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August, 2012 |

Archives for August 2012

A frugal PSA: Sometimes a deal IS indeed too good to be true.

I’m just going to go ahead and cut to the chase, tell you a little tale about how I totally got taken for a stupid sucker. A classic case on how I didn’t do my “smart shopper” due diligence, and now am $18 poorer with a bruised frugal ego.

Ok, so here is my sad and sorry story:

It was around 9:30 in the morning, and my sister calls me to share a “must have” deal on Zulily. If you love deals, you already know how awesome Zulily is, and on this particular morning, they were offering kids Keen rain boots with Boston Terrier dogs on them.

We have a stinky Boston Terrier, thus obviously we needed these rain boots.












They were selling on Zulily for maybe $25 odd dollars (can’t remember the exact amount), but then they don’t have Piper’s size, so I sadly had to pass the deal up.

But now that I know these boots exist, I kinda want them bad. Like, I have to have them. I WOULD NOT BE DEFEATED! Clearly, finding these shoes in Piper’s size had quickly become a challenge for me, one that I would ultimately lose.

And then the very same sister that alerted me to the boots in the first place, sends me another link via email, to a clearance site that was selling the boots for an outstanding price of $13 + shipping! And wouldn’t you know it, they have Piper’s size!


The boots were in my cart and paid for via PayPal within a matter of minutes.

That was about a month ago.

Yesterday, the mailman delivered me a tiny little bubble mailer from China.

China. Hm…. Don’t remember ordering anything from China. Don’t know anybody living in China.What on earth could it be? So exciting! Mystery package!

And inside the randomly delivered tiny bubble mailer, was another even smaller plastic package, labeled LUX touch of  Europe shower cap.

A shower cap. From China. The mystery continues…

So I did what any normal inquisitive person with time on her hands would do, I asked google.














Discount shoes. Scambook. Shower cap. Hey wait, I never got those rain boot I ordered a month ago!

Yep, I was a victim. They took my money, they snatched my pride, and left me with a stupid shower cap, that is anything but LUX.


(identity hidden, to cover the shameface)

I’ve filed a complaint with Paypal, but honestly I’m not going to spend a ton of time trying to get my $18 back, because you know, it wasn’t that much money.

And well, I can’t get my frugal confidence back.

Valuable lesson learned: if you need a disposable a shower cap, order shoes online.

Any of you every been scammed? Come on, share your story so I don’t feel like such an idiot.

And I didn’t blog a thing.

I think the feeling of disenchantment with the internet happens to me at least once a year. A feeling that if I woke up and my blog was erased forever I would be totally OK with the. The wishing that twitter didn’t exist, and that we could go back to a place where we didn’t feel the need or desire to be “friends” with people that we were never “friends” with in the first place.

Bite my naughty tongue, I know.

This internet blogging thing started for a hobby for me, and somewhere along the way morphed into a full fledged job where I employ childcare and everything. Crazy, right?  It’s like a dream come true, except when it’s not.

But I think when you find a passion, it’s OK to admit the ebbs and flows.

I’m in a place right now. And it’s not that I’m trying to hide anything, but have just found myself uninterested in capturing my comings and goings for the internet to see.  I noticed this over the weekend, when Michael made a comment that he missed my blog. He admitted that if he wants to keep up with me, he’s had to resort to reading babble. Apparently, tough times call for desperate measures.

I want to get back to this blog, because ohemgeeee you wouldn’t believe what this old man said to Gage at the grocery store. And I’d love to tell you about the girls first week of school, Gage’s potty training efforts spearheaded by the belief he’s a super friends, and the time I went to the Indiana State Fair and ate spaghetti ice cream (and loved it).

Not exactly a fierce getaway ride...

But Friday is the end of the month, which means I have a full calendar and lots of deadlines to meet. And oh, I just joined a book club with Shireen, which means I have approximately 7 days to read this book. Good thing I’ve heard it’s a page turner.

So yeah, what have you been up to?

New beginnings start today

I always told myself that once Nola went off to Kindergarten, I would be ready to get pregnant with a third baby. And while I still think of myself as a planner, I’ve realized over the years that my actions rarely follow the carefully thought out plan in my head.

Nola started school Kindergarten today, and Piper the 2nd grade.

This is happening. No more sleeps, school is in session! Kindergarten and 2nd grade, watch out!

My third child will soon be three, my fourth child just turned seven months. Obviously, family planning is not something I excel at.

But nonetheless, all of us have been counting sleeps, nervously waiting for the first day of school to finally arrive. We’re starting a new school, and while I’m wildly anxious about it, I know the girls will do great. Everything will be fresh and new, all the way down to the brightly colored mandatory polo’s on their backs and bright white sneakers on their feet.

And while I’m super excited for everything the girls will experience this year, I can’t help but admit I’m pretty pumped myself to get into a new grove at home with just the boys. I want to give Gage some much needed extra attention, particularly in the potty training area. And Paul desperately needs to get on a more consistent nap schedule throughout the day. Having the girls in school from 8-3 will hopefully make these things happen.

So, cheers to new beginnings! We’re going to celebrate with after school fro-yo, and I’m surprising the girls by cooking their favorite meal, Shrimp Pasta by Ina Garten. Ina Garten recipes are saved for special occasions only.

