Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I used to be tough. I really did. I didn’t cry. I didn’t lament things lost. I could hit someone if I needed to (ok, just in the arm, but still). I was tough.

Then I got married. Shortly thereafter, my firstborn came along. And I got soft. Not just around the middle (because unfortunately, that did happen as well), but in life. I can cry at the drop of a hat, and it’s not just to get my way anymore. Well, not always. Heh. Some habits are hard to break.

Anyway, back to softening up. I used to mock the commercials that would induce tears (was it the Folgers coffee commercial at Christmas?). I now have to turn the station because I will bawl. Not just a sniffle, but actual waterworks and snot running down my face. Sexy. You know it. Anything can reduce me to tears. Movies. TV shows. Songs on the radio (this post was inspired by my eyes watering up at Brad Paisley’s “He Didn’t Have to Be” - and now I'm crying watching the video!!). What the heck is happening to me?

My mom is tough. Barely ever see her welling up. I wonder if she was a softie at my age as I am now. Will I regain my toughness? Is it lost forever? My co-friend and I have each other crying on a daily basis. What is WRONG with us!?!?!? I think with each subsequent pregnancy, I have lost a little more resolve. A puddle. I’m on the verge of a puddle almost all the time! But then other times…watch out!!

nananananananana Thunder!

That was my attempt at AC/DC classic Thunderstruck.  Can you tell? 

I think half of our community was up overnight with the thunderstorms whipping through the area.  The other half was asleep.  Lucky them. 

I woke up at 1:25 when a big bolt of lightning and the accompanying crash of thunder woke me up.  When talking with people at work and reviewing the news, it sounds like that's when EVERYONE was hit.  We are about 15 minutes north of town, and I know that it was affecting houses 20 minutes southwest of town as well!  That's a BIG storm.  Sirens were going off; there were tornado warnings; meteorologists were telling you to take cover.

I just went back to sleep.  I didn't trek to the living room to watch the news.  If I did, I wouldn't have fallen back asleep.  And with three boys, dang right I'm going to sleep if they're going to let me!  Now that I've heard a little more of what was going on out there, I'm second-guessing myself for not paying attention.  But oh well.  What can you do about that now? 

We lived out in Colorado for about 6 years - I don't remember having storms like these!  We've been just pummeled this summer.  It seems that everywhere is getting hit with extreme weather [i.e. China is having massive flooding and mudslides (due to record breaking snowfall this winter!)].  Is Mother Nature off her meds lately or what? 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's the Cheesiest!

Campbells Soup.  Huggies diapers.  Enfamil formula.  Bounty paper towels.  Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.  Kleenex.  Charmin.  Betty Crocker. 

Today I was making my weekly trek to Sam's Club for a few vital things and spent 4 excrutiating minutes in the laundry detergent aisle.  I always use Tide.  Have forever.  Yes, I realize it is more expensive.  I do know this.  Our littlest tike has sensitive skin and so I've been using Tide Free for the past 4+ months.  I really needed to pick some up since it's laundry day and I'm not sure if what we have at home would be enough.  So I'm standing there in Sam's.  Looking back and forth at detergent.  The only dye-free/scent-free one they had was All, no Tide.  I look at the price.  $11 and change.  Holy crap, way cheaper than the Tide I've been buying.  Do I want to make a second stop today?  Especially with 3 little boys with me?  No.  So I pick up the All.  Seriously, this took me 4 minutes of back and forth, weighing my options - who will melt down if I stop at Target?  Do I really want to lug the carrier in another store?  MM, Target has Starbucks though.  Sigh, if I get Starbucks then the two big boys will want something.  Argh.  What to do, what to do. 

Finally, the All is in my cart.  In my head, I'm thinking - hey, it's only $11 if I don't like it.  How can I get my thinking to turn around and say "holy crap, I just saved $8 on detergent and I bet it will work great!"?  As I continued to wander the store, I realized that I buy the name brand about 85% of the time. 

A major milestone for me a few years ago was to start buying Target brand tissues.  I actually prefer them to Kleenex brand now.  This was HUGE for me.  Unfortunately, I'm back to Kleenex brand now as I can buy in bulk at Sams and we usually have at least one runny nose in the house. 

A couple months back, DH texted me from Sam's to say that formula there was waay cheaper than Enfamil (like $14 cheaper).  Same exact ingredient list, same exact nutritional value.  So I hemmed and hawed.  Hmm.  Hemming.  Hawing.  Finally ask our pediatrician what she thinks.  Go for it.  So we did.  Do you think babycakes cares?  No.  Just keep it comin'. 

