Quips & Tips, Plus an Announcement

Posted in Miscellaneous on May 4, 2012 by jrvitalis

I want to start this post by thanking each and every one of you for taking the time out of your busy lives to share this small slice of my life each week. As I look back on the 100 posts I’ve written over the last year-and-a-half, I can only hope that you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. From bottlenecks to negotiating tactics, Puppy and Kitten have put my MBA to good use and kept me on my toes in the process!

I have no doubt that their antics will continue as we move forward, but I’m going to take a (semi)brief hiatus from posting in order to help prepare my family for our upcoming out-of-state move and help the girls get acclimated to our new home. I hope to be back at it in the not-too-distant future; please don’t forget to check in every once in awhile, or the easiest way to keep tabs on me is to click “subscribe” on the right hand corner of the screen; enter your e-mail address, and you’ll automatically get an e-mail whenever there is a new post. (Don’t worry, you won’t get any spam or other e-mails, only posts from this blog).

Happy spring to all of you, and for now, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite new quips from Puppy and Kitten. Enjoy!


Puppy: Mom, can we fit an apple into our agenda when we get home?

Puppy (munching on an apple a few minutes later): This apple is exquisite!


Puppy: I don’t play with boys!

Me: What about your friend Squirrel?

Puppy: He’s been hanging out with me so long he’s practically a girl.


Puppy (about a scratch above her eye): If it doesn’t heal it won’t end up good, like how the scar above your eye camouflages in with the rest of your wrinkles.


Kitten (waiting for a playdate): If they don’t come, I’m cancelling my playdate. Literally. I’ve been waiting hours for this day.


Kitten (pointing to fancy dress she’d outgrown): I want to keep this so when I am a teenager I can wear it to a ball and go strutting in my heels.


Me (to Kitten when she stands up and walks away from dinner table): Where are you going?

Kitten: Oh, just to mind my own business.


Me: Kitten, do you want me to show you where we are moving on the map?

Kitten: No thanks, I’d rather it be a surprise.



Target Markets and Fashion Sense

Posted in Marketing with tags , on April 26, 2012 by jrvitalis

One of the most challenging tasks for anyone involved in marketing is how to identify and reach a rapidly evolving target market. In today’s business environment, that could translate into anything from identifying growth opportunities in a developing country to keeping up with social media. In my household, one of the biggest challenges is keeping up with Puppy’s growth, both physically and emotionally.

Take her wardrobe for example. Up to this point, Puppy was easy to buy for. She preferred brightly colored clothing, with dresses and tights topping the list. So when she recently grew out of everything in her closet (overnight), I didn’t think replenishing her wardrobe would be a problem.

I went shopping while she was in school and found several great bargains on clothing similar to what she’d always worn. Little did I know that she’d advanced to a new fashion plateau, leaving me (and her dresses and tights) in the dust.

When she got home from school that afternoon, I handed her a shopping bag full of brightly colored dresses.

She pulled out the first dress. Her face fell.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“Um, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings,” she said, “but it’s the color of puke.”

I looked at the dress in her hands. It was darling. And it wasn’t the color of puke. It was the color of split pea soup, with little white polka dots all over it. It totally rocked her fuchsia glasses, too. But I could tell by the look on her face that I’d already lost the battle.

“Okay,” I said, “I’ll take it back.”

She pulled out the next dress. Again, where I expected to see sunshine on her face, there were only storm clouds.

I looked at the purple, turquoise and pink floral-print dress in her hands. It was right up her alley. “You don’t like this one, either?”

She shook her head. “Sorry, Mom. It’s just not my style.”

At this point I was pretty shocked, but still clueless. I returned the dresses to the store and while there noticed the cutest little turquoise jacket on sale. 50% off. She’d outgrown her fall jacket and this one would be perfect for spring.

That afternoon, I pulled it out of the shopping bag, sure that I’d hit a home run.

Puppy scowled at the coat.

And that’s when it finally hit me. My target market had evolved and I’d been left in the dust.

A Budding Entrepreneur

Posted in Management with tags , , on April 20, 2012 by jrvitalis

I was right last week when I predicted that Puppy would become an entrepreneur, but I had no idea it would happen so soon! She has been asking regularly how old she has to be before she can start babysitting. Since she’s only seven-and-a-half, I never took these discussions too seriously. But yesterday I was going to offer to watch Otter for a half-hour while her mother took Squirrel to karate. That’s when it hit me: this was Puppy’s big chance!