And also, I can totally believe Piper is in second grade, but when the heck did Nola become old enough for real school?

*linking up with my friend, Miss Elane-ous!

the hole-y obsession

Pulling teeth in this house is hard. It’s as hard as, um, pulling teeth.

It’s all kinds of difficult. We cry, we yell, and I *might* resort to leaving the room when twist comes to shove.

Piper finally yanked out one of her coveted front teeth yesterday, after literal weeks of me begging her to pull it out of her face.

I offered ice cream, to which she sat on my bedroom floor and bawled her brains out. I offered her money, to which she implied she’s an impossible pauper. I even offered her dreams of unlimited TV, to which she could not be bribed.

Nothing worked. But alas, her match was met, over a soft a spaghetti dinner.

It was the cherries that ultimately did her in. Cherry pits aren’t as soft as they used to be.













I was saving the cherries to make some homemade ice cream from Jeni’s book (my favorite ice cream recipe guide), but she just had to have a few with her dinner.

I guess she got what was coming to her.

No ice cream for her, this time. Instead,  hot pink nail polished embellished crisp dollar bill was found on the nightstand, the next morning.



the orange imposture

While I was away in NYC last week, Michael and I would play this little game. I would ask him to text me a pic of the kids, and I would reciprocate by sending him a snapshot of what I was doing.

His photos were great (and I posted them all over at babble yesterday), and mine were just OK. At one point, I sent him a photo of myself meeting The Lorax . I made sure to tell him to show Piper. You know, I thought I would impress her, and she would realize what a cool mom I really was.


When I talked to her later in the evening, she confidently told me that the Lorax I met was clearly an imposter. A total fake.

And I asked why. Because obviously, I met THE LORAX, in the flesh.

Her twofold reply:

1. The Lorax is a cartoon. As in, not an actual creature, but a sketch drawn by people. She said (and I quote): clearly mom, you’re not hugging a drawing.

2. The Lorax is short in stature. And mom (and I again quote): That Lorax in that photo is as tall as you. Again, not that is not actual Lorax.

Therefore, my seven year old called my bluff. I met a person wearing a Lorax costume. NOT THE REAL LORAX.

And I learned a valuable lesson that people of her intelligence cannot be impressed by people dressed up in fake Lorax costume.

I wonder what she would think if I told her I met Nick Lachey’s pregnant wife (she has a name, it’s Vanessa, and she’s completely adorable).


Because THAT totally happened, despite the unfortunate lighting situation.

The only thing better than a friend

I try to do this little “thing” every time I leave the kids for the weekend with their dad (which happens about 3 times a year). I write a quick thoughtful few words a card for every day I’m going to be away, accompanied with a little something special.

I tell them how much I love them, how much I miss them, and let them know I can’t wait to get home to see them. I ask that their good for dad, share the treats with their brother, and to go to bed on time without letting the bed bugs bite.

Last weekend while I was away in NYC, each girl got 3 cards, 3 pieces of candy I would never typically buy them. (what, it wasn’t like I was the one who had to deal with the sugar crash, that’s what dad is for!)


Monday morning, after the most draining return trip ever, I spent a couple hours in the morning offline, tiding up and getting the house back to proper working order. You know, a few loads of laundry, a good cleaning of our guest bathroom, and quick straightening up of the cloffice. The cloffice (closet/office) is where we keep all the craft supplies. We’re fairly free range here, so the girls are always welcome to dive into an art project anytime the creative bug bites. So obviously, there are always half finished masterpieces scattered throughout the room.

While picking up and throwing out trash, I found this:

A little love note, created by Piper, made for Nola.

Found: love note from one sister to another. Makes my mommy heart all melty.

Notes like this are not out of the ordinary at all for Piper. She’s quite a budding artist, and very much expresses her emotions through drawing. When she’s excited, she’ll give you a sign. When you’ve ticked her off, she’ll let you know passive aggressive style.

And when it’s your birthday, she’ll throw the baby over the cake.

But the fact is, she outwardly shows love for her family more than anyone else I know. A couple months ago, while doing a similar tidy, I found this little hand drawn picture, it’s been on the refrigerator ever since.


Piper always has the brown hair, Nola always with the blonde. Some days they fight like cats and dogs, but most day, they’re the best of buds.

Coming home from BlogHER, I’m very much riding a high from seeing so many friends I love and adore. But I’ve realized that while I know lots of really nice people, I don’t have too many close friends. I mean, I have a handful, but the circle is small.

It pains me to admit this, but I keep in touch with almost zero friends from high school (other than on Facebook), and only a few from college.

But what I lack in friends, I make up for in sisters. I’ve been blessed with 3 sisters, all younger than me. We’re pretty close, or at least as close as you can get when you live states away from each other.

I don’t know what the future holds for Piper and Nola. Maybe they’ll have a ton of friends, maybe they won’t. But Lord willing, they’ll always have each other.


















Having friends is pretty awesome. Having a friend that just happens to also be your sister is amazing.

I can only pray they stay this close all the days of their lives.

I’m partnering with Hallmark this year for its “Life Is A Special Occasion” campaign. It’s truly my honor to be able to tell you stories about my everyday special moments. Sharing my stories and having them sponsored by Hallmark is a dream come true. Please consider signing up for Hallmarks e-newsletter, where you’ll receive discounts, special offers, and other fun stuff.