I sign up for deals and notifications on things going on sale.  But can I get myself to use a coupon at the grocery store?  No.  Can I get myself to buy the Marshmallow Matey's instead of Lucky Charms?  No.  Can I buy store brand Mac & Cheese?  No way Jose! 

When I think of all the money that I could potentially be saving, it makes me sick.  Yet I continue to buy generally the same way I always have.  I know this starts young - there's a study that's making waves right now about kids and McDonalds (yes, McDonald's again, though this study is from 2007).  Exact same food tastes better to kids if it has the Mickey D's logo on it.  Even carrots.  Seriously. 

So my quick trip to Sam's today - you be the judge:
All detergent
Generic Formula (Member's Mark?)
Tyson chicken nuggets
Gorton Fisherman fish sticks
bakery cookies (chocolate chunk if you're curious)

I guess we'll wait and see if our clothes feel any different once I start using the All.  Technically, no smell should change since I'm going from Tide Free to All Free.  Think anyone in my family will notice besides me?  I doubt it. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

To Infinity...and Beyond!

I've got a kiddo (J-bird) who is obsessed with all things Toy Story.  He can quote the first two movies.  He's not even 4 years old yet.  He sat in awe at the theater to see Toy Story 3 when we went a month ago.  I don't think he even spoke during the entire movie.  Every once in a while you'd catch him looking around (and close his mouth) but most of the time it was hanging wide open as he stared at the screen.

There've been times I've come downstairs and he will be watching cartoons with his Toy Story crew set up next to him.  He's got Buzz, Woody, Jessie, Mr. Potato Head and Slink.  Then he has improvised the rest of the gang - he's got a mini etch-a-sketch that he brought over to sit with them.  He takes a small piggy bank and that's Hamm.  He's got a dinosaur skeleton from a Matchbox cars set - yep, that's Rex.  His older brother got a bucket of army men for his birthday last month - so now we've got an army set up throughout the house.  We've also got RC made out of Legos.  It's fun.

It started with his big brother.  I bought Woody and Jessie at a Mothers of Multiples Sale out in Colorado Springs.  Seriously, probably $2 each at this mega garage sale.  NICE.  He loved Toy Story as well, but he's since moved on.  Not J.  He has glommed on to all things Toy Story related.  And I admit, it's easy to buy for him, so yes, I totally feed the obsession.  He was Buzz Lightyear for Halloween this past year and will randomly wear the costume around the house.  It's great.  Especially when he got talking Buzz Lightyear wings for Christmas.  It's quite the get-up.  You can hear him banging his wings into the stairway walls on his way up to tell you "I.  Am.  Buzz.  Lightyear." 

We decided to get him a Leapster for his birthday.  He's really gotten into playing with his big brother's and we figured it would be a good time for him to get one.  Lo and behold, today I see that they have made a Toy Story special edition Leapster!  WOO HOOO!!  Totally made my Friday.  Yes!  I think he'll go nuts for it.  And isn't that what their birthday is all about? :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cheese Curds, Mini Donuts, Carnies - Oh my!

Fair is in town.  Not just the normal Red River Valley Fair, but the Street Fair is starting this week as well.  My last year of college, I worked downtown and was able to partake in fair food and activities and shopping to my heart's content.  All I had to do was take a break and walk outside.  Now, I have to drive downtown, find somewhere to park ($$) and hoof it all over the place . While I do still enjoy it, it's definitely different not being part of the downtown experience every day anymore.

I'm always interested in the crafts and artwork.  I look at these things and realize that I could do it myself and not pay $65 for a curved piece of metal or $85 for a painted piece of wood for my kids' wall.  Sometimes I get caught up in the moment and will carry something with me for a while before I realize that it is NOT a necessity!  Then I put it back (with regret) and turn to walk away.  And then something else catches my eye.  Sometimes the street fair is NOT good for people distracted easily by shiny objects.  Just sayin. 

Then there's the FAIR out at the fairgrounds.  I used to go to as many concerts as I could during the fair...and quite frankly, drink as much as possible.  I've still got the huge mugs that they'd sell ya.  Now they have kool aid in them.  Is that wrong? 

Do you ever think about how far fairs have come from their original beginnings?  The country fair where you'd bring in your livestock for show, sell your jams and jellies and try to win prizes based on guessing how much a pig weighs (at least that's how Babe became a member of Farmer Hoggett's family).   There's still the livestock portions and 4H things but a lot of the "homier" type of activities are gone.  The midway is still in full force with booths and tents and rides galore.  And the carnies - YIKES!  Can you imagine some of the stories they could tell?  Nevermind, I don't think I want to know!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Ah, the Fourth of July.  Best holiday EVER for pyromaniacs and deaf old men.  Worst holiday for nervous dogs and small children.  And nervous moms. 