I asked if she had any interest in starting a business venture, to which she eagerly responded “Yes!” I suggested she offer up her babysitting services to Otter’s mother. She was eager to make the phone call, but I pointed out she’d better come up with a business plan first.

“How much are you going to charge?” I asked.

“One dollar,” she promptly answered. Sensing a teaching moment, I pointed out that her rate would be $1 for 30 minutes and asked how much her rate would be for a full hour. “Well, normally it would be $2, but I don’t want to take advantage of anybody,” she said, “so I’ll only charge $1.50 for a full hour.”

She made the call and was thrilled when she received her first official job. But I should have known that Puppy would take my idea and run with it. After getting off the phone, she turned to me with a sly grin on her face. “So Mom,” she said. “I’m getting $1 for babysitting Otter. But since Kitten is going to be here too, and you know she’s going to play with us, don’t you think you should give me a $1 for babysitting Kitten as well?”

She knew she had me. All of the sudden, I’m not so sure Puppy going into business is such a great idea after all!

East Bunny Follow-up

Posted in Miscellaneous, Uncategorized with tags , on April 14, 2012 by jrvitalis

Those of you who read my blog yesterday know that I had it on good authority that Puppy was going to find a letter from the Easter Bunny under her pillow last night. And sure enough, she did. After heading for bed, Puppy came running into the living room, screaming with delight and waving the letter wildly. She curled up on the couch to read it with a huge smile plastered on her face. After she finished, she jumped off the couch. “I’ve got to go check my bed!” she yelled.

“Why?” I was baffled.

“The Easter Bunny said he left me a carrot!”

That’s when I had to explain that the expression “a carrot of wisdom” was a bunny twist on the idiom “a pearl of wisdom.”

“You’re probably right, Mom,” Puppy said, “but I better check my bed just to make sure!”

(And just for the record, the Bunny Rabbit would definitely left a carrot under her pillow if he (or she) had been smart enough to think of it!)


Dear Easter Bunny

Posted in Miscellaneous on April 13, 2012 by jrvitalis

If I were a betting man (or woman), I’d put money on Puppy growing up to be an entepreneur. She’s smart, tenacious and definitely has the perseverance necessary to make a go of anything she sets her mind to. I was reminded of this a couple of days ago when Puppy wrote the following letter:

Dear Easter Bunny.

Hi, my name is Puppy. What is your name? Can I ask you some questions? Good. The first question is: How much kids do you visit on Easter night? 2: Are you really busy? 3: Do you visit your family ever? 4: Do you live with your family? 5: Where do you live? 6: Have kids ever seen you? 7: Are you real?

Please write back to me and answer my questions.

From, Puppy

Knowing the Easter Bunny wouldn’t respond, I  told her the Easter Bunny was waaaaaay too busy to answer letters, but she insisted on leaving the letter on the mantle.

The next morning, Puppy popped out of bed, certain a response from the Easter Bunny would be waiting.

But the only thing there was her letter, unopened. I pointed out that the Easter Bunny only visits on Easter and suggested that it might be unreasonable to expect two visits from the Easter Bunny in one year.  “But I know the Easter Bunny will answer me Mom. I just know it!” That night, she repositioned the letter on the mantle to make sure the Easter Bunny could see it.

The look on her face the next morning when she realized the Easter Bunny hadn’t found or responded to her letter was heartbreaking. But she wasn’t ready to give up just yet. So off to school she went.

This pattern repeated itself again this morning, but Puppy refuses to give up. I suspect the Easter Bunny has taken note of her determination. I have it on good authority that when she goes to bed tonight, she’ll find a letter under her pillow that reads something like this:

Dear Puppy,

Thank you for your note. I love getting letters from kids! It’s not very often that I have the time to answer them, but you asked such great questions I just couldn’t resist pulling out my typewriter. (You probably don’t know what that is: ask your Mom or Dad).

My name, of course is Easter Bunny. First name Easter, last name Bunny. You were probably thinking “The” was my first name, with Easter being the middle and Bunny being the last, and that’s what I go by, but my bunny certificate simply reads “Easter Bunny.” As for how many kids I visit, I stopped counting many, many generations ago. But one thing I can tell you for sure is this: it’s a lot!

Visiting so many children keeps me very, very busy. I usually sleep for at least a week after Easter just to recover. I don’t have to go visit my family, because they all live here at Easter Springs with me! Please don’t tell anyone where I live; the last thing I want is reporters showing up at my door day and night. All of their questions would take me away from my work, you know.

