no less, no razor in sight and I had no where to hide, I was a freak of nature. I thought to myself, it could be worse, but as I began to scan the crowd I realized I would stand out like a mangy dog. I sat in the first sauna facing the door that looked into the showers, in desperate hopes that I would see other misfits like myself. No such luck, everyone had perfectly manicured lawns and I looked like weed whacker gone wrong.

Thankfully I was able to wrap in my towel most of the time, but there were moments when there was no hiding. Like when I climbed down into the hot tub. It was like walking down the cat walk, everyone starring up at you...naked. I could see on the women's faces they noticed. Women check out other women, especially naked!

Oh well, no one is perfect, I thought to myself. And I had to let go of the embarrassment or I would ruin a very rare evening without the kids to wind down. So I climbed into the bubble baths and saunas proudly. I was a mother and I deserved this evening, butchered and all. And who knows maybe I started a trend. As soon as I arrived at my home, I went straight to the bathroom...and put a disposable razor in my purse!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mama gets her face lifted...

Last weekend for my birthday, my sister-in-law and I decided we would treat ourselves to a facial at the Beauty Center in a vacation park we were staying at in the south of Holland. The night before we had found a brochure for the many different treatments the spa offered. It was in Dutch so I only really understood the words massage and collagen, but no matter, I was sure it was all about relaxation.

At first, I was a little relectant to get a treatment because I was trying to save money, but of course I talked myself into it. I never get to do these things and this would be the first time I would have a facial in Europe. I had one in America just before I moved here and I remembered how much I loved it. So that was that, my sister-in-law booked us a facial treatment.

So I walk into the room and I met the lady who is going to give me the 60 minutes of relaxation. I could hardly wait. One whole hour someone was gonna massage my face and make me all relaxed. The only problem was I could't undertand a word she was saying.

She introduced herself and I suddenly relaized that she was speaking a funky dialect or maybe even Flemish. I couldnt even tell you what the girl's name was, but it didnt matter to me. Then she wouldn't talk to me and I could have peace.

It all started off perfectly, got a cleanse and she rubbed some smelly stuff in to my face. Then she asked me the strangest question: If I would like my eyebrows plucked? Or at least this what I thought she was saying, so i said OK. Matter of fact, everything she said to me I just said OK. I had no idea what I was agreeing to.
She plucked away and plucked away. I thought to myself ok, this was not what I was expecting but hey maybe this is how they do things in Europe. A little pain in the beginning to really appreciate the relaxation. So once she stopped plucking, she put a steamer on my face and once again said something, God knows what.

There I sat in a chair my eyebrows throbbing and my face sweating like a pig. definately not what i expected but I think I had 30 more minutes at that point. I would take whatevr I could get.

So she comes back into the room lies me flat in the chair and blindfolds me with round makeup remover pads. She said something again and I said Ok. The next thing I knew a needle was being injected underneath my eye. Holy shit I thought, I must have just agreed to Botox. I felt her take the needle out and then wipe with a cloth. And I felt a lot of pressure. I was freaking. I had just got an injection, it had to be. And ebfore I knew it she was sticking a needle in the cornor of my eye. Same procedure. I was speechless.

Then she started mashing zits on my face. All the time I was thinking ok, I am gonna have one Botoxed eye and red zit pits all over my face, this was unbelievabel, what a stress. So she lifted the chair up and got the mirror out to show me her work. At first I was afraid to look but I knew I had to face my own stuidity of not speaking up and stopping the madness.

I was so relieved when I looked into the mirror to see that in fact I didnt have one swollen up eye. There was no Botox. Apparently she used a needle to pop under the skin zits. It wasnt a facial, it was a zit popping treatment! Thank goodness I was relieved, but I still didnt get my 60 minutes of relaxation. Oh least I am zit free!!