We were at the lake.  Apparently, word is that fireworks are illegal to be set off in the state of Minnesota.  I'm reading the statutes regarding this and am confusing myself.  And here I thought I wanted to be a lawyer when I was growing up.  Looks like certain things are allowed and certain others are not.  Typical. 

Anyway, so my BIL2B (brother-in-law-to-be) shows up with bags and bags of fireworks.  There are three 3-year-old boys and one 6-year-old boy that are immediately enthralled.  I think it was the highlight of my 6YO's year so far, AND he already had his birthday and got a baby brother too!  I spent most of the night in the house, with the baby.  I'll say he was sleepy and not feeling well.  Ok, so I was napping too, big deal.  It's probably a good thing that I didn't witness all the fireworks festivities, especially when I now see pictures and my 3YO and 6YO are just right up in there the entire time. 

Did you know that people DIE from fireworks?  Ok, so some of them are from heart attacks out in their boat after watching a fireworks show, but still!  Yes, that came up when I googled "fireworks fatalities".  Weird. 

Anyway, I'm trying NOT to be a helicopter mom, but when it comes to fireworks, I get freaked out!  The boys just don't pay enough attention to their surroundings (and not just the little boys either).  When the baby and I finally did make our appearance, I was trying to play it cool but I was freaked.  I can't help it.  Pretty sure the DH (dear husband) knew this but by that time, the supply was dwindling and it was a little too late to say they couldn't partake! 

I'm going to go with the fact that maybe we're teaching them fire and fireworks safety at a young age and they'll carry it on through adulthood?  Does that work?  Does that ease my mind?  Well, until next year at least....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

They paved paradise...

...and put up a parking lot. 

Today's lunch expedition brought me to a bakery, a party supply store and then to the old standby - Sam's Club.  So that's three parking lots I had to maneuver, in addition to the one at work.  What has happened to basic parking lot etiquette?

Have you ever felt like Evelyn Couch from Fried Green Tomatoes and just go off on someone in the parking lot?  Towanda!!!  "Let's face it honey, I'm older and have better insurance."  I would LOVE to say that to someone (eventually, not now, as I'm NOT older, I swear). 

I found a wikiHow website that talks about parking lot etiquette.  Dang, there's a lot on there.  I was only really concerned today with how SLOW people walk when they're going across the walkway in front of the store!!  Oh, and the Mountaineer that took up two parking spots in front of the bakery.  That had me PO'd too.  I don't know if that was on purpose or what. 

Anyway, back to the slow walkers - am I the only one who picks up the pace when I'm walking on the crosswalk and cars are waiting for me?  I speed up and give the little "thanks" look and nod.  You know what I'm talking about.  Just a little acknowledgement.  That's all that's needed.  But today, this couple and their two children were crossing.  And STOP.  In the middle of the crosswalk.  They STOPPED for pete's sake.  Why?  I couldn't tell ya!  Kids kept walking forward, so it wasn't anything to do with them.  Did they forget their membership card?  Forget their shopping list?  I don't know.  By this point, I could barely see through the red tinge my eyes had taken on!  Seriously people, what is up!?!  And in my head, I'm questioning what type of example these people are giving their children!  Ok, extreme, but I couldn't help it.  It's a good thing that at that point a woman came out of the store carrying two canteloupes.  Inject your own melon humor here.  Heh.  Now I can't stop giggling.

The other thing that drives me the most nuts in parking lots is waiting for spots.  Yes, I will drive around the lot.  I will stalk people to their cars, especially if I've got little ones with me.  The shorter distance I have to haul them, the better.  So I car-stalk someone.  I wait.  And I wait.  And I wait some more.  I won't car-stalk the people who have really full carts.  I don't want to wait THAT long for their spot.  I find the person who walks out without a cart.  And wait.  And wait.  Seriously, what are they doing in that car?  How could it take that long to get in, buckle up and start the car?  Sigh.  So I'm waiting.  Eventualy they've got to back out, right?  Can I out-wait them? 

A long time ago, I heard or read somewhere that women are better for scooting out of those parking spots faster than men.  That men view it as territorial and they will deliberately slow down when they know someone is waiting.  Do you think that's true?  Sometimes I wonder.