Anyway, back to your questions. After I recover from my Easter deliveries, I start planning for the next year. It’s quite an operation to design and produce so many eggs and gifts!

It’s hard to say if I’ve ever been seen. I sincerely hope not and do my very best to make sure I don’t do any deliveries until I’m sure the children are already asleep. As far as I know, I’ve never been caught in the act!

And, finally, your last questions: am I real?

That, my dear, is a question you must answer yourself. I will leave you with this carrot of wisdom: always trust your heart, because it will never lead you down the wrong garden path.

Happy hopping,

The Easter Bunny

p.s. as much as I’d love to carry on this wonderful correspondence, I’ve got to turn my attention to next year’s eggs; I’m sure you understand?

Kitten Quips

Posted in Management with tags on March 30, 2012 by jrvitalis

Kitten (pointing at donut holes on table): Daddy, you got us pom-poms!


Kitten: I am a real princess, but I am disguised from the wolves because they only eat real princesses.


Kitten: My name is despicable, but don’t tell anybody. I’ll say “Hi, my name is despicable, nice to meet you.”


Kitten: Do I really have to eat these disgusting eggs?


Kitten recently decided to tell her friend Otter about about her great-grandmother, who lives in Las Vegas and has had two knee replacements. Kitten’s take on Grandma: “I call her the old woman who lives in the desert, but that would make her feel bad, so I’ll call her the old lady with metal in her knees.”


Kitten to Puppy during a fight: Well, I don’t want to contradict your business.


Kitten to her dad, seeing him in a suit: You look silly, Daddy.


Kitten: I have a book buddy at school.

Me: What do you do with your book buddy?

Kitten: We read, of course! What else would we do, play?


Kitten: Mom, do you want to go to the park?

Me: It’s raining!

Kitten (thoughtfully): You do make a good point.


Kitten: My belly is full up to here (points to chest). If I drink the water, I will over-mutate and be full up to here (points to nose).


Me: Kitten, do you mind if we go to the gym today so I can do a class?

Kitten: Only if we go to the playground after because you have to respect my energy.


Me (to Kitten, who is pretending to talk on the phone): What are they saying?

Kitten: I’m not going to tell you because it is inappropriate.


Kitten: Mom, do you think I look like a teenager in this outfit?

Me: Don’t you think you might be too hot wearing that today?

Kitten: Part of being a teenager is dressing appropriately for the weather.




Management Styles and Earrings

Posted in Management with tags , , on March 23, 2012 by jrvitalis

In my last post we talked about management styles and the differences between Puppy and Kitten. But it wasn’t until Kitten got her ears pierced recently that I realized just how different the girls really are.

Puppy started asking to get her ears pierced when she was three or four. I had my ears pierced on my 6th birthday with my godmother. Afterward, she took me out to lunch to celebrate and I still remember how special this event made me feel.

Wanting my girls to have the same type of memory, I told Puppy she had to wait until she was 6. She was fine with that. When the day finally came, she spent an eternity agonizing over exactly which earrings she would choose. After the piercing, she burst into tears and continued to sob all the way through lunch. She was thrilled with her earrings, but apparently the pain was much greater than she’d expected.

Kitten’s experience was totally different.

From the time she could talk, Kitten was adamant that she never wanted to get her ears pierced. “Never, never, NEVER,” she said.

“It’s your decision,” I always replied.

It was quite a shock when she came bounding into our bedroom one morning shrieking, “I want to get my ears pierced!”

After prying my eyes open, I managed to point out that she’d never wanted them pierced before.

“Now I do. Today!”

I was tempted to say she had to wait until she was 6, but I knew if Puppy said she was ready to have her ears pierced, then she was ready.

I showed her the earring choices online, and she immediately pointed to a pair of pink flowers. When we arrived at the store, she marched up to the desk and announced she wanted her ears pierced. She didn’t even hesitate when she climbed into the chair for the actual piercing. After the first one was done, I asked if she was okay.

She blinked twice. “I’m fine, Mom.”

After the second ear was done, she hopped down grinning ear to ear.  No tears, no fuss, just pure joy.

I know she’s never regretted her decision because after she tested for her orange belt in karate recently, she came rushing off the floor and I gave her a big hug.

“I’m so proud of you,” I said.

She pulled back. Instead of responding, she tucked her hair behind her ear and asked, “Do you think anyone noticed my earrings?”

I’ve got to give the girl credit: at least she’s focused!


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